Sunday, 29 December 2013

Plaid at least see through Tax varying Con job.

Here at National Left there's a certain amount of relief that Plaid Leader  Leanne Wood has seen through the Conservative Con  (Pun intended) over  granting Wales so called Tax varying powers.

In an  interview with WalesOnlinel,  Leanne seems to be agreeing with this Blog (though she may not have read it) that this wasn't worth putting vital campaign resources into.  as the Westminster government refused to remove a controversial “lockstep” which means the Welsh Government would only be able to move all three income tax bands together, rather than vary individual bands. The decision - which the UK Government said was to ward against possible movement of peoples around the border to take advantage of more favourable tax arrangements - meant the powers were “useless”, Ms Wood said, and was one of many “deliberate barriers” set up by the UK and Welsh governments in the wake of the commission’s first report.

She said:

 “All we can do is look what has happened in Scotland. Those powers have been there since the very beginning. They’ve included a lockstep, they’ve never been used. By any of the governments.
“You’ve had Labour governments - Labour-Lib Dem governments, SNP governments. None of them have opted to use those powers, because there’s no point in using them in that form.
“So to be honest with you, if the lockstep is still there then pursuing this course of action won’t be a priority for Plaid Cymru.
“We will be putting forward a Programme of Government for 2016, that will be based on a range of measures for improving the economy. Clearly sharing income tax powers and being able to vary the different bands of income tax would’ve been a fantastic set of tools to be able to do the job of improving the Welsh economy, and future governments will be hampered without having those tools, there’s no doubt about that. But there are other mechanisms, and there are other tools.”

Indeed the only scenario I can see in which these "powers " would be used  would occur if there was a Labour Government in Westminster and a Tory government in Cardiff Bay  with the latter varying some tax rates as an experiment with which to  woo English voters for the next UK General Election.

There is a danger that rejection of the Conservative proposals on Tax  in a referendum would be portrayed by the very people as a rejection of further devolution by the vary people campaigning for a Yes vote.

But Plaid should be campaigning for much more anyway and its good that they appear not to be sucked in to supporting something that drains their resources and give us something which is not what we want and need true control over our finances.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good. Fed up of Plaid having to do the heavy lifting for tiny concessions. Though I'd still take these powers.