Devolution

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The UK Government's response to criticism of the draft Wales Bill is more of a staging post than a destination, says Richard Wyn Jones. 
 
When he began the process that would lead to the publication in September 2015 of the Draft Wales Bill, the then Secretary of State, Stephen Crabb, spoke in effusive terms about his determination to achieve a devolution settlement for Wales that would last for the foreseeable future.
 
He was far from the first Secretary of State to embrace such an ambition.
 
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New analysis by Prof David Bell, a CCC Fellow based at the University of Stirling, has concluded that those benefits newly devolved under the Scotland Act 2016, “are typically older, more likely to be single following the death of a partner, not in employment and heavily dependent on benefits and pensions rather than earned income”.
 
Professor Bell adds, “Further, those receiving devolved benefits are much less likely to be in households where children are present.”
 
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A landmark new report by the Wales Governance Centre (WGC) at the University of Cardiff, Government Expenditure and Revenue Wales 2016, gives the clearest picture yet of the state of welsh public finances. Guto Ifan and Ed Poole at the WGC, explain that the report shows that public sector expenditure for Wales exceeded public sector revenues by £14.7 billion in 2014-15.
 
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The suggestion that an increase in the additional rate would lead to a mass migration of wealthy Scots has been widely - and rightly - criticised, says David Eiser. However, the likelihood of widespread tax avoidance by higher earners is a very real one. 
 
The SNP has been taking a lot of criticism for its failure to support a rise in the Additional Rate to 50p. 
 
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Does Nicola Sturgeon’s refusal to increase the Additional Rate of Income Tax to 50p unless it is increased in the rest of the UK undermine the case for tax devolution? David Eiser argues that there were always going to be constraints on the exercise of devolved powers and incumbent governments have to decide how these relate to the wider policy context.
 
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  • 10th August 2018

    Brexit is re-making the UK’s constitution under our noses. The territorial constitution is particularly fragile. Pursuing Brexit, Theresa May’s government has stumbled into deep questions about devolution.

  • 8th August 2018

    The UK in a Changing Europe has formed a new Brexit Policy Panel (BPP). The BPP is a cross-disciplinary group of over 100 leading social scientists created to provide ongoing analysis of where we have got to in the Brexit process, and to forecast where we are headed. Members of the UK in a Changing Europe Brexit Policy Panel complete a monthly survey addressing three key areas of uncertainty around Brexit: if —and when—the UK will leave the EU; how Brexit will affect British politics; and what our relationship with the EU is likely to look like in the future. The CCC participates on the Panel.

  • 2nd August 2018

    The House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee issued its report ‘Devolution and Exiting the EU: reconciling differences and building strong relationships’. Discussing its contents, Professor Nicola McEwen suggests that the report includes some practical recommendations, some of which were informed by CCC research. It also shines a light on some of the more difficult challenges ahead.

  • 31st July 2018

    The politicisation of Brexit, combined with deteriorating relations between London and Dublin, has created a toxic atmosphere in Northern Ireland, says Mary Murphy, which will require imagination and possibly new institutions to resolve.

  • 25th July 2018

    Given that there are many policy differences between Northern Ireland and other parts of the UK, asks Jonathan Evershed, why has customs policy been singled out as a red line by Unionists?

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