Press release

New powers model for Wales comes into force on 1 April 2018

Alun Cairns: The new model provides a firm foundation for the future of Welsh devolution.

  • The reserved powers model provides a clear boundary between reserved and devolved matters
  • Welsh devolution will be strengthened through further powers for the Assembly and Welsh Ministers
  • The new model will come into force on 1 April 2018

On 1 April 2018, a new reserved powers model of devolution in Wales will come into force, putting more decisions into the hands of Welsh Ministers, giving them important new levers to grow the Welsh economy and to deliver better public services across Wales.

The new model places Welsh devolution on a firmer foundation, making clear what is devolved, and the responsibility of the National Assembly for Wales, and what is reserved - and the responsibility of Parliament.

The regulations also bring into force many of the further powers being devolved to the Assembly and Welsh Ministers under the Wales Act 2017, including powers over elections, transport and the environment. Most of these powers will also come into force on 1 April 2018.

The announcement comes a week after the Chancellor’s budget where he set out plans to increase the Welsh Government’s budget by £1.2 billion and build an economy that is fit for the future.

The new reserved model will take effect at the same time as the new devolved Welsh taxes, and before the Assembly and Welsh Ministers take responsibility for a portion of income tax.

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:

The reserved powers model marks a significant step forward in Welsh devolution and implements the clearer devolution settlement provided in the Wales Act.

The additional powers for the Assembly and Welsh Ministers will strengthen Welsh devolution and set it on a clear course for the future.

The Welsh Government now needs to be innovative with the opportunities these new powers provide and deliver the improvements in devolved services that the people of Wales deserve.


Notes to Editors

Some parts of the Wales Act 2017 are already in force, including provisions that:

  • reaffirm the government’s commitment to the permanence of the National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh Government;
  • remove the requirement for a referendum before the devolution of income tax to Wales; and
  • double (to £1 billion) the amount Welsh Ministers can borrow to fund capital expenditure.

Earlier this month, the UK Government and Welsh Government introduced a water protocol for England and Wales which will safeguard water resources, water supply and water quality for consumers on both sides of the border

Published 30 November 2017