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Welsh Liberal Democrats fighting for powers that Wales needs

2013 Medi 25 2:11 PM

The Conservatives and Labour must stop being a barrier to progress on Wales gaining further powers, according to Welsh Liberal Democrat Finance Spokesperson Peter Black AM.

Speaking ahead of a debate on the Silk Commission today, Peter Black has reiterated that both the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Liberal Democrats in Westminster fully support the implementation of the Silk Commission proposals in their entirety.

Amongst other things the Silk Commission, which was set up by the UK government, recommends that by 2020 the Welsh and UK governments should share responsibility for income tax paid in Wales.

Peter Black AM said:

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats fought to ensure that Silk was in the UK coalition's programme for government and we're not willing to see its recommendations gather dust on a shelf. We believe that the Silk report sets out a blueprint for Wales' future and should be implemented in its entirety.

"Tax varying powers would bring much needed accountability to Wales' political system. It would sharpen minds in Cardiff Bay and bring the same level of accountability to Wales that exists in almost all other national parliaments. For too long the Welsh Government has been able to simply spend money without having the responsibility to raise it.

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats have the support of our colleagues in London. Nick Clegg, Danny Alexander and Jenny Randerson are pushing for the powers that Wales needs. However, this consistency is not reflected in the other parties. Labour and Tory Assembly Members might say some of the right things in Cardiff, but it is their colleagues in Westminster who insist on hoarding power in London. For too many years they have been a barrier to progress.

"The Silk Commission is about having a big debate on the future of devolution. Liberals have been arguing for home rule for over a century since the days of Lloyd George and we'll continue to do so."