A bucket with holes, or a whole lot?
- 8 May 2013
- From the section Wales politics
I'm leaving the reporting on the Queen's Speech to my colleagues in Westminster - but I'll just add two overheard conversations to the debate.
What exactly, came the question first thing this morning, is the status of the draft Wales bill? What's likely to be in it?
Think of it as a bucket, came the answer - a bucket into which the government in Westminster can put as much, or as little, legislation relevant only to Wales as it likes.
In it for now, what it says on the tin, or bucket, as described in the speech: "Draft legislation will be published concerning the electoral arrangements for the National Assembly for Wales".
It's a plan to move away from four to five year fixed term elections for the National Assembly, a move to prevent AMs from also sitting as MPs and a reversal of the ban on dual candidacy - the lucky loser's bill, or made-in-Ukraine bill, depending on your viewpoint. (The link takes you to a lively session of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee some years ago, where Ukraine gets quite a few mentions.)
But should the coalition choose to, they could throw something else in the bucket - something along the lines of legislation resulting from their response to the Silk commission, when it comes.
That point hasn't passed the First Minister by, who made a visit to the Assembly's tea room this afternoon and was overheard making sure AMs had 'got it' - that this bucket could carry some tax-varying powers to Wales.
Or to put it another way, there could be a whole lot in this bucket - or a hole in it. We'll see.