Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith's caution on income tax powers


The Shadow Welsh Secretary believes giving Wales the power to raise income tax now would leave the country worse-off.

Speaking to Huw Edwards on The Wales Report, Owen Smith, Labour MP for Pontypridd, said in his view "income tax as a power probably oughtn't be devolved right now".

Mr Smith said that giving the Welsh government the ability to decide on levels of income tax would put Wales in a worse position.

"I think ultimately, we'd end up in the short term with Wales being worse-off than we are right now, because we don't have the relative tax base that we need to provide Wales with the volume of money that our needs requires."

He said he saw no difficulty with smaller taxes being administered from Wales, such as stamp duty, land tax and air passenger duty.

"But once you get into the question of income tax and radical changes like that, then I think we've been very clear - that would be a major change between the settlement of England and Wales," said Mr Smith.

He said he would wait for the conclusions of the Silk Commission on Devolution in Wales, due out on 19 November, to give his final view on the matter.

The full interview is on The Wales Report on BBC One Wales at 22:25 GMT on Sunday 28 October.

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