Latest Public Sector News


New devolution package agreed for Wales

The government has agreed a new devolution package for Wales, which David Cameron said “removed the last remaining barriers” to an income tax referendum.

Cameron unveiled the proposals with Nick Clegg at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff today, following months of cross-party negotiations. They include guaranteed minimum funding for the Welsh government and allowing ministers in Wales to raise cash from the money markets for major projects.

As part of the agreement to set a minimum amount of funding for the Assembly there is an “expectation” that Wales will hold a referendum on receiving some devolved income tax powers.

Whitehall ministers are said to have insisted that referendum must happen in return for the funding pledge, but Kirsty Williams, Welsh Lib Dem leader, is reported to have been adamant that the introduction of the funding floor should not be wholly dependent on an income tax referendum and lobbied hard on the issue.

Under the Wales Act, which passed in December last year, a referendum can be held to give Welsh ministers the power to vary income tax, but Labour opposes the idea and has not moved to do so.

Cameron said the referendum "should go ahead and I would advise people to vote yes".

The powers are expected to be granted under what the government is calling the St David’s Day agreement. They were promised following the referendum on Scottish independence.

Other measures included in the agreement include control of fracking and more energy projects and giving the Welsh Assembly control of its own elections.

The Assembly would also have the power to change its name to the Welsh Parliament and give 16-year-olds the franchise.

Powers to set the national speed limit across Wales have also been included, as has a promise to consider the possibility of devolving Air Passenger Duty.

Clegg said he was "delighted to be coming to Wales to announce this new constitutional settlement, another landmark on the journey of decentralisation".

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood said the new package stood in "stark contrast" to the reforms being offered to Scotland.

She told BBC Radio Four's Today programme: "Wales has been left behind and that has to end, and this is a missed opportunity in that respect."

(Image source: Ben Birchall/PA Wire)

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the open more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Camberley inspired: investment and regeneration

11/03/2019Camberley inspired: investment and regeneration

The decline of the Great British high street has been one of the greatest c... more >
Swindon's solar-powered recycling centre saves council cash

11/03/2019Swindon's solar-powered recycling centre saves council cash

Steve Cains, head of power solutions at Public Power Solutions, the wholly-... more >


Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welco... more >

the raven's daily blog

Councils Can: LGA launches Spending Review campaign

18/03/2019Councils Can: LGA launches Spending Review campaign

Lord Porter, chairman of the Local Government Association, outlines his organisation’s campaign to make sure local government tops to government’s list for this ye... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >