WAG no more: leaders mark significant, landmark day

This is, said the secretary of state, "a historic day for Wales".

Of course, most days are historic, in the sense of one day following another, although Wales does have more than its fair share of "historic" days in the 21st century.

Indeed, Wales Office Minister Baroness Randerson told the House of Lords three weeks ago: "'Historic' is a word that is sometimes overused in political debate, but I believe we can justly claim that the devolution of fiscal powers to the Welsh assembly for the first time is an historic step forward."

And today is another historic day for Wales, with the Wales Bill that devolves fiscal powers to Cardiff for the first time receiving Royal Assent. The Wales Act 2014, as it now is, could pave the way for separate Welsh rates of income tax.

The assembly's thesaurus has been well-thumbed today. First Minister Carwyn Jones said: "The Wales Bill receiving Royal Assent is an important day for us as it marks the next step on our devolution journey."

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams said it was a "landmark step" in the Welsh devolution journey. (The journey metaphor is popular: are we nearly there yet?)

Welsh Tory leader Andrew RT Davies said it was "a hugely significant day".

There will be more hugely significant historic landmark days ahead, particularly if the Welsh government triggers a referendum to transfer some control of income tax to Cardiff Bay. A "yes" vote really would be a game-changer for politics in Wales.

Besides tax-varying powers, the Wales Act also means the end of the journey for WAG, the Welsh Assembly Government title first used by Rhodri Morgan to help voters distinguish between the National Assembly for Wales and the executive administration.

WAG decided to call itself the Welsh government a few years ago, but legally remained the Welsh Assembly Government.

On which note, my working year is almost done. Thank you for reading and for your comments.

Merry Christmas and a historic new year.