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 Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales 4:30 pm, 7th November 2016

No, it does not. Rather the reverse, it showed that opinion in Wales had changed much more than people thought. The noble Lord put a fair question to me: whether I thought that opinion had changed in Wales such that we did not need a referendum. I hope I have given a very fair answer. It is a truthful one—I think opinion in Wales has changed to that degree.

Arguments were put on various issues in relation to this, not least in the area of borrowing. I agree again that, to have significant borrowing powers, there has to be a separate stream of revenue. This would present a separate stream of revenue, and even if the income tax rates were retained exactly as they are in England, it would give that separate rate of revenue. So, there is that as well. I know that we are coming on to a subsequent amendment on this issue. In view of the fact that I do not believe that this change is necessary and the strength of opinion from noble Lords around the Chamber, I urge the noble Lord to withdraw the amendment.