The First Minister calls for a wide-ranging transfer of powers from Westminster, saying that 'there should be a presumption in favour of devolution, so that Welsh domestic affairs are determined in Cardiff'
Carwyn Jones has been criticised by opponents and by supporters within the Labour party for being distracted by constitutional obsessions. That's why in his speech he'll set out the practical reasons why he believes the Welsh Government needs strengthened powers:
As First Minister, my job is to deliver my Programme of Government for the people of Wales. Everything I say about constitutional reform needs to be set in this context.
We are striving to use the powers we have to create jobs, support the economy and sustain public services in an economic and fiscal context which is extremely challenging. This means using our legislative and executive powers to full effect.
It also means standing up for Wales when the decisions of the UK Government are in our view ill-judged or plain wrong, as in the area of welfare reform.
In his speech, Carwyn Jones will say that Wales must remain part of the United Kingdom and his comments appear to reject a recommendation recently made by the independent Silk Commission that, in the long term, income tax should be partly devolved. That move, he'll say would 'carry great risks'
Wales should remain part of the United Kingdom. This position is underpinned by our strong commitment to the social union whereby the costs, benefits and risks of taxation and social welfare are pooled across the UK. We see this crucial component of our common British citizenship. Breaking this link would bring no benefits to people in Wales. On the contrary, it would carry great risks for us.
The First Minister is to say the Welsh Government should gain increasing power so that all decisions affecting Wales are presumed to be made here. In a speech tonight, Carwyn Jones is due to that say people feel Welsh politicians are closer to them than the UK Government.
People in Wales may disagree with the particular policies or actions of the Welsh Government, but they do value having a Welsh Government which is more accountable to them, through their National Assembly, than the Government in London can ever be.
We think that there should be a presumption in favour of devolution, so that Welsh domestic affairs are determined in Cardiff, unless there is a good policy or practical reason why not.
– First Minister, Carwyn Jones AM
But the First Minister will say that any future transfers should come with 'fair funding' and should be 'phased on a realistic and affordable timescale.' His calls come less than two years after a referendum which gave the Assembly lawmaking powers and ahead of a second Silk Commission report.
In a speech tonight, the First Minister Carwyn Jones is expected to make his clearest call yet for a wide-ranging transfer of powers from Westminster to Wales. He's due to say 'there should be a presumption in favour of devolution.'