Wednesday, 26 March 2008

That formula again

The Welsh Grand Committee is sometimes as much fun as a visit to the dentist but today's meeting was worth staying awake for.

Barnett formula anoraks will have found plenty to whet their appetite. Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy warned that a review of the way Wales is funded from Westminster could leave the country worse off.

Public spending is relatively higher in Wales than England. With English Labour MPs agitating for change, Mr Murphy warned: "We have to be very careful on Barnett because it could mean we end up worse off than we are at the moment."

Anyone hoping that the Assembly will acquire the power to vary taxes is also likely to be disappointed - "There isn't a case for tax raising powers in Wales. I don't think anybody wants it."

Mr Murphy said the "resource base" would be lower than in Scotland and said it would be very difficult to give the Assembly tax-raising powers without the approval of voters in a referendum.

1 comment:

Glyn Davies said...

David, Paul Murphy is only saying exactly what I (and Sue Essex when she was Assembly Finance Minister) was warning about when I was Conservative Finance and Local Governmnet Spokesman in the Assembly. There has been this assumption on the part of Plaid Cymru and the Lib Dems that Wales would be much better off, but its nothing like so straight forward.