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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Barnett twist even the anoraks will baulk at

Over at the BBC, David Cornock has news of a new initiative on securing fair funding for the Welsh Assembly.  He says that the Prime Minister is happy to offer a floor below which the amount of money we receive cannot fall, but only if it is linked to an agreement to hold a referendum on tax-varying powers.

This strikes me as a step backwards in the UK Government's position, and certain defeat for any referendum held on those terms.

If a Barnett flooris justifiable (which it is) then it should be delivered unconditionally. This so-called 'offer' is tantamount to blackmail and the Welsh people will react accordingly.

I happen to support tax-varying powers for Wales because I believe that they will improve accountability but it should be up to the Welsh Assembly to determine the timing of a referendum not UK Ministers. In that way we might have a chance of winning it.

UK Government Ministers would not dare treat Scotland in this way, so why Wales?

Because Scotland has a powerful national party and Wales does not.
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