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Danny Alexander announces financial support for Wylfa

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has announced the signing of an agreement with Hitachi and Horizon, guaranteeing financial support for developing a new nuclear power station at Wylfa.

Speaking at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London, Mr Alexander said the Wylfa Newydd project is set to create 1,000 permanent jobs once complete.


Treasury's boost for Anglesey power station

The nuclear reactor at the Wylfa plant will shut down in 2014 Credit: ITV News Wales

The Treasury is expected to announce later it'll sign an agreement to support the financing of the development of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa on Anglesey.

The plan is for preparation work on the site to begin in 2015 with major on-site work starting in 2018.

It's estimated that the new nuclear station will create around 1,000 permanent jobs once it is complete.

The construction phase could lead to as many as 6,000 jobs.

The deal is subject to final approval.

Wales should get income tax powers says Lib Dem Treasury Minister

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, has said he wants 'significant income tax powers' devolved to the Welsh government. It did not ask for income tax powers but the Silk Commission on devolution supported the idea, if approved in a referendum. AMs have backed Silk's proposals.

We need a new model of devolution for Wales. A model in which additional responsibility for raising revenues strengthens accountability too. A model in which significant income tax powers unlock commensurate borrowing powers for Wales too.

– Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander MP

The Chief Secretary also told the Welsh Liberal Democrat conference that safeguards to stop Wales' share of public spending being cut will be put in place this year. Until now when public spending goes up, Wales gets a slightly smaller share of the increase, a process known as 'convergence'.

But Mr Alexander said that there was unlikely to be any immediate benefit, at a time when public spending is falling. But talks between the Welsh and United Kingdom governments would get underway.

We said that ... we would work to agree changes that both governments can accept are fair and affordable. With budgets going down, it is unlikely that convergence will be forecast this time. But by putting in place a robust process now, we are showing that we meant what we said last year.

  1. Adrian Masters

Welsh Lib Dems hope pressure pays off in party vote

For the Welsh Liberal Democrats, there's a lot riding on today's regional pay vote in Brighton. (There are more details here.) If they succeed they'll have set their party against any attempt by the Coalition Government to introduce different public sector pay levels in different parts of the UK.

It's a major challenge too for Eluned Parrott who only became an AM last year but is leading the debate which starts at 4pm this afternoon. She told me that she wants to win over heads as well as hearts, presenting economic arguments against regional pay as well as appealing to a sense of fairness.

She and leader Kirsty Williams have also seized every opportunity to try win over senior figures in a series of formal and informal meetings. Danny Alexander, who earlier this year said he was 'keen' to see local pay, will be in the front row. Have the Welsh Lib Dems succeeded in changing his mind?