Minister calls for borrowing powers of £1.3 billion
The borrowing powers for capital investment of up to £500 million in the Draft Wales Bill is "a good start" but the Finance Minister believes there is a case for setting a level of £1.3 billion.
Jane Hutt was giving evidence to the Finance Committee on 19 February 2014.
In response to Plaid Cymru's Alun Ffred Jones, Ms Hutt said that "if you look at the borrowing rules that have been set in Scotland and apply them to the Welsh budget they imply a borrowing ceiling of around £1.3 billion for Wales".
She said that she is making that case to the UK Government.
Ms Hutt said that borrowing £500 million would mean repayment costs of £30m a year, based on current interest rates on a 25 year loan.
She said "we do believe a higher sum would be affordable", adding that there must be a clear understanding in the bill as to how the borrowing limit can be "reviewed upwards".
In terms of income tax devolution, she once again said that the Welsh Government is "very unhappy" with being offered the 'lockstep' approach, which means that the Welsh Government would have to adjust all rates by the same amount, at the same time.