Blow for No camp following Welsh FM intervention

The anti-independence campaign has been dealt a significant blow following warnings from Carwyn Jones over the damage failing to devolve more powers is doing to the No campaign in Scotland.

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones has sounded the alarm over Westminster’s foot-dragging on devolving more powers to Wales, warning that “a failure to implement tax and borrowing powers for Wales could make a yes vote in the Scottish independence referendum more likely.”

With the BBC reporting that legislation to devolve additional powers to Wales is likely to be absent from the Queen’s speech, the Welsh First Minister’s intervention has simply highlighted Westminster’s continued intransigence when it comes to giving up real power.

Last month the Westminster Government ruled out any consideration of devolving corporation tax to Northern Ireland until after Scotland’s referendum, dealing a severe blow to campaigners in Northern Ireland from across the political divide.

At Labour’s recent Scottish conference, Johann Lamont faced ridicule after her MPs swiftly undermined proposals on devolving powers, confirming the determination of Westminster MPs to cling on to power despite the wishes of people in Scotland.

Commenting, SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell who sits on the Referendum Bill Committee said:

“This is a telling intervention, which undermines the credibility of the No campaign's claims about more devolved powers following a No vote.

“Just a few weeks ago the Westminster Government ruled out even considering devolving corporation tax to Northern Ireland, and now it seems Wales is next to hit the brick wall of Westminster's inaction.

“Leaving decisions in Westminster’s hands is simply is not working for Scotland, and polling has shown that a clear majority of people want all tax and welfare decisions affecting Scotland to be made in Scotland.

“Only a Yes vote for an independent Scotland in September 2014 will secure those powers for people in Scotland, and enable us to build the wealthier, fairer country that Scotland can be.”

Carwyn Jones’ comments can be viewed at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-22345610

Westminster’s refusal to consider devolving corporation tax to Northern Ireland until after Scotland’s referendum can be viewed at http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/business-news/cameron-wont-bu...

Details of Labour Westminster politicians refusing to back Johann Lamont’s devolution proposals can be viewed at http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/anger-within-labo...

Details of the recent poll on where decisions on tax and welfare affecting Scotland should be made were as follows:

Yougov/SNP (Fieldwork: 20th-22nd March 2013)
Sample size: 1105 Scottish adults

Which government do you think should be responsible for all tax and spending decisions in Scotland, including tax revenues from oil and gas?

The UK government - 35
The Scottish government - 52
Don't know - 13

Which government do you think would be best at deciding welfare and pensions policy for Scotland?

The UK government - 34
The Scottish government - 53
Don't know - 13