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WELSH PUSH TO EXCEED ENGLAND'S FREEDOMS

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Welsh councils are hoping for greater freedoms in the Welsh Assembly's local government white paper to be published...
Welsh councils are hoping for greater freedoms in the Welsh Assembly's local government white paper to be published in March.

Some proposals in the English white paper include measures already in place in Wales, such as the abolition of council tax benefit subsidy limitation.

But the Welsh Local Government Association is hoping to persuade ministers to extend councils' powers in other areas.

Association finance director Ian Miller said he expects councils in Wales to retain the power to vary business rates.

He said: 'A full power over business rates should be returned, but a modest power to vary interest rates goes some way towards this.'

The Assembly is expected to introduce council tax revaluation in 2005 - two years before the English equivalent.

Mr Miller said: 'We expect to see many of the changes from the English white paper, but it should go further in Wales.'

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