Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Tories will only devolve powers that suites them

It is hardly surprising that the only change to the Devolution Settlement  for proposed by the Conservatives for Wales in the wake of the Scottish Independence Referendum is one that they believe will give them an electoral advantage.
The Mule reports that  Conservative Assembly leader Andrew RT Davies has set his sights on making a “low tax revolution” a reality following Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb’s call for the Assembly to have the ability to vary individual income tax rates.
Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Mr Crabb announced this week that he wanted to remove the highly controversial “lockstep” in the Wales Bill which would only allow AMs to raise or lower tax rates in unison.
South Wales Central AM Mr Davies wants to lower the 40p rate of income tax in a bid to boost entrepreneurship.
Speaking shortly after a joint appearance with Mr Crabb at the Conservative party conference, he said: “ I want to drive forward a low tax revolution in Wales. This is the vehicle that we will debate on and ultimately show the difference between left and right in Wales and make politics more engaging for the people of Wales.”
The AM argues the 40p rate could be cut by between one and – over time – five pence.
He said the removal of the lockstep was in keeping with the recommendations of the cross-party Silk Commission and argued the transfer of the powers would boost accountability.
“The key thing here is that we all are aware that the people of Wales warm to devolution,” he said. “But what hasn’t happened is the responsibility and accountability element following many of the changes that have happened [when] it comes to the financial matters.
“And Silk, in fairness, was set up by the coalition Government, looked at this, came up with a suite of measures they believed [would] deliver that. Everyone in the Assembly voted for that.
OK you got that the Silk Commission recommendation of Tax varying powers should be adopted and I agree but not because it would give the Tories a platform of promise to reduce taxes
However Andrew RT Davies  thinks Justice and Policing  should not be devolved
He said: 
“Ultimately, Silk 2 goes into different areas, talking about police, criminal justice etc, and those are areas that I am extremely cautious over whether they should be devolved. It’s my own personal view that the case has not been made in those particular areas but what we’ve got to do is make sure Wales is front and centre of those discussions.”

Further changes would have to be in the interests of the people of Wales, he said, instead of being “politicians’ dreams that they dreamt up when they were in university talking around debating society tables”

So basically we are grown up enough to Ta ourselves but not to Police ourselves?

Of course The Tories see the Electoral Advantage of being  sen as Tough on Crime emitting from Westminster. and probably feel it would not make a difference if the message came from there instead of the Assembly.

The change in heart over the Lockstep is welcome as  is  Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb's cal to move to a model of devolution in which the Assembly is free to legislate in areas that have not been specifically “reserved” by Westminster, 
He said he wanted a constitutional framework that “actually fosters unity” and voiced concerns the present settlement “pushes nations apart”.

But the Tories can't  indeed the other Parties can't set up a commission  and then  simply pick out the parts that they believe will benefit them electorally.

Who I am I kidding that's exactly what they can do .

And it asks the question . What is the point of spending millions of pounds consulting with people only to reject most of its finding apart from what suites you electorally?

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