Opposing the Wales Bill

Robin Hunter-Clarke outlines why UKIP will be voting against the Wales Bill when it comes to the Assembly later today.

UKIP in the National Assembly for Wales have taken the decision to oppose the Wales Bill and will do all it can to ensure this Bill does not become law.

This Bill is merely a cynical way for Wales’ bankrupt Labour administration to bring in higher taxes by the backdoor and to create more jobs for politicians. Wales needs neither higher taxes nor more politicians. Wales needs a new political culture and UKIP are determined to provide it.

UKIP believes it is wholly wrong for income tax raising powers to be devolved to the Assembly without the referendum which was promised and enshrined in legislation.
The clause in the current Wales Bill removing the referendum requirement is a breach of faith with the Welsh people.  

The Labour Party in Wales seems happy to forget the trouble and strife that failed socialist policies brought to Wales in the 1970s and appears intent on taxing the hard-working taxpayer into hardship and poverty by whatever means. In UKIP we believe taxing those already under strain even more will not address the problems that Wales faces and we will oppose new taxes at every turn.

The Labour-dominated Assembly, propped up by their equally deluded friends in Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats, has completely failed the Welsh people in every area of life.

Our hospitals are breaking at the seams because of nearly two decades of mismanagement under Labour. Our schools are failing our children by almost every measure – less than a month ago the holes in Labour’s education policy were exposed by the OECD, whose respected international inspection regime showed that in all key areas of the curriculum Welsh schools are doing worse than their counterparts in almost every developed economy. Meanwhile, the only economic policy that the Cardiff elite can come up with is to offer up an even bigger begging bowl.

The idea that an Assembly already failing should be given more responsibility is something we cannot support. The Assembly needs to concentrate its efforts on managing the responsibilities it has already been entrusted with and not seeking to widen its powers as a pretext to increasing its number and the pay of the politicians sitting within it. Only 6 months ago Assembly Members received a £10,000 pay rise, whilst those working in the lowest paid jobs have seen their pay in real terms decreasing year after year under the Labour Party in Wales. The Labour and Plaid politicians who have been lapping up their extra pay seek to justify it by saying that the Assembly has more powers today than when it was first conceived. But why does it have more powers? Because the Cardiff-elite seek to increase their personal power for personal gain of course. And they will do it again. UKIP believes it will only be a matter of time before the Cardiff Bay establishment award themselves yet another pay rise for the supposed ‘extra’ responsibilities that accompany the passing of this Wales Bill.

We believe this Assembly is big enough and expensive enough as it is. As people across Wales struggle with a rising cost of living and threats to their jobs posed by increased automation, UKIP believes wholeheartedly that there is no appetite for higher taxes or further costly expansion of the Welsh Assembly. So, as both are inevitable consequences of this Wales Bill passing, we will oppose it in its entirety.

Robin Hunter-Clarke is Chief of Staff to the UKIP Group in the National Assembly for Wales.

12 thoughts on “Opposing the Wales Bill

  1. A very well argued case against the Wales Bill. I listened to Lord Morgan on radio on Sunday and as former PC member/supporter,now with LLAFUR he seemed very hostile to the Bill,even though the ‘tax raising’ power was being given to the Assembly. In his opinion this was a ‘trap’,whereby public expenditure funding to Wales from central government could be reduced,and therefore any ‘shortfall’,which there will with Labour in charge can be met by increased taxation on welsh people. In conclusion why did the Conservative Party manifesto (Wales section) for the 2015 general election clearly stated that the power to vary income tax would not be transferred to Assembly without a referendum!!.it seems from correspondence with my MP that the reason is that UK government wishes the Assembly/WAG to be more accountable to welsh people,well if that the case why has the ‘commitment’ in the 2015 manifesto been so radically changed without seemingly any discussion in welsh media!!!

  2. Huh, is there absolutely any evidence that taxes will be increased by the Assembly?

    Yes our hospitals are at breaking point, but news flash to Robin Hunter-Clarke, so are the hospitals in the rest of the UK and those in England are now in a worse state than those in Wales. Saying this is all due to the Assembly and the Welsh are unable to govern themselves is pure fantasy and Robin Hunter-Clarke should hang is head in shame for parroting this piece of rubbish.

    The Assembly has completely failed the Welsh people in every area of life. Again Robin Hunter-Clarke should hang is head in shame for parroting this Tory / Abolish Wales Party Party rubbish.

    The UKIP has already done over the UK with Brexit, they now seem determined to do over Wales too.

    I hate to have to keep repeating this, but the Empire has gone, England is no longer the centre of the Universe. Trying to keep the UK in a sealed time capsule where nothing will ever be allowed to change, with England out of the EU and Wales and Scotland must go back to direct Mess-Minster Mis-rule will result in Wales and England going down the pan and Scotland separating.

    Yes Robin, I am grateful you save the world in 1914, 1939 and 1966 but it’s 2017. The past is a foreign country, ok to fondly recall but not one to recreated and live-in.

  3. Devolution means devolution!

    It’s simply disgraceful that the elites of UKIP’s leadership should attempt to undermine the democratic will of the Welsh people – clearly made in a simple yes/no referendum. Wales must take back control!

  4. The income tax hypothecation clauses are a dogs breakfast which will inevitably dilute political accountability over who is responsible for setting the rate. AMs will blame MPs and vice versa. They are also a direct betrayal of the First Minister’s promise during the 2011 referendum on the last extension of the Assembly’s powers.
    The Tories love it because it will only make more difficult for any future redistribution inclined UK Chancellor to introduce overnight changes to the income tax system and rate bands that would squeeze the rich a bit harder.
    The people of Wales have not the slightest desire for more taxes and more Assembly Members to be foisted on their shoulders. They want their politicians to address the crisis in our hospitals and make good on their so far empty promises to take our children up, not down, the international PISA rankings in English, Maths & Sciences. By failing to do so and instead spending the coming 12 months obsessing about their name and electoral system the non-UKIP parties are burying their heads in the sand and playing into the hands of the anti-politics brigade. I fear this will eventually have uncomfortable consequences.

  5. A piece of Trump-worthy demogoguery from Mr Hunter-Clarke. The Assembly is us and we, the Welsh people, are the National Assembly. If it and the government are not working we have the ability to throw the rascals out and elect another lot. If power regresses to Westminster we will lose that ability because Westminster general elections are never decided in Wales. Instead of insulting the Welsh people, Mr Hunter-Clarke should say what constructive use a UKIP administration would make of the extra powers in the Wales Bill.
    And don’t I recall, during the Brexit referendum UKIP saying that powers brought back friom Brussells should come to Wales? Wasn’t there some talk of a Welsh fisheries policy from UKIP? The referendum over, UKIP shows its true colours – any hypocritical line to win the vote, all forgotten when it’s over.

  6. Well hang on a second, don’t UKIP support a fully devolved English Parliament? Their new leader Paul Nuttall is very keen on the idea. So how can one support full devolution for England but not for Wales?

  7. Too little too late – UKIP should return to its 2003 manifesto position of abolishing the Assembly. Like the EU, it serves no useful purpose and it is incapable of effective reform. UKIP should also abandon its federal UK policy. We need less government and far fewer jobsworths on the taxpayer funded payroll. Give the money to taxpayer funded employees who do useful work.

    If the people of Wales really want their own government then the only viable solution is self-funding independence with the almost guaranteed 3rd World status that involves for an uncompetitive socialist state with a ~£15 billion/~50% annual deficit.

    As things stand, UKIP are simply part of the problem not part of the solution!

  8. UKIP should return to its 2003 manifesto position of abolishing the Assembly.

    But they wanted to be elected

  9. Health Service DOWN, Education DOWN, Inward Investment DOWN, I would like the Assembly to prove that they can manage what they already have responsibility for,. So far the Assembly has done a very poor job at almost everything they touch. There are too many Major European backed projects like the Technium Projects that have wasted HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of pounds and they have ignored the now diminishing small business sector. How many more failures are we going to let happen before we wake up.

  10. Strange that a councillor for Skegness South in Lincolnshire, England, would call Wales’ hospitals and schools “our” hospitals and schools? But even stranger is his statement that that the idea that the Assembly being given more responsibility is “something we cannot support”. The same week as Neil Hamilton clearly stated in the Senedd on Tuesday that UKIP Wales supported the broad principles of the Wales Bill.

  11. Barry Phillips: Inward investment is actually up and the Assembly has done some things well but that isn’t fun and doesn’t make the news. The Welsh ambulance service has gone from worst to one of the better ones in the UK, for example. They have not ignored small businesses and the proact and react programmes helped small businesses through the last recession. Small business start-ups in Wales have recently grown faster than the average in the Uk. The education outcomes have been a failure, no question. But the OECD says policy is now on the right track and Wales should stick with it. So we have the usual mixed picture. Why are some people so determined to see everything in Wales as a disaster? Net migration from England to Wales is positive. Why do they come if it’s all so terrible? I don’t know when people will wake up. But what do you want them to do if they do wake up? One thing they could do is stop voting tribally and elect the Party with the best government programme. If the Assembly is abolished as some Neanderthals on this site want the Welsh people will have no control at all and will just have to lump whatever they get.

  12. Barry Phillips…
    The failures you mention are down to the policies of the Welsh Labour Government, if you don’t like their policies then you can vote them out at the next Assembly election in favour of a party you think will do better. The Wales Bill is determining HOW Wales should be governed and NOT who should be in government in Wales. If we don’t like the policies of the current Welsh Labour Government (and granted there is plenty to complain about) then we can vote them out.

Comments are closed.

Also within Politics and Policy