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True Wales "appalled" by Silk proposals

True Wales, the group that campaigned for a "no" vote in the 2011 referendum that gave fuller law making powers to the Assembly, says it's "appalled" by the Silk Commission's recommendations.

Yes politicians and campaigners continually denied that the devolution of tax powers, criminal justice and policing, more AMs and a separate legal jurisdiction would follow a Yes vote. Indeed, we in True Wales were regularly accused of being untruthful and of misleading the people of Wales. This happened even though Yes campaigners were fully aware that the UK Government had announced a Calman style commission in the event of a Yes vote. Two years on from referendum day, we have the extraordinary spectacle of a commission recommending all of those radical changes that we predicted.

The devolution settlement is to be very quickly expanded far beyond that to which 35% of the electorate consented on Thursday 3 March 2011. Such contemptuous treatment of the people of Wales during the referendum campaign has done nothing to enhance the reputation of the Assembly and only serves to undermine the legitimacy of these future powers that will no doubt be enthusiastically embraced by politicians who claimed that the referendum was 'merely a tidying up exercise'. We do not believe that the expensive centralisation of power in Cardiff Bay can accurately be described as devolution.

We would ask that a commission to explore the devolution of power from Cardiff Bay to local authorities be established forthwith.

Given the way the people were misled and denied a proper debate on the real issues in 2011, we believe that, without a full open and honest public debate and a further referendum on the proposals in Silk Part II, these radical changes will in no way be legitimate.

– True Wales statement

Draft Wales Bill moves Income tax devolution closer

The devolution of Income tax came a step nearer today, as Welsh Secretary David Jones MP published a draft Wales bill which allows the Welsh Government to control the tax - subject to a referendum.

It was also announced that assembly candidates will be able to stand in constituencies and for regional seats, along with confirmation of borrowing powers for the Welsh Government.

Our political reporter Owain Phillips is in Westminster and sent this report.

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Tax referendum would be a trap says First Minister

by Adrian Masters

The First Minister has said again that he's opposed to the transfer of income tax powers unless the way Wales is funded is first sorted out. Carwyn Jones told me it would be used as 'an excuse' by the Treasury not to reform the way funding is worked out, known as the Barnett formula.

At his monthly press conference, he'd cited the 2011 referendum on lawmaking powers as one of the main achievements of his four years in post despite opposition from within his own party. I asked him if that made him more likely to back an income tax referendum.

His answer is an unequivocal 'no' as you can see in the clip to below. Watch to the end of the clip for his final comment casting doubt on the motives of Conservative and Liberal Democrat politicians who are pushing for an early referendum.

Ieuan's last day

It's not the most controversial motion ever to be debated in the Senedd but that's not why Plaid Cymru have tabled it. It's more a salute to the man who has led them since 2000. The Assembly is being asked to agree that it:

Welcomes the progress made in securing enhanced devolved powers resulting from the successful referendum in 2011; recognises the widespread support for further devolution; and looks forward to further advances in the devolution of powers, including fiscal responsibility.

The idea is to provide a platform for Ieuan Wyn Jones to give his final speech as party leader and if opposition politicians are so inclined to join Plaid Cymru AMs in singing his praises.

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