Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Will Wales be offered the same fiscal deal as Scotland.

It will remain to be see whether the Talks over the so-called ‘fiscal framework’ put forward by the cross-party Smith Commission in the wake of the No vote in the referendum which  began in March last year has led to a victory for one side or the other

The negotiations had stalled amid claims from the SNP that Scotland would be “worse off” under the new arrangements, sparking fears that the new Scotland Bill would have to be scrapped.

However, both sides have made concessions in recent weeks, with the ­final deal understood to be close to the compromise of “safety net” to protect Holyrood’s coffers.

The agreed package will see the

There will also be £3billion of additional borrowing powers and £200million to introduce all the new changes.

The deal was agreed during a telephone conversation between First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Chancellor George Osborne following a revised offer from the Treasury yesterday afternoon.

So will Wales be automatically offered a similar deal?

According to the Wasting Mule.

Wales could lose out on “hundreds of millions” of pounds a year unless new income tax powers are devolved fairly to the Assembly, a major report warns.
The Wales Governance Centre’s report will today caution that the Welsh Government could take a multi-million pound hit every year, depending on the method chosen to reduce the block grant it receives from the Treasury to account for additional income tax revenues.
The authors fire a warning shot at parties preparing for the five-way election fight in May’s Assembly elections, stating that given the unresolved issues “discussions on changing tax rates and policy during the forthcoming Assembly elections should be regarded as premature”.
They argue that income tax receipts have “grown by 6% across the UK since 2010-11” but “the equivalent figure for Wales is only 2%”.
The report comes as Plaid Cymru warns that the transfer of new tax powers to the Assembly must not result in Wales being worse off.
Plaid Cymru Treasury spokesman Jonathan Edwards said that if his party leads the Welsh Government after the May elections it will “immediately” start talks with the UK Government to secure a fair funding framework.
Mr Edwards said:

 “A Plaid Cymru Welsh Government would begin talks with the Westminster Government as a matter of urgency to ensure that the correct fiscal framework is in place and that there is no undue harm to Wales as a result of the income tax-sharing arrangement set to come into force in future.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that the failure to put in place a fair and stable fiscal framework by the Conservative Government could end up undermining the basis of tax devolution throughout the UK by not upholding the principle of ‘no detriment’ or ‘no harm.’”
 “Meanwhile, Labour has used every excuse, every delaying tactic, and has attempted to put every obstacle in the way of taking responsibility for its spending decisions and for being held accountable for the state of the Welsh economy.
“We believe that Wales should take greater charge of its own economic destiny to build a better future, and that income tax powers are an essential part of this, but that the correct fiscal and funding framework should also be in place to underpin its fair functioning.”
Will Wales without a government that  is prepared to fight in the same way the

SNP have over Scotland fiscal settlement lose out?

If the Tories and indeed Labour believe that there will be no electorate backlash,then that may be the case.

There may be some criticism over the deal that the SNP , has secured but if Wales does not see the equivalent Scottish budget protected for the next six years and guaranteed to receive “not a penny less” than it would under the current setup until 2022.

Then we are going to be in deep trouble.

But then what can we expect with a Unionist Party in power in Westminster and the Bay?

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