Wales politics

Wales devolution: 'No question' of tax referendum

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionCarwyn Jones says Wales is no closer to fairer funding

Calls for a referendum on income tax powers for Wales have been rejected by the first minister, despite a pledge by David Cameron on minimum funding.

Announcing plans for further devolution, the prime minister said it removed "the last remaining barriers" to a public vote on tax powers.

Carwyn Jones insisted the two things were "not linked", denouncing the offer on funding as a "vague promise".

He said UK ministers had given "no real commitment" to tackle underfunding.

Under the plans announced on Friday, the Welsh government's funding would not fall below a certain - as yet unspecified - level, with an expectation that a referendum on income tax would then take place.

It is understood the UK government had previously insisted such a pledge would depend on a firm commitment to a referendum.

'Stepped back'

Mr Jones told BBC Radio Wales: "The two things are not linked. Only on Tuesday were we told of the link between a referendum on income tax and fair funding for Wales.

"My answer was 'no' as the two things are not related. They've stepped back from that in London and I welcome that."

However, he added: "We've had no real commitment from the UK government, no date when the underfunding of Wales will be dealt with and no sum of money mentioned; just a vague promise."

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionDevolution package will deliver fairness and more powers says the prime minister

The pledge on minimum funding was among a package of proposals on further devolution for Wales unveiled by David Cameron and Nick Clegg on Friday following months of cross-party talks.

They would allow ministers in Wales to raise cash from the money markets for major projects, give the Welsh assembly control of its own elections, and power to make decisions about fracking and other major energy schemes.

Mr Cameron said: "Today's agreement paves the way for a referendum, that could deliver an assembly that's not just a spending body but is actually responsible for raising more of its revenue too.

"And to me that is responsible devolution, that is real devolution and I think that is vital for Wales and for the United Kingdom."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites