Cameron and Clegg hail Welsh devolution package

27 Feb 15
A St David’s Day devolution package for Wales will transfer powers over energy projects, port development and voting arrangements.

The deal, which was hailed as a constitutional ‘landmark’ by senior UK ministers, also recommends that a review of Air Passenger Duty be carried out, which could open the door to it being devolved to Wales. It also brings in a ‘floor’ in the level of relative funding it receives from the UK, although the level of this floor and the mechanism to deliver it will not be revealed until the summer Spending Review.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the government was delivering on devolution in every part of the UK. ‘We want to deliver new powers to Wales so that more decisions are taken closer to the people and give greater responsibility to the Welsh Assembly,’ he said.

‘That means those who spend taxpayers’ money must be more responsible for raising it. This is devolution with a purpose, working for Wales.’

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg added: ‘I am delighted to be coming to Wales to announce this new constitutional settlement, another landmark on the journey of decentralisation. Putting real power into the hands of the Welsh people is a vital part of creating a stronger economy in a fairer society for everyone.’

Details of the devolution package are included in a command paper, laid before Parliament today. Other measures include arrangements for the Welsh Government to arrange a referendum on devolution of income tax and powers for Cardiff to reduce the voting age to 16 for Assembly elections. The Assembly will also get powers over local government elections, including boundaries and how and when local elections should be run. Welsh ministers will also appoint a member of Ofcom’s board to represent the interests of Wales.

Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb said: ‘These new powers create an important opportunity for Wales, they are powers with a purpose.

‘I'm very grateful to all the Welsh parties for the spirit with which they've engaged with this process and for their willingness to make our starting point one of pragmatism and consensus rather than dogma and division. As a small nation, I believe we pack a much bigger punch by working together and this will need to be the way we do things if we are now to deliver this package through legislation.’


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