Wefan Gymraeg

Kirsty Williams welcomes ‘reserved powers’ and ‘votes for 16’ announcements

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have welcomed announcements today that the Coalition Government will publish plans for a reserved powers model for Wales, and that 16 year olds will be able to vote in a future income tax referendum.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Wales Office Minister Jenny Randerson made the announcements to the House of Lords today, having been driving the devolution agenda for Wales in the aftermath of the Scottish referendum.

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats said:

"I'm glad that Liberal Democrats are continuing to lead the charge in Government to bring power closer to the people of Wales.

"The announcement on a 'reserved powers' model is good news for Wales and Welsh devolution. I am pleased that Ministers in the Coalition have listened to the consensus in the Assembly and have acted swiftly. That is how it should be.

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats have long called for a 'reserved powers' model. It is evident that there is still a certain amount of confusion over which areas are devolved to Wales and which are reserved by the UK Parliament. The system has been crying out for clarity.

"This announcement will hopefully provide a more stable relationship between Cardiff Bay and Whitehall, reducing the numbers of disputes and enabling Assembly Members to be more creative and responsive to the demands put upon them by voters."

On votes at 16 for a future income tax referendum, Kirsty Williams added:

"This is another giant step forward for the votes for 16 campaign. Despite what the detractors claimed, the world did not end when 16 year olds voted in the Scottish referendum, in fact quite the opposite - they showed a keen, mature interest in the issues at hand. It is only right that 16 and 17 year olds should be able to vote on who has the power to set their tax rates."

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