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Treasury Minister to outline funding plans for Wales

Danny Alexander MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury is expected to announce that he wants Welsh economist, Gerry Holtham to update his work on how Wales is funded.

Speaking at the Welsh Liberal Democrat Conference in Cardiff, he is also expected to say that he has asked civil servants in the Treasury to start straight away on how a funding floor will operate.

“Our challenge is take the next steps on the funding reform that Liberal Democrats have secured.

The previous Labour government refused to commit to fair funding – it’s taken Liberal Democrats to achieve that.

That is why I have asked civil servants in the Treasury to start straight away on how a funding floor will operate. And as part of that process I want Gerry Holtham to update his work to help inform progress."

– Danny Alexander MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury

Welsh Conservative Leader calls for 'living wage'

Andrew RT Davies AM, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives addresses Party Conference Credit: Welsh Conservatives

Welsh Conservative Leader, Andrew RT Davies says all public sector workers in Wales should earn the 'living wage'.

Speaking at his party conference in Cardiff, Mr Davies said they will seek to make the change by 2021 if the Conservatives win next year's Assembly election.

Around one in four Welsh workers earn less than the living wage.

"This sends a clear message that a future Welsh Conservative Government will tackle unfair pay and set a clear example to all employers to value and invest in their staff."

– Andrew RT Davies AM, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives

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Kirsty Williams: Lib Dems are 'shining light' of coalition

Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats says the Liberal Democrats have been the positive story that has come out of the coalition.

Speaking at her party’s spring conference in Cardiff, she argues Labour can’t be trusted with the economy, while the Tories can’t be trusted to fight for fairness.

She says only the Liberal Democrats can combine economic responsibility and social justice: a stronger economy, a fairer society.

We have been the good news story, the positive story, the shining light that has come from this Coalition. It is Liberal Democrat policies that are making the difference.

Whether it's raising the tax threshold, revolutionizing the pensions system, or introducing equal marriage, we have a strong record we will take to the doorsteps.

– Kirsty Williams AM, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats

Shadow Welsh Sec: Clarity needed over 'funding floor'

The Shadow Secretary of State for Wales says David Cameron's proposals on Welsh devolution are "a step in the right direction" - but said clarity is needed over the so-called 'funding floor'.

I welcome the fact that the Conservative Party now agrees with Labour, that we need fair funding for Wales and further devolution. Clearly, the package on offer does not go as far as Labour would like, on policing or devolution of the Work Programme, for example, but it is a step in the right direction.

It is disappointing, however, that after so many months of dialogue the Prime Minister has not brought forward details of how a funding floor will be applied for Wales, making it impossible to know whether Wales would be better or worse off under this plan. It is also concerning that the Prime Minister appears to suggest that fair funding is contingent on the Welsh people voting yes in a referendum on tax powers.

– Owen Smith MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales

Plaid Cymru 'disappointed' by devolution deal

Plaid Cymru says it has been left 'disappointed' by the UK Government’s command paper on further devolution.

I thank the Secretary of State for facilitating this process and Plaid Cymru entered into it in the spirit of cooperation.

For reasons that have not been satisfactorily explained, however, Westminster has insisted that the people of Wales settle for a powers package that falls far short of the normal going-rate of devolution in the United Kingdom.

Whilst some inclusions, such as the devolution of powers over fracking, are to be welcomed, this command paper falls well short of the powers that can help us strengthen our communities. And it goes nowhere near getting the funding settlement that Wales is owed after decades of disadvantage.

– Leanne Wood, Plaid Cymru leader

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First Minister: Devolution deal "rushed and unsatisfactory"

Responding to the St David’s Day announcement, First Minister, Carwyn Jones said Wales was not being treated with the same degree of respect as Scotland.

Credit: PA

The First Minister also said the process had been "rushed and unsatisfactory".

Wales is still not being treated with the same respect as that being afforded to Scotland and this continuing imbalanced approach is damaging to the UK. The proposals only go some of the way to matching Labour’s devolution offer already set out by Ed Miliband, but they fall short in crucial areas - such as on policing. The move towards a funding floor is an important step forward and we have been pushing for this for some time. But we cannot be confident that funding for Wales has been put on a fair and sustainable footing until the detail is agreed at the next Spending Review. This is disappointing and should also be seen in the context of an unprecedented £1.5bn cut to the Welsh budget in this term.

– Carwyn Jones, First Minister
  1. Adrian Masters

Wales 'an afterthought for Tories' says Labour

Welsh Labour has criticised the proposals for further devolution expected to be announced by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister later. A spokesperson says:

Any progress on putting the Welsh devolution settlement on a firmer footing in terms of powers and funding should be welcomed.

However, this process has shown one thing above all others - that Wales remains an afterthought for the Tories.

There’s no parity with Scotland in the offer being mooted and people will rightly ask why that is.

They’ve slashed £1.5bn from our budget and they have waited until the last days of this parliament to start talking about fair funding for Wales.

The Labour offer in the General Election is clear – an ambitious devolution package, fair funding and a commitment to tackle the cost of living crisis.

– Welsh Labour spokesperson
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