Welsh parties want funding talks

Published: Tuesday 14th October 2014 by The News Editor

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The four parties in the Welsh Assembly have called for immediate talks with the Westminster Government about a “fairer funding agreement”.

In a joint motion the Welsh parties called for the talks to be completed by January and pressed for further devolution of financial powers to Cardiff Bay.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said there would be “very wide public support” for the “ambitious” reforms.

The joint motion was supported by Plaid, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats as well as Mr Jones’s Labour party.

It came as MPs at Westminster debated the UK’s constitutional arrangements following the rejection of independence in the Scottish referendum.

The motion calls for bilateral talks with the UK Government which would have a “particular focus on fair funding”.

It also calls for Westminster to ensure that Cardiff Bay is given the same powers over corporation tax as Northern Ireland and Scotland if the levy is devolved.

The party leaders called for air passenger duty for direct long-haul flights to be devolved, a review of borrowing powers and work on allowing the Welsh Government to issue its own bonds.

Mr Jones said: “I am pleased that all four parties in the Assembly have been able to come together in a positive spirit to agree a way ahead for Wales. We are calling for an ambitious set of reforms to the devolution settlement in Wales that would, if implemented, have very wide public support.

“I trust that the UK Government will listen to this very clear statement from Wales and will respond accordingly, starting with talks on a fairer funding agreement for Wales.

“If we can secure a funding floor that addresses the well-known problems with our block grant, that would unlock the door to further and more ambitious financial reforms.”

Published: Tuesday 14th October 2014 by The News Editor

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