Tuesday, 14 October 2008


It's an academic debate over a policy no-one seems to want to introduce.

But don't let that put you off the latest spat between MPs and Welsh Assembly Members.

The Welsh Assembly Government wants the power to scrap the right to buy council housing.

But it doesn't want to actually scrap the right to buy. Do keep up.

The Assembly Government wants to suspend the right to buy in some areas.

But to do that it is requesting wider powers that would allow Ministers to abolish the scheme.

MPs - whose approval is needed before any transfer of power - are not happy. At least, members of Parliament's Welsh affairs committee are not.

Their report says the Assembly Government should drop its request for wider powers or the order granting them should be blocked.

The (Plaid Cymru) deputy Housing Minister Jocelyn Davies says the committee can scrutinise but the Assembly will decide.

The Liberal Democrat housing spokesman Peter Black has accused the MPs of trying to dictate housing policy from Westminster.

The MPs say they are trying to be helpful.

Although one committee member did confide in me his analysis of the conflict: "It's willy-waving, basically"

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