Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Holtham: "Wales is treated like Runt of the Litter".

it is not often that this Blog finds "experts" agreeing with it    But as I  have been arguing that the proposed Tax varying powers  for the Welsh assembly are nit worth the salt it seems that that  Gerald Holtham, economist, Welsh government adviser and chair of the Holtham commission on the funding and finance of the Welsh government.
He told the Welsh affairs committee that the UK government's blueprint for devolving responsibility for a portion of income tax to Cardiff was so limited ministers in Cardiff would be reluctant to take the risk of holding a referendum to gain a power they could not use.

he said

“It is unlikely that the current Welsh Government or indeed a majority of Welsh politicians will care to call for and campaign in such a referendum.”
Suggesting that the UK Government may not expect AMs to trigger the referendum, he said:

The runt of the litter: NEN Gallery
Runt of the Litter
“If the Bill is just a piece of political theatre of legerdemain to give the impression of meeting Welsh aspirations or concerns but not embodying the intention of doing anything substantial, it may already be adequate for its purpose.”

Mr Holtham  was also sceptical about the other Westminster Government proposals  pointing out  that Wales is not permitted to have a different model of devolution to Scotland, stating:

 “Wales can have what Scotland has and nothing else, like the youngest child of a poor family that gets only hand-me-down clothes, whether appropriate or not in style or size.”
He told MPs that the revenues raised by minor taxes were “verging on the insignificant,” that the referendum was “highly loseable” and Wales was being treated as the “runt of the litter”.

But lets face it Westminster is unlikely to listen and taken that Mr Holman is an adviser  to the Assembly Government it could be that his remarks were addressed to Carwyn Jones and the Welsh Labour Party.

Because unless they start promoting Es Miliband  to  a major commitment to include sweeping more powers for Wales in their 2015 Manifesto short of Plaid making huge gains in the Assembly Elections the year after we are unlikely to see any powers devolved to Wales that will make a major difference .

But whilst I suspect Carwyn is lessening . I doubt very much his colleagues at Westminster are.


Gwilym said...

Perhaps we should be grateful that Wales may not have greater powers to make things worse. I'm sure you'll agree that the Welsh Assembly has not been a great success so far.

glynbeddau said...

Well I must agree but it it is because it is so limited in its powers. As the runt ofthe Litter it is small wonder it is not thriving.