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Government of Wales Act 2006

Payments into Welsh Consolidated Fund

Section 118: Grants

451.Subsection (1) provides that payments from the Secretary of State, deriving from the moneys voted to him or her by Parliament, must be paid into the WCF.

452.Subsection (2) empowers any Minister of the Crown, and any government department, to make payments to the Welsh Ministers, the First Minister or the Counsel General. This may happen where, for example, the Welsh Ministers agree to carry out, in Wales, a function of a UK Minister of the Crown. By virtue of section 120(1), such sums will normally fall to be paid into the WCF. However, this requirement may be overridden by the Assembly passing a resolution under section 120(2).

Section 119:  Statement of Estimated Payments

453.In order to assist the Welsh Ministers in formulating a Budget motion under section 125 and to assist the Assembly in scrutinising that Budget motion, section 119 requires the Secretary of State to lay a written statement before the Assembly at least four months before the beginning of each financial year. The statement must contain an estimate of the total payments that the Secretary of State will pay into the WCF in that financial year. It must also contain an estimate of how much will be paid to the Welsh Ministers, the First Minister or the Counsel General in that financial year (whether by Ministers of the Crown, government departments or other persons), together with any other information that the Secretary of State considers appropriate (see subsections (1), (2), (4) and (5)).

454.Under subsection (3), the statement must also show how much of the Welsh Block Grant, voted to the Secretary of State for Wales by Parliament, the Secretary of State proposes to deduct (in particular, to meet the expenses of the Secretary of State’s own department, the Wales Office), before paying the remainder into the WCF.

Section 120: Destination of Receipts

455.This section deals with which sums need to be paid into the WCF, and which do not. The normal position is that sums received by the Welsh Ministers, the First Minister, the Counsel General, the Assembly Commission, the AGW or the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales are to be paid into the WCF (because all those bodies and office-holders are funded out of that Fund - see subsection (1)).

456.However, there are a number of exceptions to this, namely:


where legislation (including this Act) expressly disapplies the general requirement for receipts to be paid into the WCF (see, for an example in this Act , Schedule 8, paragraph 9(3));


where the Assembly has resolved that receipts in the relevant category are, in principle, eligible for retention (as opposed to having to be paid into the WCF) by the Welsh Ministers, the First Minister, the Counsel General, the Assembly Commission, the AGW or the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales; a Budget resolution of the Assembly (for which see section 125) must also have authorised the maximum amount, up to which the person in question can retain the resources for the relevant financial year (subsection (2)).

457.In addition, HM Treasury can effectively override a requirement that sums be paid into the WCF. The Treasury can make an Order under subsection (3) designating certain categories of receipt. The consequence of this is that the Welsh Ministers have to pay an amount equivalent to those receipts into the UK Consolidated Fund, via the Secretary of State for Wales. This power of HM Treasury is outside the Assembly Budget process (for which see below), because the sums involved are charged on the WCF by virtue of subsection (6). This means that they are paid automatically out of the WCF, without the need for Assembly approval in a Budget resolution. Subsection (7) provides that these Treasury Orders are to be made by negative resolution procedure in the House of Commons (in accordance with the convention that the Commons alone controls matters relating to the supply of finance to the executive).

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