Income Tax Assignment

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 4th March 2015.

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Photo of Graham Allen Graham Allen Chair, Political and Constitutional Reform Committee, Chair, Political and Constitutional Reform Committee 11:30 am, 4th March 2015

What recent discussions he has had with the First Minister on income tax assignment to Wales being carried out on the same basis as applies in Scotland.

Photo of Stephen Crabb Stephen Crabb The Secretary of State for Wales

I have regular discussions with the First Minister on holding a referendum on the devolution of income tax to the National Assembly for Wales, as provided for in the Wales Act 2014. Following our commitment to a funding floor for Wales there is no reason for the First Minister not to call a referendum in the next Parliament.

Photo of Graham Allen Graham Allen Chair, Political and Constitutional Reform Committee, Chair, Political and Constitutional Reform Committee

Does the Minister accept that Scotland has now set a precedent on income tax assignment that can meet the base load of its expenditure? Will he continue his work to ensure that Wales also has income tax assigned? Will he talk to his colleagues in England to ensure that they understand that the basis of devolution in England must be financial independence by income tax assignment, too?

Photo of Stephen Crabb Stephen Crabb The Secretary of State for Wales

I am a bit surprised by the hon. Gentleman’s question, because the Government have worked really hard to deliver a devolution package for Wales that strengthens and clarifies, and makes devolution fairer for Wales. The negative response from Welsh Labour in Cardiff in recent days speaks more about the divisions between Labour in Westminster and in Cardiff. He really should speak to his own colleagues.