I’m sure Alan Trench was sincere in his bid to come up with workable ideas for fiscal devolution in Scotland and to a lesser extent in Wales with the Scottish independence debate in full flow, but the IPPR report and it’s recommendations published last Friday on a way forward has already sunk without a trace among the Welsh Government and most of the rest of the political class.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Another report to sit on a shelf – just the way WG wants it.
It’s sunk, like the Richard and Holtham Commission report before it, not because it doesn’t have something to say or offer solutions to the issues, (although some of the ideas have been suggested previously) but simply doesn’t fit into the current political narrative on finance in Wales.
Instead of debating the recemmendation the the only ‘debate’ that occurs on finance is around the WG securing borrowing powers and while it’s important limits and narrows any genuine discussion of what financial responsibilities the Welsh Government should have, in relation to Local Government, the Scottish Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly and the UK Parliament.
How we go about changing the dynamic so that reports like Alan Trench’s that challenge the status quo don’t sink without a trace is certainly challenging and something that I don’t have any readymade answers , but for the health of welsh politics we need to be able to at least debate uncomfortable issues even if we decide nothing needs to change.
Alan Trench’s DEVO MORE IPPR report is here