Plaid Cymru has weighed into a row between Welsh Labour and the Welsh Conservatives over a delayed decision on tax and borrowing powers. Plaid AM Simon Thomas called the argument between Tory leader Andrew RT Davies and Labour AM Mike Hedges 'a unionist spat' and added:
The Welsh Conservatives are hitting back at a Labour attack on their leader Andrew RT Davies over a delayed decision on transferring tax and borrowing powers to Wales. Labour AM Mike Hedges called the Opposition Leader 'toothless' for not putting enough public pressure on his Westminster colleagues.
It follows a delay in the UK Government's response to the Silk Commission which last year recommended the transfer. A Welsh Conservative spokesman had this to say:
The First Minister has confronted David Cameron over delays to a decision on transferring tax and borrowing powers to Wales.
Carwyn Jones met the Prime Minister face to face at a meeting in Downing Street today.
He says the Prime Minister did say he now understands strong feeling about something he's previously called a 'Cardiff Bay obsession.'
The Welsh Secretary, David Jones, has defended a delay in making a decision on the transfer of tax and borrowing powers to the Welsh Government. First Minister Carwyn Jones raised the delay with the Prime Minister at a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee in Downing Street.
The transfer of some taxes were recommended in a report by the Silk Commission which was published last November. At the time the Welsh Secretary said the proposals would be 'discussed immediately' and promised a response by the spring of this year.
Earlier this month the Prime Minister refused to commit to a new date saying that a consultation on one of the taxes involved, Stamp Duty Land Tax, needs to finish. That's being echoed by the Welsh Secretary who described today's JMC meeting as 'positive and productive,' before adding:
A Welsh Government source has dismissed criticism by Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams about the First Minister's campaign for a constitutional convention. Mr Williams accused Carwyn Jones of 'bluster' for not raising it with the Deputy Prime Minister's office which is responsible for the constitution.
But the source said:
The First Minister says David Cameron now knows how strongly the Welsh business community backs the transfer of tax and borrowing powers. Carwyn Jones also said that the Prime Minister reaffirmed the UK Government's agreement to fund fully rail electrification to Swansea and the Valley Lines.
Before the meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee, Carwyn Jones said he was looking for an explanation for the delay in a decision on tax and borrowing powers as recommended in the Silk Commission. Our Political Editor Adrian Masters asked him if he got his answer.
A Plaid Cymru MP says the First Minister is guilty of 'bluster' on constitutional change but not following it up with action. Carwyn Jones has repeatedly said there needs to be a constitutional convention - a formal way of looking at what powers Wales and other parts of the UK need.
But Hywel Williams asked the UK Government department responsible, the Deputy Prime Minister's office, what approaches the First Minister has made. This was the answer from Minister Greg Clark:
On the day that Carwyn Jones intends to push the Prime Minister over the delayed decision on tax and borrowing powers for Wales, Mr Williams says that it raises questions about the First Minister's own commitment.
The First Minister, Carwyn Jones, is expected to tackle David Cameron over a delayed decision on transferring control of some taxes and borrowing powers to the Welsh Government. They'll meet in Downing Street where the Prime Minister will host a session of the Joint Ministerial Committee.
The JMC is a chance for the First Ministers and Deputy First Ministers from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to air any grievances with the UK Government. It's usually chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister but once a year the Prime Minister takes charge.