Alexander confirms Welsh finance powers

Chief Secretary publishes official response accepting vast majority of Silk Commission recommendations

The Westminster government has published its official response to the Silk Commission into financial powers for Wales, supporting all or in part 30 of the 31 proposals.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has confirmed that the new powers will be granted to Wales, including the power for the Welsh Assembly government to call a referendum on devolving powers on raising income tax in the Principality.

The increased financial powers would give the Welsh government greater freedom to borrow and invest in new infrastructure, with the M4 in south Wales and the North Wales Expressway listed as key projects.

The Westminster government has also announced plans to give its Welsh counterpart early access to limited capital borrowing powers in advance of the implementation of tax powers specifically to fund upgrade work on the M4.

“This will enable the Welsh government to get work underway on this important project as soon as possible,” the response said.

“The package of financial powers we have published today will be a powerful tool, bringing greater financial accountability and transparency to the Welsh government,” said Alexander.

“I am delighted that my work with Jane Hutt, the Welsh government finance minister, and close cooperation between our two governments has delivered this excellent outcome for Wales.”

Prime Minister David Cameron and deputy Nick Clegg announced earlier this month that the government would back the vast majority of proposals in the Silk Commission, which was published in November last year.

To read the government’s response in full, click here.