National Assembly endorses Holtham Report

The National Assembly for Wales debated the Holtham Commission’s final report yesterday, and unanimously endorsed it.  The motion under consideration (itself apparently agreed by the various party groups in advance)  is available here.  I was rather flattered that Jane Hutt quoted a post from this blog as part of her evidence that the report had been well received by academics.  Sadly, the only news report I’ve seen covering it (from the Western Mail, available here) focusses more on comments from the Conservative and Lib Dem leaders about spending cuts, than the more fundamental issues raised by the report.

I’ll be writing more about the debate in a day or so.  But this vote does mean that the onus of pushing for implementation of Holtham falls very plainly to the Assembly Government, which now has a clear mandate to do so.


Filed under Devolution finance, Intergovernmental relations, Wales

3 responses to “National Assembly endorses Holtham Report

  1. Jeff Jones

    Doesn’t the fact that no one in the Welsh media and that includes TV and radio has even considered the debate to be important tell you something about the real impact of devolution.I doubt if many of the ordinary people you passed whilst walking to the CIA even know who Holtham is. The fact that all the parties agreed the wording of the motion also suggests that they didn’t really want a ‘real’ debate in the 60 minutes allocated. Again they have kicked the issue of fiscal responsibilty to touch in the motion by suggesting that it will up to the people of Wales. In other words there has to be another referendum. It wouldn’t happen in my lifetime. The argument for some sort of fiscal responsibilty is it could be argued the only interesting political bit of the Holtham report. The rest just provides again the empirical evidence to support what everyone already knew. Nice to have but in political terms because of the need to correct the imbalance by taking money from Scotland it doesn’t move the debate forward. How they also expect to finance any of the laws they propose to pass if they gain full lawmaking powers goodness only knows. Look at the mess that HE in Wales is going to find itself in if the Assembly doesn’t follow the lead of the UK Parliament when it comes to tuition fees.Historians of pre 1914 Italy often talk of the divide that existed between ‘Real Italy’ and ‘Political Italy’. Some might argue that a similar gap exists in Wales.

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