- 14 updates
First Minister Carwyn Jones has called on the Labour party, as well as his opponents, to set out a timescale for delivering on the promise of fair funding for Wales, made in the St David's Day agreement on further devolution. He told his monthly news conference that it was important to know not just the value of the so-called funding floor but when it would be introduced.
Carwyn Jones added that he expected that the degree of unfairness in how Wales is funded, compared to the rest of the UK, is now less than the £300 million a year calculated by the Holtham Commission. He said adding a minimum proportion of public spending for Wales -a floor- to the Barnett Formula was the best way of stopping any future reduction in the Welsh share of Treasury money.
Meanwhile a survey of 7,000 people across the United Kingdom by Edinburgh shows that 68% of Welsh people believe that Wales receives less government funding than it is due. Only 43% in England think their country's treated unfairly, as do 44% in Scotland. in Northern Ireland, it's 37%. The figures have been seized on by Plaid Cymru, which is calling for funding parity with Scotland and says that could be worth an extra £1.2 billion a year to Wales.
First Minister Carwyn Jones has categorically ruled out holding a referendum on Welsh income tax powers "unless and until the the long term funding of Wales has been addressed satisfactorily". In a letter to Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb, he says the St David's Day agreement on more powers for the Assembly does not meet that test.
Mr Crabb wrote to the First Minister yesterday, saying that the momentum for more devolution may now be lost without "strong and positive engagement" from the Welsh Government. In his reply, Carwyn Jones adds to his initial response that the cross-party agreement had been "rushed and unsatisfactory".
Carwyn Jones will be questioned in the Senedd on his attitude to the Saint David's Day agreement, after he makes a statement to AMs later this afternoon.
Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb has written to the First Minister, saying he is disappointed by his response to the St David’s Day agreement and fears momentum will now be lost.
It comes after Carwyn Jones said he felt Wales was not being treated with the same degree of respect as Scotland, adding that the process had been "rushed and unsatisfactory".
The Shadow Secretary of State for Wales says David Cameron's proposals on Welsh devolution are "a step in the right direction" - but said clarity is needed over the so-called 'funding floor'.
Following this morning's devolution announcement, our political editor Adrian Masters asked the Prime Minister why he did not go further and give Wales the same sort of powers that are on offer to Scotland.
This is what he said:
Plaid Cymru says it has been left 'disappointed' by the UK Government’s command paper on further devolution.
Responding to the St David’s Day announcement, First Minister, Carwyn Jones said Wales was not being treated with the same degree of respect as Scotland.
The First Minister also said the process had been "rushed and unsatisfactory".
Welsh Labour has criticised the proposals for further devolution expected to be announced by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister later. A spokesperson says:
Plaid Cymru sources are privately expecting to be disappointed by today's devolution announcement by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. The party has engaged with the talks led by Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb and is hopeful for some of its aims to be realised in the St. David's Day agreement.
Ahead of the announcement, Party leader Leanne Wood said,
Latest ITV News reports
David Cameron and Nick Clegg have unveiled proposals for a range of new powers for the Welsh Government and National Assembly.
The UK Government is to announce a range of new powers for the Welsh Assembly in what it calls a 'landmark moment' in devolution