Bill Presented — Private Pensions (Charges, Disclosure and Accountability) Bill
Elfyn Llwyd (Dwyfor Meirionnydd, Plaid Cymru)
Well, yes; on this issue, that has to be right. If 60% of people are saying that fiscal powers are the next stage, that amounts to a large majority—and we should listen to them.
We have sent a submission, and we argued that significant tax revenues and powers should be transferred to the Welsh Government, including partial income tax, value added tax, corporation tax and resource taxes. We have also argued that powers to create and levy new taxes should be granted. We want ownership and control over the Crown Estates in Wales to be transferred in their entirety to the Welsh Government. We believe that taxation and borrowing powers play an important part in facilitating economic growth and ultimately in ensuring social justice. Such powers have been proven to work at a sub-central level throughout the world, but are lacking under the current devolution arrangements.
Half of the current rate of income tax could be paid to the Treasury in London, with half remaining with the Welsh Government in Wales, who could then adjust according to need. The Welsh Government should then have the power to set Welsh income tax rates without restriction. These would be additional to the remaining UK rates.
Powers over VAT would give the Welsh Government a significant source of revenue, as well as the opportunity to make adjustments to achieve policy goals. This could ensure that Wales would not be disadvantaged by any future decision of the UK Government to switch the emphasis of the tax system between direct and indirect taxes. I recognise that variation of VAT rates within a member state might be prohibited under EU law. If that is the case, we would wish to see a transfer of imputed VAT revenues to the Welsh Government. We think all corporation tax revenues should be transferred, as should the power to set rates.