The story of Welsh devolution has been a rocky one and this year is possible one of the most important years for Welsh Taxpayers and the electorate as a whole. We, like other devolved nations have our regional governmental elections on a number of weeks before the EU referendum. With a spattering of In/Out rhetoric we are going to be asked to place our trust in the hands of institutions and politicians which could be described as being nothing more than Local Authority Max.
Or are we?
This week has seen Wales pass its first tax raising power in over 800 years, with the Welsh Government now being able to collect and manage Landfill Tax and more importantly Stamp Duty from 2018. This coupled with the expected devolution of Income Tax powers could mean that the Welsh Government ministers will be in control of the collections and spending of close to £3 billion by 2020.
These moves by the Westminster Government to empower locally elected politicians with a true and accountable mandate can be nothing more than welcomed. It will offer the Welsh electorate and more importantly the Welsh Taxpayer is opportunity to vote for the party that they believe serves their interests here at home. And offer the Welsh Taxpayer the opportunity to call measures of accountability not over Welsh Government spending but also their taxation ensuring that the Welsh political parties have a clear manifesto when going to the ballot box.
Moves to devolve taxation will put an end to the at times petty arguments over funding formulas and give Wales the opportunity to be more competitive within the UK.