Wales

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 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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The Trade Union Bill is the latest in a series of standoffs between London and Cardiff, Furthermore, says Huw Pritchard, lecturer in Devolved Law and Governance at the University of Cardiff, the conflict may well encourage further tensions over the passage of the draft Wales Bill. 
 
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In the recent debate between Nigel Farage and Carwyn Jones, the First Minister's reliance on the risks of an 'Out' vote is unlikely to provide a convincing enough argument to persuade voters of the benefits to Wales of being part of the ‘two Unions’, say Dr Jayne Woolford and Dr Jo Hunt of Cardiff University's School of Law and Politics. 

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When the Draft Wales Bill was published in October 2015, it was described by Stephen Crabb, the Secretary of State for Wales as delivering on the UK Government’s commitment ‘to create a stronger, clearer and fairer devolution settlement for Wales’.  This is badly needed; the history of Welsh devolution since 1998 has been one of short-term solutions that have needed to be revised or replaced within a few years.
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Review Recommends Rejection of Draft Wales Bill

A report by an independent review group consisting of constitutional and legislative experts says that they could not recommend that politicians in Cardiff Bay and Westminster support the Draft Wales Bill in its current form.
 
The landmark report, “Challenge and Opportunity: The Draft Wales Bill 2015,” provides an expert commentary and assessment of the detailed provisions set out in the Draft Wales Bill published in October 2015.
 
Labour in Wales may be facing a tough election in May 2016 but unlike its Scottish counterpart, says Prof Roger Scully, it is likely to benefit from a divided opposition. 
 
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