“a flagrant and cynical breach of promise to the electorate”.
“The current Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns, was a government whip and voted for the 2014 [Wales] Act which put into statute the necessity for a referendum just two years ago. So why has he, and why have the government, done a U-turn after such a short space of time? Is he frightened that, if invited to vote, a majority – maybe a large one – in Wales would turn down the powers?”So is Mr ( sorry Lord Hain's) call for a referendum about democracy coming from him because he believes the bill will be defeated in a referendum?
Supporting or opposing referendums because you can win or hope it is defeated is hardly democratic.
Lord Hain goes on to express serious concern that the Conservative Government is seeking through Income Tax devolution to place an extra burden on Welsh taxpayers. He says:
So is Mr Hain seriously saying that we should continue as poor West Britons ? Dependent for ever on hand outs from our richer Masters in the South East of England.
“Pooling and sharing the UK’s resources also enables redistribution from richer to poorer parts of the UK – like the coalfield communities of the South Wales Valleys. With around 40% of UK GDP concentrated in London and the South East of England, why on earth would Wales choose to cut itself off from that?”
As the Proclaimers sang " forever going cap in hand".
Actually I have some sympathy with the argument against Tax Raising Powers believing it is a Trojan Horse designed to give the Tories a political advantage as an low tax party in future Assembly elections .
However we must realise that to get us out of the dependency Hain was talking about we must take control of our future and that means taking responsibility across the whole spectrum of powers and that means Tax Raising Powers.
Of more importance is whether we have control of how we vary Tax rates and how much leeway we will be govern
The original legislation stated that if the people of Wales vote in a referendum for the Assembly to gain income tax-varying powers AMs would only be able to adjust rates in unison.(the Lockstep)
This seems to have been removed although the devil as always will be in the detail.
Maybe there should be a referendum but are we going to have to do so every time the there another measure of Devo Dipyn Bach,?
Tax Powers are of course not a small amount and I agree with Hain that it would probably be defeated.
Where I disagree with the Tanned One is that I would support a referendum on Major changes because it shows the will of the Welsh people not because I believe it can be Won or Lost