More powers for Wales?

The First Minister has set out how he sees the powers of the Welsh Government and Assembly being massively increased.

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Welsh Government demands more power

Carwyn Jones says the Welsh Government wants a major increase in the areas where the Assembly can pass laws introduced without a referendum. He's told the Silk Commission on Devolution that the March 2011 referendum confirmed support for the Assembly having 'extensive legislative authority'.

The First Minister wants powers transferred from London over everything that would not be specifically reserved to the UK Government and Parliament, such as constitutional affairs, defence, foreign affairs, social security and macro-economic policy. Powers that would be devolved include:

  • Taxes – A range of taxation powers in line with the recommendations of the Silk Commission.
  • Police -Control of Policing, community safety and crime prevention
  • Road safety -Powers over speed and drink driving limits.
  • Licensing of alcohol and late night entertainment..
  • Vulnerable adults and children - taking children into care, fostering and adoption.
  • Water – In all parts of Wales, including where Welsh Water is not the supplier.
  • Ports - Power over the economic development of Welsh ports.
  • Administrative Justice and the administration of elections.
  • Large scale energy generation (except nuclear power) and related energy infrastructure.
  • The youth justice system.
  • The appointment of the Welsh member of the BBC Trust and all members of the S4C Authority
  • Powers for dealing with civil emergencies

I am firmly committed to seeking a long term constitutional settlement for Wales within a devolved United Kingdom. We think it is important to achieve a settlement that is both simpler and clearer than the present arrangements, and one which enables decisions affecting Wales to be taken in Wales. Achieving such a settlement could only strengthen the Union and Wales’s place within it. I believe key decisions over policing, energy, public transport and community safety should be taken in Wales, for Wales, by those of us directly elected by the people of Wales and accountable to them.

– First Minister Carwyn Jones AM

Carwyn Jones says the powers should be transferred by 2021. In the longer term, he says criminal justice should be devolved, including courts and prisons. He wants a separate Welsh legal jurisdiction and an early start on preparations to end the single England and Wales jurisdiction.

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