Details of new financial powers for Wales revealed


Welsh Secretary David Jones is due to update MPs later today on plans to give the Welsh government more financial powers.

If you can't wait until then (it could be 4.30pm or later), the Treasury and the Wales Office have published details here, risking the wrath of Speaker John Bercow, who is usually keen that MPs get to hear about major announcements first.

The UK government says it has accepted, in whole or in part, 30 of the 31 recommendations from the Silk commission - ignoring only the idea of devolving air passenger duty.

The key announcement appears to be that although the Welsh government could have some responsibility for gathering income tax, the Welsh government wouldn't have the power to vary individual tax bands. Instead, a "lockstep" approach would be introduced, ensuring every band had to be moved in tandem, so a 1p cut (or increase) in the basic rate would also mean a 1p cut (or increase) in higher rates. It would limit a future Welsh government's room for manoeuvre should it want to increase taxes on the rich while sparing workers on lower and middle incomes.

The Silk commission had recommended that the Welsh government should have the flexibility to move each tax band independently of each other.

David Jones, Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander and Welsh Finance Minister Jane Hutt have also been taking part in a news conference in Cardiff.

Mr Jones used the gathering to call for an early referendum on devolving income tax powers to Wales and said he's campaign for a "yes" vote.

In a separate statement, he said: "Through this package of powers we are announcing today, we are giving the Welsh government the tools to make the right investments in Wales.

"Infrastructure investment is vitally important to delivering long-term, balanced economic growth across the UK. This package of powers will enable the Welsh government to invest immediately in the areas of infrastructure it leads on, such as the key routes on the trans-European road network - the M4 and the North Wales Expressway.

"The government believes in devolution and we're determined to deliver. Accepting the Silk Commission's key recommendations on financial devolution strikes the right balance and marks an important step in Wales' devolution journey.

"These new powers will make for more accountable government for the Welsh people. It is now up to the Welsh government to seize this once in a generation opportunity - to drive forward Wales' economic development, and to use this opportunity to secure the growth and prosperity that Wales so desperately needs."

My colleagues in Cardiff will be adding more details on the BBC website during the course of the day.

David Cornock Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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  • Comment number 29.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    I’ve just viewed the website in ”once English Monmouthshire” in the intro “Welcome to Abergavenny” are these words.

    “Abergavenny is a picturesque town situated in the South Eastern corner of Wales, Great Britain, only 20 miles from the English border….. The community in Abergavenny balances fervent nationalism with an open and friendly hospitality.”


  • Comment number 27.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    #25 If you have the money, you could take out a judicial review. Monmouthshire was not part of Wales in the Henry VIII Act - that went through Commons, Lords & signature of the Sovereign. The notion that that can be overturned by an act of the SoS(W) is Wednesbury unreasonable (or ludicrous for the Lower IVth ).
    #16 Perverse -or ill-thought out - to lament the Monmouth question and restart it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    Oh yes, who are these Celts? And, as our WELSH Government is Celtic!! What is their official racial term for the English? Ta very much.

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    Re 16. ieuan.

    What is so dreadfully wrong in mentioning the status of Monmouthshire? Is it because it was captured by sly machinations in 1972, and you don't think the English speaking English have a right to protest? Is that what the Celts think is fair?

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    The nation is in ruins.

    For 50 years the Conservative and Labour Parties have ripped apart this country while making themselves rich selling our resources.

    If you continue to vote for them they will continue to do it.

    STOP THEM. 300 parties registered. You Choose.

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    I do think it is a clever proposal to the WA. Which basicaly puts the ball in their court. If you want to spend it then you are responsible to find it.
    It may make them think twice on how they go about dealing out the cash.

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    II think that Carwyn has been offered a poisoned chalice he doesn't really want. Cameron has seen his party in Wales win the Euro election, and come on strong in the general and assembly elections. Cameron knows that the 'bubble' is blustering, he'll do what's right for unionists.

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    ... #18, your words indicate you are both "woodsey" and "ieuan", you will forgive me if I ignore any future comments, not knowing what is blue smoke and what might be a mirror of deceit is uncomfortable for those with an honest contribution to make. It was where you wrote ...

    "... I was referring to the... "

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    #17 The Con and Lab parties know the referendum has "no effect" - they just do not want you to know.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    16, you seem to be the only person to make reference to language or Monmouth. Your link doesn't seem to work either.
    I was referring to the last view topics on David's site.
    The site you are trying to access is the Sunday Express ( Tory Paper)and it is highlighting the concerns of doctors in England The truth is neither England or Wales is doing a particularly good job

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    ... #16, you seem to be the only person to make reference to language or Monmouth. Your link doesn't seem to work either.

    ... #15, I'm sorry Connell but if the referendum in Scotland goes Salmond's way it'll be a bon voyage party, and a few years to divvy the family silver.

    Whilst the new tax raising powers might see Carwyn create a new bag tax, a tax on all bags, everyone needs a bag.

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    I have read with interest the comments of the bloggers on this site ( same 4 or 5, some of whom I suggest are doubling up) Whatever the topic it always comes around to the Language and Independence for Monmouthshire. Why?? Surely there should be more constructive comments than this continuous one up man ship. I'm no Nat but be careful what you wish

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    #14 All MP's from constituencies in Scotland sit in the HOC because they were elected on 2010 manifesto's to take their seats in the HOC.

    The referendum has "no effect" on that.

    If the MP's want to withdraw/negotiate then they must resign and stand in by-elections on abstentionist tickets.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    ... #13, I'm afraid you forget our wonderful constitution that can twist itself to mean anything, and with regards to next years referendum a simple majority will win, either a Yes or No.

    It will be best for the UK if Scotland goes, remember Salmond and chums only have to win one referendum, loose next year and the separatists will be back every Scots election they win.

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    #11 The referendum is a survey.

    It makes "no provision" * or "effect" * for the withdrawal of constituencies from the British Parliament.

    Constituency electorate's remain the authority regarding representation in or abstention from the House of Commons.

    *Advocate General of Scotland Department

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    3 Mab Only the most optimistic supporters of PC (generally those who are financially illiterate) pretend that Wales can raise sufficient taxes to cover even the cost of running the WA.
    The IFS has today forecast higher taxes or less spending in Scotland, should, in the unlikely event, that the Scots vote for independence.

    Mab you can vote for a 99% rate of tax - I would prefer to avoid that

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    #10 N, Connell, it isn't. If there is a Yes vote in Scotland, the assemblies in Westminster and E'burh will proceed to pass legislation to negotiate the terms and timetable for Scotland to secede from the UK. It will happen whether you stand on the sidelines shouting 'This is Illegal' or not. There is no point in saying that something can't happen if it manifestly is happening.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    #8 The referendum result is subject to constituency election.


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