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New financial powers for Wales

The Welsh government is to get new financial powers, the Coalition has announced, with a new Welsh treasury to be established.

Following recommendations in the Silk Commission’s report, published last year, the devolved government has been offered control of stamp duty, landfill tax, and powers to finance upgrades on the M4.

A House of Commons bill will give the Welsh government permission to hold a referendum on the devolution of income tax.

Prime Minister David Cameron announced the offer at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay: “Today is about a strong and responsible future for Wales. Today we are announcing more power for the Welsh people and the Welsh government. Power that's about building this country up, power that's about making sure we have real accountable government here in Wales.

“And power that's about ensuring a strong Wales inside a strong United Kingdom. I think it is good for a government to be responsible for raising some of the money it spends.

“We are going to put forward a bill in the House of Commons for a referendum. It will be their decision whether to trigger the referendum. If they do, it will be for the Welsh people to decide if they want these new powers.”

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “Today is an important day for Wales. We are now being treated like equals in the UK. We are not in favour of devolution of income tax until the Barnett formula is reformed to provide fairer funding for Wales.

“We need to be able to borrow to improve our infrastructure, such as the M4 around Newport as well as the A55 in north Wales. This announcement today goes a long way to show devolution works and further strengthens the UK.”

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Image c. National Assembly for Wales


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