Kirsty Williams and Eluned Parrott respond to Chief Secretary announcement

2013 Gorffenaf 17 2:11 PM

Responding to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury's statement on early borrowing powers for the Welsh Government and the Stamp Duty Land Tax consultation, Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:

"I welcome today's announcement by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury to give the Welsh Government early access to borrowing powers for the improvement of the M4. Borrowing powers, like what we have been calling for in our response to Silk, will give the Welsh government more scope to stimulate the economy.

"The consultation on Stamp Duty Land Tax will be a way of gauging the opinion of businesses in Wales. The Welsh Liberal Democrats believe that this tax should be devolved as it could encourage house building, boost the construction sector and create a stronger Welsh economy. I urge businesses that have a stake in this issue to respond positively to the UK Government's consultation.

"Wales must have a proper functioning parliament with additional fiscal responsibilities to create a stronger economy and a fairer society. I know that the Liberal Democrat side of the coalition is working hard to ensure that we achieve this aim."

Commenting on the early access to borrowing powers to support a funding solution for the M4 improvement scheme, Eluned Parrott, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Transport Minister said:

"The Welsh Government needs to consult on a range of options to address the traffic problems around Newport, including improving the existing A48, creating a new road to the south of Newport, or the possible boring of a new Tunnel at Brynglas.

"But a realistic solution is about more than just road-building. Any improvements to the M4 itself must also be taken alongside public transport improvements, and work on Wales' freight infrastructure to get both cars and lorries off the roads. We know that the Ebbw Vale Line is to be extended into Ebbw Vale itself but now is also the time for track to be improved to allow trains to run from Ebbw Vale to Newport which will help get commuters out of their cars and onto public transport."

Beth hoffech chi ei wneud nesaf?