Wales Bill - Committee (2nd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:30 pm on 7th November 2016.

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Photo of Baroness Morgan of Ely Baroness Morgan of Ely Shadow Spokesperson (Wales) 4:30 pm, 7th November 2016

I am not speaking in favour of the amendment because of the next amendment. We need an increase in the borrowing powers because of the funding stream and the devolution of taxation. That is critical to investment in Wales.

We know that the Welsh Government and the UK Government have an understanding and that there will be an agreement on the fiscal framework before we enter the next phase of the Bill. It is important that, in that fiscal framework, we have an offset to the block grant in return for that tax revenue. We need to see how that offset will interact with the Barnett formula, and we need the funding floor to be made permanent. It is critical that we should not accept a situation where Wales will be materially worse off as a consequence of devolving taxation. That would not be good for the people of Wales.

We expect the Minister to negotiate that with the Finance Minister in the Assembly, but can he can assure us that that fiscal framework will be resolved before we have an understanding? We will come in the next amendment to the amount that may be borrowed, but can he assure us that we will be able to have an increase in borrowing powers as a result of the fiscal autonomy that will be coming to Wales.