Government should not halt Wales’ progress
The Party of Wales leader Leanne Wood has called on the First Minister not to stand in the way of progress for the people of Wales.
An announcement by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister last week opened the way for the transfer of some tax varying powers for the National Assembly.
Plaid Cymu has campaigned consistently for the transfer of these powers to the National Assembly as a crucial step in maturing the institution and in making the Welsh Government more accountable and responsible for the money it spends.
However the First Minister has signalled that he will not pursue the devolution of some income tax powers, stating that he will not do so without reform of the Barnett Formula. He has also refused to commit to including the reform of Barnett in the Labour 2015 and 2016 manifestos.
The Party of Wales leader Leanne Wood said:
“It’s highly unusual to see a government that does not want responsibility for income tax. A Plaid Cymru government would do everything possible to take control of these powers so that we can begin using them in a way that benefits the people of Wales.
“The Welsh Government wants the luxury of spending money without any of the responsibility of raising it and being accountable for it.
“Like the Peter Pan of politics, it’s as if the Welsh Government does not want to grow up.
“The First Minister’s insistence on the condition that the Barnett Formula be reformed before income tax powers are pursued would be much more credible if he was prepared to commit to including a pledge to reform Barnett in his party’s 2015 manifestos.
“Or even if he would commit to pursuing income tax powers in the event that Barnett is reformed. Neither commitment has been forthcoming to date.
“Plaid Cymru has campaigned hard for the transfer of the Silk-proposed tax-varying powers because it will make the government more answerable and accountable to the people of Wales and because they will open up the options for job creation. The majority of the people of Wales want these powers too, so it’s frustrating to see the Welsh Government unneccessarily delaying the process.”