"Empowerment and responsibility"


Parts of the Silk Commission report, says the eponymous Paul Silk, "might at first blush look a little dry".

Don't worry Mr Silk - most of it looks anything but.

The two hundred page report is about new powers that the commission is confident are in the best interest of Wales and the UK. It is about a practical, balanced attempt to make the Welsh government both more empowered and more accountable. Ask those who campaigned for a no vote in the referendum in 2011 and they'll say it's about another visit to that slippery slope towards making Wales more insular, worse off.

It is "a package" - a word we heard many times at this morning's briefings - that includes sharing responsibility for raising income tax but also ensuring Wales is funded fairly.

What does 'fair' mean, we asked? Cue a debate that will last for some years to come. One brave member of Mr Silk's commission had a bash at it: devolving tax raising powers, he said "has to sit within a bed of territorial equity". Ponder that one.

One thing the report was not, according to the Labour nominee Sue Essex: difficult to agree on. On a scale of one to ten I asked, how tough was it getting unanimous support for its thirty plus recommendations. "One" came the response, "with one being easy and ten tough". There was a willingness from the very beginning to find common ground.

And now? Now it's over to the UK government, the Welsh government, the UK parliament and the National Assembly to dig into that common ground and tell us what they find.

Betsan Powys Article written by Betsan Powys Betsan Powys Former political editor, Wales

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  • rate this

    Comment number 73.

    #72 Economically, Catalonia probably could stand alone. However, if we picked somewhere closer to Wales 2012, Galicia - a small mainly mountainous country with a long industrial and mining history and a long coastline; few economists see it prospering if it were to choose true independence.

  • rate this

    Comment number 72.

    Cytuno / I agree Alf
    I see Catalan are going to hold a refendum. Boxer must be getting very agitated with all these so called insignificant countries challenging their larger neighbours

  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    Sorry that should be standing in her own right not as a list member. Don't know what went wrong there. This IPad gets ahead of me sometimes or behind me.

  • rate this

    Comment number 70.


    Please answer were or how you would make up the £9 billion short fall.

    This is a question that is kept being ducked.

    So is it TAX or CUTS or both.

    Please do answer.

  • rate this

    Comment number 69.

    ..try limiting your internet contacts to Welsh, and see what that does to your knowledge base.
    Actually it enhances my breadth of knowledge. Diversity of minds and languages can only improve your understanding of things. Its a pity you skills are limited. LW and North Korea where do you get these comparisons from Looney Weekly?


Comments 5 of 73



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