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Welsh eyes on Scottish powers' pledge

Close attention is being paid in Wales to the recommendations of the Smith Commission to give Scotland sweeping new powers including control of income tax and the welfare system

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Wales should decide powers says Shadow Welsh Secretary

Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith MP Credit: ITV News

Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith says the Smith Commission blueprint for giving new powers to the Scottish Parliament should not simply be translated into a plan for Wales.

The Labour MP says that the people of Wales should 'decide for themselves' what powers should be transferred in any future devolution. And he's repeated his warning that income tax devolution poses 'far more risks than benefits for Wales.'

This is his full statement:

The conclusions of the Smith Commission clearly have significant implications for Wales and we will need to consider them with great care. However, Wales is not Scotland. Our culture and history, our legal system, our economy and society are all more integrated with England than those of Scotland. The Welsh people will want to decide for themselves what additional powers we might want to exercise through our National Assembly, rather than simply following behind Scotland.

My view remains unchanged that those additional powers, and wider changes to the framework of devolution across the whole of the UK should be decided in a Constitutional Convention. However, at that Convention, the powers on offer to Wales will now need to reflect those that are being offered to Scotland, including on Income Tax.

At present, it seems clear to me that the devolution of income tax includes far more risks than benefits for Wales, especially given the Tory Party’s apparent willingness to break up Britain for party political gain. Nevertheless, that decision should ultimately fall to the Welsh people.

– Owen Smith MP, Shadow Welsh Secretary

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