Wales politics

Deputy PM grilled over Welsh powers delay

I've just realised it's almost lunchtime on Tuesday and I haven't written about the Silk commission this week. (New readers start here). Apologies.

Liberal Democrat MP Mark Williams has just raised the UK government's delay in responding to the commission's suggestion that the Welsh government should get control of some taxes.

Mr Williams told his own party leader, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, that the recommendations were "of critical importance to the people of Wales" and asked when the response would be published.

Mr Clegg, who last month blamed the Conservative half of the coalition government for the delay, told Mr Williams at question time:

"I understand the impatience for progress to be made on adoption of the recommendations. As you know, we have done some work latterly on the implications of stamp duty, devolution aspects of the system of stamp duty.

"I am a huge supporter of the thinking behind the Silk commission. I'm acutely aware that it's supported by all parties in Wales and I hope we'll be able to make progress on it without further delay."

At least he didn't say "in due course". Mr Clegg once promised a decision by spring this year, but springwatch turned into summerwatch, which has now turned into autumnwatch - with little obvious sign of an imminent announcement.

Tomorrow, it's the turn of the Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones to ask the UK government about the timetable, at the risk of confirming the prime minister's views about the priorities of those who work in Cardiff Bay.