“Status quo is not an option”: Financial Times
The Party of Wales leader Leanne Wood has welcomed today’s Financial Times editorial which argues for the rebalancing of financial powers between the nations of the UK. The paper argues that in the event of a ‘no’ vote in September’s referendum in Scotland, fiscal autonomy should not be limited to that country and should be extended to Wales and Northern Ireland.
The editorial chimes with arguments outlined by Leanne Wood in a keynote speech at the University College London’s Constitution Unit, where she argued that the relationship between the nations of Britain should be renewed and give way to a partnership of equals.
In the UCL speech, Leanne Wood argued for a people-led constitution for Wales which would formally mark the end of devolution and the dawn of self-government where the people of Wales themselves decide what powers and decisions should be made at home and which should be shared with others.
The Party of Wales Leader Leanne Wood said:
“The current settlement is unsustainable – as was confirmed by both Silk Commission reports. The current lack of leadership from either Welsh or UK governments on securing further powers for Wales has resulted in Welsh calls being marginalised.
“I want to see the relationship between these islands develop into one of a partnership of equals. For this to happen, we need to properly empower our nations, and this needs to happen through self-government.
“The drip-feed style of devolution that currently exists in Wales depends on powers being ceded from Westminster. This set up is stemming progress and holding us back.
“The ‘devolution going rate’ set in Scotland is not being matched in pace by that offered by Unionist parties to Wales. There is no good reason for this.
“Perversely, the three unionist parties have all announced that a Scottish ‘no’ vote will lead to more powers for Scotland, with no corresponding offer to Wales. This will leave us in a situation where the Scottish Government is empowered to legislate to strengthen its economy, to mitigate the effects of damaging Tory-led policies, or to lower Scottish taxes, while Wales will continue to be at the mercy of the Westminster government.
“Plaid Cymru, through its model of self-government proposes financial powers for Wales which can aid in creating jobs and building a more equal society.”