Tax proposals ‘useless’, argues Welsh First Minister

The First Minister of Wales has declared that the tax varying powers being offered to the Welsh government are “pretty much useless”.

Carwyn Jones1-JPEG

The First Minister of Wales has declared that the tax varying powers being offered to the Welsh government are “pretty much useless”.

Carwyn Jones was speaking to the BBC’s Sunday Politics Show for Wales ahead of his appearance in Cardiff today before the Welsh Affairs Select Committee to give evidence on the Draft Wales Bill.

The legislation includes a ‘lock-step’, which would mean that if Cardiff Bay were provided with the powers to vary income tax, subject to a referendum, no tax band could be changed in isolation from the others.

This would mean that if a penny were taken off the top rate then a penny would also have to come off all other rates.

The Welsh secretary David Jones has previously declared that the draft legislation would “enable devolved governance in Wales to become more accountable and better able to support economic growth in Wales”. However the First Minister has concluded that the straight jacket imposed in respect of income tax runs contrary to the recommendations of the Silk Commission.

Commenting on the proposal, Carwyn Jones said on Sunday:

“It’s a bit like someone giving you a car and saying ‘by the way there’s only one gear on it. As a way of encouraging the economy to grow it’s pretty much useless.”

In outlining Labour’s belief that the Barnett Formula used to determine the budget passed to Cardiff Bay from Westminster needs reforming before considering a referendum on tax varying powers for the Assembly, the First Minister continued:

“Barnett has got to be reformed first, and then if there’s going to be an income tax model it’s got to be far more flexible than the rigid model that we’ve been given.

“It’s not what we wanted. It’s not what the Silk Commission recommended either.”

One Response to “Tax proposals ‘useless’, argues Welsh First Minister”

  1. uglyfatbloke

    He’s quite right, the structure is n’t really viable. The same applies to Barnett which is really just window-dressing. So long as it only applies to certain aspects of public spending it allows politicians to claim that this or that p[art of the country is getting an excellent deal but still pour resources into London at the expense of everywhere else.

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