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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Inconsistent Tories

Today's Plenary is dominated by health matters but first we have to suspend standing orders. We have to suspend standing orders to change committee membership, to appoint auditors for the accounts of the Auditor General for Wales, to appoint a new Auditor General on a temporary basis and to allow the early consideration of Legislative Competence Orders coming back from Parliament on Sustainable Housing, School Governors and Culture. These LCOs need to be passed as soon as possible to give us a chance of getting them through before a General Election is called.

However, the Government now do not propose to pursue the early discussion of the Sustainable Housing LCO. They will table it in the normal manner without the need for a suspension of standing orders. This is because the Tories will not cooperate with the procedural motion whilst the Housing LCO contains proposals to bring powers over the right to buy to Wales.

In many ways this is predictable, in other ways it is bizarre. Yesterday the Tory group were lining up to call for a referendum to enable the Assembly to have full law-making powers over housing and 19 other areas in which we have responsibility. They also said that in the main they would vote 'yes' in that referendum, giving us the power to amend the right to buy.

So why is it OK to acquire that power in a year's time but not now? Do the Tories actually understand what they are supporting or how the LCO process works? Their inconsistently on this issue knows no bounds.
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