Speaking on Thursday 27 March 2014, in response to the publication of the Wales Bill, the Chair of Parliament’s Welsh Affairs Committee, David TC Davies MP, said:
"We are very pleased that the Government has accepted most of our recommendations on the Bill. This is a very significant Bill that proposes important changes to the devolution settlement in Wales, and we put its provisions to close scrutiny. As we recommended, the Government produced a Command Paper which provides information on those areas that the Committee identified as requiring further explanation, such as block grant adjustment mechanisms, borrowing limits and devolving business rates. The Government also saw the practical sense of our recommendation to extend the period that someone can be a Member of both the Assembly and Parliament before that is ruled out, to make the transition smoother.
The key point here though is that the question of devolving those powers at all - with a clear explanation of exactly what new powers are being given or could be given in the future to the Welsh Assembly - must be put to the people of Wales in a referendum, and it will be.
It is very important that Bills like this be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny before they are passed, and that Government takes the recommendations seriously. This is a good example of pre-legislative scrutiny working to make better legislation."
The Government also accepted the Committee’s recommendation to amend the Bill to give the National Assembly legislative powers over its own financial procedures, which would make the devolution of financial powers themselves work.
The Government’s response to the Committee’s report, with an explanation of the resulting changes to the Bill, can be accessed via this link.
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