Wednesday, 25 November 2009

For Wales, see Scotland?

Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan once spoke of the pre-devolution perception that there was a "willingness to blame others" in Wales, a perception that may now be less common.

But so long as the Welsh Assembly Government's purse strings are pulled elsewhere, there is always a pantomime villain (Westminster/London) to blame for any cuts a devolved government introduces.

The Scots in the UK Government seem to have cottoned on to this, probably due to the experience of having a nationalist government in Edinburgh.

So today, the Scottish Secretary in Gordon Brown's Government unveiled plans to make the Scottish Parliament responsible for raising more of the taxpayers' money it spends.

The idea is to introduce greater accountability. The Conservatives support the idea, although they say they will unveil their own plans after the General Election (if they win it).

For Scotland, see Wales? There is support in some unexpected quarters for the Assembly to acquire tax-raising powers.

If the Tories in power at UK level, and the Labour/Plaid Assembly Government chooses to blame David Cameron's government for future cuts, expect to see that support for financial powers grow further.

Mind you, there would have to be a(nother?) referendum first before Wales acquired financial powers (Scotland got them in the 1997 vote) And you can't have a referendum without setting up a committee first. I wonder what Sir Emyr Jones Parry is doing with himself these days.

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