The Silk commission jigsaw and Danny's diary marker


It is, according to the Treasury chief secretary, the last piece in the Silk jigsaw. (They'll be having Silk tea towels and mugs next).

Ministers in the coalition government can't agree whether control of stamp duty land tax should pass from Westminster to Wales, so they will consult industry on the proposal contained in the Silk commission report.

The (Liberal Democrat) Chief Secretary, Danny Alexander, clearly wants to finish the jigsaw. The (Conservative) Welsh Secretary, David Jones, is rather more cautious and could probably cope if there were one or two Silk recommendations that got lost behind the sofa.

Labour see the consultation as a delaying tactic, arguing that business has already been consulted. The UK government argues that consultation was confined to Wales and didn't assess opinion over the border.

The consultation may or may not ease coalition tensions on the issue but one question stands out: what happens if the conclusions agree with one half of the coalition. Does the other half back down?

Mr Alexander announced the consultation in a written ministerial statement to parliament here. Note the reference to "early access to borrowing" to enable the Welsh government to pay for improvements to the M4. This follows a similar move in Scotland, where a system of "pre-payments" has allowed Holyrood ministers to access finance before the Scotland Act comes into force.

Given the delay in the UK government responding to the Silk report - originally promised by the end of Spring - I asked Danny Alexander to clarify when autumn finishes in the Treasury calendar.

"September or October" came the reply. Make a note in your diaries now.

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

They think it's all over. It is now.

Welsh Secretary David Jones and his deputy Stephen Crabb have been answering MPs' questions for the last time before the summer recess.

Read full article


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  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    "Re: expenses, only a minority get them.Don't believe Daily Mail "
    Quite. If, however, you don't work entirely at one base. Or, you are asked to travel from North Wales to South to advise, sit on a national committee, cover for a sick colleague - you will get expenses. But 7weeks after, and only with receipts.
    The Daily Mail: I have no use for unless they improve the perforations and absorbency.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    #6 You wouldn't believe the shock on the faces of entrants to the Public Sector - redeployed after a little 'right-sizing' - when they find out that you only get your expenses on the payday at the end of the next pay-month, after submitting all receipts and a manager sign-off, and then to the penny.

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    And what dictatorial powers do you believe you possess that can wish away Silk?"
    A simple motion, passed by the majority of the HoC will suffice.
    "This House believes that none of its powers and privelidges should be devolved at this time" would do it. Mr Milliband could try a three-line whip to oppose it if he felt suicidal. A simple abstention would ensure the motion passing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    #22 Thank you..

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    #22 But you didn't reply to the substantive point. Do you accept that the Silk Commission report can be considered by the democratically elected HoC, and they can decide not to accept that report, without any resort to dictatorial powers ?
    The fact that you don't like the present constitution doesn't invalidate it.


Comments 5 of 69



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