Tax and borrowing powers hints and rumours

There have been moves in Westminster which at first sight appeared to herald the long-promised transfer of borrowing and some tax-raising powers to Wales although I still really wouldn't hold your breath. I doubt there'll be an announcement any time soon.

Last night, Lib Dem MP Roger Williams tweeted that the UK Government's response to the Silk Commission, which recommended the transfer, will come before Parliament's recess which begins next week.

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Looking forward to the Government response to Silk Commission before Parliament summer recess

At the same time, reports have appeared in the Independent and Daily Mail newspapers claiming that the UK Government will introduce an 'English veto' so that MPs from England will be able to overrule those from Wales and Scotland on England-only legislation. The move would be part of a 'package' of change which would include the transfer of tax and borrowing powers to Wales.

However I also understand that no timetable has been agreed for the UK Government's response to the Silk Commission and any announcement is still more likely to happen after the summer recess than before.

What seems to be happening here I think is coalition politics in action.

The matter of powers for Wales, for various reasons, has come to be seen as a 'Lib Dem' issue whilst 'English votes for English MPs' is seen as a Conservative priority. The newspaper reports and Roger Williams' tweet suggested that a deal had been done between the coalition partners which would keep both sides happy.

Since I tweeted about possible interpretations of these omens I've received a number of texts and calls which suggests to me that the real situation is far from clear cut and far from agreed.

As I say, I'm not holding my breath.