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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Affordable Housing

So what has happened to the Welsh Government's Legislative Competence Order on Affordable Housing? It was due to come before us on the first Tuesday of the term in September. It was pulled from the agenda and has not been seen since.

Martin Shipton in today's Western Mail believes that this LCO is another casualty of an on-going spat between Cathays Park and Westminster on how widely drawn these orders can be. He says that a political source told him that, “It seems that Whitehall thinks the proposal coming from the Assembly Government is too broad.”

This is the second legislative request from the Assembly to be delayed by Whitehall objections. In September we revealed how a proposal to grant the Assembly powers to legislate over environmental matters was facing problems because Whitehall officials considered it too broadly drawn.

In the meantime there appears to be no activity at all from the Welsh Government to start to address the huge problems facing people seeking to get onto the housing ladder.

It is becoming more and more apparent that the LCO system created by the Government of Wales Act 2006 is not working. There must be more flexibility on the part of Whitehall or a major overhaul of the whole system. Perhaps we can just move straight to a referendum on primary law-making powers and put the whole apparatus out of its misery.
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