Crucial Commons votes on more powers for Welsh Assembly


Today (Wednesday) the House of Commons will debate the Wales Bill at committee stage and vote on a variety of amendments that would transfer power from Westminster to the National Assembly of Wales.

Plaid Cymru Parliamentary Leader Elfyn Llwyd MP said that his party had tabled several amendments to the Bill that broaden its scope and, if passed, would deliver powers that would boost the Assembly's accountability to the Welsh people.

Speaking ahead of the Wales Bill debate, Mr Llwyd said:

"While Plaid Cymru recognises the importance of the Wales Bill to the maturing of Welsh democracy, we feel that overall it is a missed opportunity given the limited transfer of power that will occur.

"The London parties have all stated that they are committed to further meaningful devolution, yet this Bill and many of the amendments tabled demonstrate little ambition for Wales.

"For a party which claims to be focused on the economy, it is surprising that Labour has tabled nothing but wrecking amendments rather than propose positive changes to make Wales a more prosperous place.

"Plaid Cymru has tabled a variety of amendments - from devolving control over setting the number of Assembly Members, to reforming the UK funding formula which sees Wales lose out on £400m a year, to granting the Welsh Government the power to issue bonds (similar to the Scottish Government).

"Such powers would help deliver a sustainable recovery for the Welsh economy and ensure a more accountable institution.

"Too many aspects of Welsh people's lives are still dictated by Westminster politicians.

"While so many powers still reside there, the Wales Bill is the Labour party's chance to show whether it truly supports devolution, or whether it's happy to defend the Tory Government's right to dismantle our welfare state, justice system and other matters controlled from London."

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