Devolution

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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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So the fiscal framework has been agreed. Or has the can just been kicked down the road? Both interpretations are consistent with last week’s last-minute agreement between the Scottish and UK governments. There is now no significant obstacle to the passage of the Scotland Bill. As a result the Scottish Parliament will take control over the setting of the rates and bands of income tax from 2017 and a raft of welfare powers will be introduced when the administrative arrangements can be made.
 
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The decision by the Secretary of State for Wales to pause the legislative process for the Wales Bill not only makes constitutional sense but, say Huw Pritchard and Lleu Williams of the Wales Governance Centre, it’s good politics. 

The Secretary of State for Wales, Stephen Crabb, promised to make “significant changes” to the Draft Wales Bill, a promise that has been warmly welcomed by many commentators.

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Devolution to local government in England raises concerns over the lack of public engagement and the legal framework, writes Robert Thomas of the University of Manchester School of Law.
 
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  • 19th October 2018

    Proposed revisions to the Basque Statute of Autonomy have revealed underlying tensions but the fault lines are not where an outside observer might assume they would be. They are fundamental and political and, explains Michael Keating, unlikely to be resolved by technocratic debate.

  • 16th October 2018

    Bavaria’s long-dominant party, the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), has reached its worst election result in 60 years. As well as causing a headache for Angela Merkel, argues Patrick Utz, this political earthquake reveals Bavaria’s predicament between regionalism and populism,.

  • 15th October 2018

    As the buildup to the EU Council meeting reaches fever pitch, Richard Parry explains that deals at dawn may work in Brussels but they don't always play to the home crowd.

  • 13th October 2018

    Theresa May’s efforts to keep her DUP allies onside may, suggests Prof Nicola McEwen, end up easing Nicola Sturgeon’s path to independence following any subsequent referendum on the subject.

  • 12th October 2018

    The Commission on Justice in Wales, chaired by Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, will further clarify the legal and political identity of Wales within the UK constitution. Doing so, explains Prof Dan Wincott, will also bring clarity to the enduring significance of other territorial legal jurisdictions.

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