The opposition parties in the Assembly, who all support the devolution of income tax powers to the Welsh Government, are claiming that the latest poll findings show that a the First Minister needs to be less cautious about a referendum.
This poll shows that a referendum on income tax is there to be won but politicians need to have the courage to make the case. I fear that Carwyn Jones doesn’t want the responsibility and accountability that income tax would bring and is happy to blame all his policy failings on a lack of money from the Treasury.
Carwyn Jones needs to find the courage of his convictions and start actively making the case for the devolution of income tax to show cross-party support if a referendum is to be won. If he won’t support a yes vote in a referendum, then Carwyn Jones is the boy who cried wolf.
This poll overwhelmingly shows that the people of Wales are in favour of the devolution of power from Westminster to Cardiff.
There is currently no clear majority with regards to tax varying powers. This highlights how essential it will be for all parties to work together on this issue much like they did in the 2011 referendum. Tax varying powers would mean that for the very first time, the amount of money a Welsh government spends could be directly linked to success in promoting economic development. Nearly all other national parliaments have this power. Wales should be no different.
This poll clearly shows that the people of Wales support a range of job creation levers for Wales especially borrowing powers. The UK Government has made it clear that significant borrowing capacity will only come via an income tax sharing arrangement between the UK and Welsh Government. If we are to have the range of powers required to make a real economic difference it is essential that the full silk package is brought into effect, the proposals must not be cherry picked.
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