Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith has confirmed that Labour will try to alter the financial powers being transferred from Westminster to the Welsh Government by seeking to amend the Wales Bill which has begun its parliamentary journey today.
This is an important Bill giving vital borrowing powers to the Welsh Government, and paving the way for Welsh control of business rates, Stamp Duty and, if voted for at a referendum, over income tax too. It’s also the first piece of Welsh-specific legislation the Tory-led Government has produced in four years.
Wales needs additional powers and resources to mitigate the effects of Tory cuts to the Welsh Budget, which will be 10% lower over the course of this parliament, and to the Capital Budget, which will be nearly a third lower.
As the party of devolution, Labour will address the Bill positively, and look to make improvements to it, in the interests of the Welsh people. We look forward to debating the merits of the Bill at the earliest possible opportunity.
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