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Lords to debate progress of Welsh Devolution

Peers including a former Welsh Office Minister, the President of the School of Welsh Legal Studies and a former President of Plaid Cymru will discuss the progress of devolution being made by the Commission on Devolution in Wales on Thursday 19 July.

Baroness Randerson (Liberal Democrat), Party Spokesperson for Wales and former Acting Deputy First Minister, tabled the debate.

Baroness Randerson, who will open the debate, said:

“The Silk Commission is currently examining the powers of the National Assembly in Wales, and is doing so in two phases. The first phase looking at the issue of whether the Welsh Assembly should have the power to vary or levy taxes and borrow money - is now well underway. The Welsh Assembly is probably the only institution in the world that has the power to make laws but no power to levy taxation. I believe that they should, as it is an important part of accountability.

“The second phase of the consultation will start in early 2013 and will examine potential new areas of responsibility for the Assembly, such as increased powers over energy generation, authority over the police and having a separate legal jurisdiction in Wales. 

“There has been a great deal of discussion in Parliament over recent months about Scottish devolution but, as there is no legislation for Wales going through the House, there has been no opportunity to discuss the consultation. As party spokesperson for Wales in the Lords, I hope this debate provides a chance for Peers to have their voices heard in the Welsh Devolution consultation.”

Other Members scheduled to speak include:

Lord Maclennan of Rogart (Liberal Democrat), Lord Howarth of Newport (Labour) and Lord Anderson of Swansea (Labour) are also expected to take part in the debate.

Lord Wallace of Tankerness (Liberal Democrat) will respond on behalf of the government.

The debate is open to media and the public. Please allow time for security screening.

The debate will also be broadcast live on Parliament TV

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