Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb and Wales Office Minister Baroness Randerson today (24 November) welcomed the Wales Bill passing through the House of Lords as an important milestone towards creating a lasting and robust devolution settlement.
The Bill will devolve a range of tax and borrowing powers to Wales including landfill tax, stamp duty land tax and, subject to a referendum, some income tax.
It had its third reading in the Lords today where the UK Government’s amendments to give the power to the Welsh Assembly to determine whether 16 and 17 year-olds should have the right to vote in an income tax referendum were also approved.
The Bill is expected to reach Royal Assent in the New Year once it is has been debated in the House of Commons.
Stephen Crabb said:
The UK government is pushing ahead with the Wales Bill and today’s reading in the House of Lords is an important milestone towards creating a lasting and robust devolution settlement for Wales.
The Bill will provide the Welsh Government with a powerful incentive to grow the Welsh economy and strengthen their financial accountability and transparency.
Once the Bill has been enacted I want the Welsh Government to call an income tax referendum and seize the new powers being offered as soon as possible.
Baroness Randerson said:
The Wales Bill will mean big changes for everyone in Wales with more local decisions over how taxes are spent and more powers over how much Wales borrows.
In devolving these powers we are giving the Welsh Government the tools to help build a stronger economy and fairer society in Wales.
Tomorrow (25 November) Mr Crabb MP will lead the second in a series of meetings with Westminster leaders from the main political parties in Wales on agreeing the best way forward for Welsh devolution.
Mr Crabb set out his vision for devolution in Wales in a speech at the Institute of Welsh Affairs earlier this month.
Read Mr Crabb’s speech here