21/09/2014 The Wales Report


The votes have been counted and Scotland has decided. But what will the result of the Scottish Independence Referendum mean for Wales?

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The Scottish referendum is over and the big question has finally


But what does that mean for devolution in the UK?


Here in Wales, there are many questions that will affect all


Tonight we are looking to Wales?s future with a selected audience,


who have questions for our panel of political leaders.


Stay with us for some answers on a special Wales Report.


Good evening, and welcome to a special edition of the Wales Report.


It?s been a momentous week ? Scotland has cast its vote


The First Minister, Alex Salmond, has resigned as negotiations with


But despite the No vote, it seems the status quo will not survive.


Further devolution is on the cards for Scotland, for Wales


So, change is coming but what does all


Well, tonight?s audience is made up of people who work in Welsh public


life ? in healthcare, education, those who deliver your local


services and they want answers from our panel of leading politicians.


With us tonight is the Welsh Government Finance Minister,


Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies.


Kirsty Williams is the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Leanne


Before we kick off tonight?s debate ? remember you too can have


your say on social media using the hashtag - #thewalesreport.


Our first question tonight is from Jessica Blair from


I think this is the one and only goal we should be focusing on.


Economic reform is needed. That package of economic members has to


be correct and write for Wales. So that our democracy can use those


powers to increase our economic performance and prosperity across


Wales. I think the decision about reserve powers has already been


taken by the court. Irrespective of where I sit on the


legislation referred on the decision made, we will have a referred powers


model, I have no doubt about it. Obviously it is time to get the


measures in place and pass the necessary, regulations, legislation


to allow it to be conferred back to the acceptably. Under the powers it


is what Scotland has already. It clears it up and makes sure everyone


knows where the responsibility lies. Kirsty Williams, what powers should


be coming to Wales Like you, Jess, I think we have to have something that


is clear and permanent. I think it is time to stop tinkering and


constantly going back to this issue every few years. We need a permanent


settlement that allows the Welsh Assembly and Welsh Government to get


on with delivering decent public services to Wales. To do, that we


have to have some form of fiscal devolution. The ability for the


Welsh Government to raise a sum of the expenditure that then goes it


then goes on to spend on public services. I think that leaves to


increasing accountability but gives us the tools that if we reap it


back, that money goes to Wales, rather than handing it back to


London and then begging to London. We should have clear recommendation


abouts policing, youth justice, energy consensus, I think those


things should be decided by the Welsh Government and scrutinised by


the Welsh Assembly. We will be talking about a commission, part 1


talking about financial powers, part 2, talking about extra powers like


youth justice and policing and extra Assembly Members. Let's go to you.


What powers does Wales need? If I can start by saying I spent sometime


in Scotland during the referendum campaign. What is very different


about the debate we are having here in Wales about the kind of powers


that we want, its very technical, it is jargon, it's boring, to be honest


with you H it contrasts very -- to. To be honest with you, and could


contrasts with the debate people have been having in Scotland and why


they want independence, so they can have a different kind of politics.


For me the starting point should be about looking at the problems we


have and what powers we need to be able to solve the problems. What do


we need? Well, if we take that starting point, we know there are


many people struggling in Wales at the moment to make ends meet.


Austerity is pushing people towards food banks. We have already had -


this weekend, news of somebody dying in an ambulance, because there isn't


enough money, frankly, in the NHS. Now, we can either carry on like


this, year-on-year, with the gap between what we need to provide and


the money we get growing, because of this austerity agenda from the


Westminster establishment. Or we can think long term about the kind of


infrastructure we would need to be able to properly fund. Is that what


you need more handouts and grants? No, I need to get to the point where


we can stand on our own two feet. Part of the debate in Scotland was


about the future of the NHS. And while the NHS and health is


devolved, it is true to say, that the financing of the NHS is not. And


if privatisation and patient charging and austerity continues in


England, there will be a knock-on effect, through the Barnett Formula


on the amount we have to spend in-house. These are the questions we


should be debating, not the technicalities we have had so far.


Right, you are in power in the Assembly. What powers are you


desperate for as a Government? is the vision? What do you want it


make Wales work? -- to is the vision? What do you want it


work. We have a strong call, supported by all parties


work. We have a strong call, affected in the Silk Commission,


one, in terms of financial affected in the Silk Commission,


which we all said today that we need but


which we all said today that we need is about making the decisions


which we all said today that we need decisions made in Wales. We clearly


nooe need a settlement in terms of our financial powers. I have to say


what is important is we come through our financial powers. I have to say


the post-Scotland referendum debate stronger, as a nation, in Wales,


that we come through this saying - you know, we already have done a lot


of work, we have you know, we already have done a lot


result of devolution. Let's make sure that we have the powers - and


it is the power to improve the prospects for our young people.


Well, with respect, which powers do you need? Do you want income tax


with no shackles? Would you, as in charge of finances here, would you


love to be controlling income tax in Wales? Would that make a difference?


? Clearly we are progressing through Westminster, a very important piece


of legislation as Andrew has said, a very important piece of legislation


which is actually going to start devolving taxes from... You want


that. devolving taxes from... You want


get fair funding, if we get a referendum in the Silk Commission.


You would rather not referendum in the Silk Commission.


know the tax base in Wales isn't great. There are


know the tax base in Wales isn't of risks in terms of tax devolution.


We have already taken of risks in terms of tax devolution.


tax... You don't want it. of risks in terms of tax devolution.


fair funding f we don't, then, of course, 75% of our money for Wales


would still course, 75% of our money for Wales


fair at the moment. Of course we will move on. With respect... If we


get funding. This is why people are switched off by the debate. I'm


asking you, do you want income tax or not. You are in charge of Wales's


asking you, do you want income tax finances, you are the woman with


your finger on the pulse, do you want income tax? Can I say... Yes or


no. If we don't get a better financial settlement, we will be


disadvantaged by having income tax-raising powers. It is too risky


at the moment. If we do, then, of course as the people of Wales, they


will then have their say in a referendum, which is what it


will then have their say in a be. A few comments from the back


row. be. A few comments from the back


On health matters and I know we are moving on to finance but if the call


is for more powers for Wales but you using the powers you already


have? We have a public health bill working its way through the Assembly


at the moment which had working its way through the Assembly


ambitions at the start, health in all policies and it is being diluted


down. You have a real opportunity with the powers you


down. You have a real opportunity some legislation that will really


make a difference to some legislation that will really


Wales, both in health and otherwise and you seem shy to use the powers


you have currently got. Why do you need more? Andrew RT Davies? It is a


good point. We have a backs et of responsibilities and powers and


legislative compassities transferred over the last 15 years. As I said,


the beall and end all for me is making sure the financial settlement


is krevenlingt the financial settlement is a settlement that will


give us economic prosperity and by doing that, you remain competitive


and that's about lowering tax. I think there is a moment here where


we could put together a package that will last, rather than make do and


mend, the approach we have had over the last 15 years. It is mentioned


already the tax powers that are before Parliament are still subject


to a referendum. We hear England will get extra devolution, not


subject to a referendum, subject to a vote in a general election. Why


does Wales constantly have to be... Second class. Puts its ambitions


before constant barriers and referendums. Have a conversation,


come up with something that lasts and vote on it in an election, not


consfantly forcing us to go through referenda.


Are we getting the leadership 234 Wales? The referendum is on the


table for the powers devolved to Wales? Why do we have to go through


that process, given the fact that the powers for Scotland and England


are more advanced and not subject to a referendum. It seems the game has


changed since the powers were outlined. It will be interesting to


see if we have changed with it. It is important that we put on record


tonight that we are ?300 million under-funded in Wales and everyone


recognised. Jerry hull ton did an important piece of work which the


Welsh Government asked him to do. Independently, he said, "You are


underfunded ""Unless we deal with that under-funding and make sure


tlat Westminster Government - and I think we would all agree here


tonight, all parties - we need to get that addressed. We need to get


that ?350 million, and put a floor on Barnett. I'm sorry, we have to


say that now because it is quite true, as Richard said, we have to


use the powers we have. This is crumbs off the table. Would you


accept the basic central principle that we should be equal to Scotland


in this? There should be nothing that comes to Wales that is below


what is being offered to Scot snrand give some leadership on this now. I


know the leader isn't here today. -- Scotland.


This is the third panel debate we have taken part in, as party


leaders, and we haven't had the opportunity to hear from... Show


some leadership. It is essential, isn't t Leanne that we get the


change that Westminster accepts that Wales has to have the devolution.


You couldn't deliver that. Can you just respond on this, because there


has been a lot of questions. Carwyn Jones hasn't been on any of these


panels, if you want to address that point? I'm the Finance Minister for


Wales responsible for making sure we take through these particular


powers. It is very important, the quality. Don't let's use this


opportunity, Leanne, I would say, to divide. Let us show and I think


Kirsty Williams has said this on all the panels, let's show where we are


united in Wales. Outside of Wales they will not listen to us unless


they see Wales is speaking with a united voice. And people know what


the Welsh want. That's the point. And we have no clarity on that.


Let's hear from the panel what they think. Let's hear from Kirsty


Williams. I think we are not going to get anywhere if we cannot provide


that strong, clear leadership and that strong clear - ask Westminster


at this crucial time. We have seen the debate being dominated about


what is going to happen in Scotland and England and Wales is being


pushed to the sidelines again. We have a responsibility amongst all


the political leadership and civic leadership to speak as much as we


can with one clear voice about what we want out of Whitehall and


Westminster. If we think that they are sitting up there in London


thinking - yes, we'll hand it all over to Wales, then we are kidding


ourselves. We have to find a way forward, otherwise we will be pushed


to the margins. We will get crumbs off the table. A vow has been made


that Scotland will get this from David Cameron, and he has chucked


England into it. You can see in the papers it is all about Scotland and


Wales, Scotland is being forgotten. On the remarks the Prime Minister


made on Friday morning, he included every part of the Union needing a


firm settlement, talking about what we need is to be constitutionally


durable. He moved on to the general election, the main thing was


attacking Labour. In fairness, it is correct that with a general election


in seven or eight months' time that the people of the UK know, that when


they are putting their X on the ballot paper, the party that will


sit in Government for five years will resolve these issues and offer


the answers. Have you spoken to David Cameron since the result? I


have spoken to many people, not David Cameron. You would think he


would ring you and say - where does Wales think on this? David Cameron


and myself have spoken about length on what I believe needs to be done


for Wales. What are you telling him? I have told him exactly what we need


to do on fiscal matters. I'm confident we will get the fiscal


settlement we require. I opened the programme saying I have the scars on


my back to say that last spring I put myself forward to make sure


Wales' voice was heard and as long as I'm leader of the Welsh


Conservatives, Wales's voice will be heard in Westminster and we will get


that settlement. It fits into the timetable that


David Cameron has set out to resolve this issue for this island. We have


a responsibility, as Richard Touchstone, to use the powers we


have to solve some of the deep-rooted structural problems we


have in Wales. I would suggest those issues have not been faced up to


because we have got caught in a constitutional quagmire which is the


easy option for politicians to skew skew their inabilities. Let us talk


about funding now. It seems the Barnett Formula -


the system that decides how Wales is funded, is unlikely to be


reformed any time soon. What changes need to happen to make


up the estimated shortfall Thank you very much. The Barnett


formula is the mechanism whereby the money is divided across the UK. At


the moment Scotland gets more than Wales and England. Where do you


stand on this? Do we need to scrap this formula? It is clear that if


you have formula which is based on population and not need, as he is


part of the UK get poor alike Wales, you will have a real issue. But you


cannot have economies which rely on spending money, not reading it.


There are pieces of Barnet which are not addressing key issues.


University research funding, all economies are dependent on drive


research funding. It is not devolved. UK Government has set up a


?10 billion business bank and that is not devolved. Wales loses out on


that. It is not just about reforming the Barnett formula itself but


making sure that other parts of the UK Government is also devolved in


Wales to drive forward the economy. Kirsty Williams, your leader says it


continues so that as it? My party actually says that Barnet will


remain the formula for funding but we will ensure there are additional


payments made. One reason Scotland does well is that prior to


devolution the Scottish office was very good about getting items put


into the block grant. Wales was less good at that. We have made a


commitment in our manifesto to address the underfunding of Wales.


When you saw the daily record during the campaign, that though signed by


Nick Clegg saying you would really like to scrap the Barnett formula


and he said it with the, where you cross with him? We had already


addressed this back in August... Scotland will not budge on this. We


have said clearly that Barnet will remain for the basis of funding. We


also recognise that Wales does not get a good deal out of the Barnett


formula. We will address the issue of payments above and beyond the


block grant, we made that clear one month ago. It is interesting if you


look at that value, because the sentence before it also says that


resources should be shared equitably across all four nations. That is


about moving towards a new group of needs. We have done the work. We now


we are ?300 million underfunded. Our party has said that will be the


addressed, Ed Miliband said it as well. We have a mechanism and I


think we can now, it is back to weaken the we once the UK Government


to get rid of this step mechanism and make sure they agree in


principle end not continually being disadvantaged by the Barnett


formula. It all stays as it is. The Barnett formula remains for Wales,


no extra funding, how we raise extra money for Wales? Again, United, all


parties signed up to a part in the Silk Commission, we should have the


underfunding address, that was called for... Again this morning, Ed


Miliband said this formula stays. You're saying one thing and your


team in London are seeing something else. It is about how we address...


We instigate a Barnett formula that means any further consequentials


that come to Wales, we get at a level to meet our needs. Jerry has


done the work. But you're looking to other people to do the work. Dylan


makes a good point about what else we can do. Even if we had all the


small taxes and income tax, still 75% of our budget is from the block


grant. The points he makes about how we should ensure we get the funding


from other sources, we have also in Wales progressed from ways we can


get funding through public, private finance. University


get funding through public, private important. Lots of comments from the


audience. Scotland is being offered important. Lots of comments from the


a good deal on powers and funding, because it had leverage, the threat


it would leave the UK, so a because it had leverage, the threat


been thrown at it to keep it in the UK. How can Wales get the leverage


to get what it wants? If we had the leadership on this and didn't


constantly talk about crumbs on the table and moved forward and talk


about scrapping the Barnett formula because it does not meet the needs


of Wales then we would be in a better position. We do not have a


level playing field. There needs to be measures taken in the short-term


to equalise our position and correct our historic disadvantage. In the


long-term, we must move towards a situation where we are economically


self-sufficient. Are we nearly there? Do you genuinely think Wales


foreseeable future? I have ambitions foreseeable future? I have ambitions


for Wales to become independent to make their own decisions. Timescale?


We could not do that tomorrow. How many years are we talking about?


We could not do that tomorrow. How is a big gap. This is the point


about reforming the is a big gap. This is the point


formula... Hang on. When Scotland is a big gap. This is the point


you think they did so? is a big gap. This is the point


knew they were better as part of the union in terms


knew they were better as part of the social solidarity and risks, they


knew they were better. In terms of the future prospects of


knew they were better. In terms of native kingdom. We have a strong


political will read this table today. On independence, given the


timescale. Surely we would all agree that we would want to get Wales in


the position whether they could ask the people of Wales whether they


wanted independence? It is not possible to see how far off that is


because the fiscal gap is big at the moment and the government


because the fiscal gap is big at the taking any measures to close it.


That is why we need a new government after 2016 with plans to close the


glad -- close the gap. You do get clarity in Scotland in terms of who


once fought. Where do you clarity in Scotland in terms of who


terms of a timescale? Isn't a dream or reality? This is all down to


people and they will or reality? This is all down to


when it takes place. I could envisage a situation where there is


a Plaid Cymru government in 2016 with a mandate to drop its own


constitution and a mandate to have a proper industrial policy with powers


to start the process of getting people into work, paying taxes into


a Welsh tax pot and closing the gap. It will not be impossible then to


move towards an independence referendum in the second term. That


would be a matter for the people. We are talking 2020 to then? That could


be possible. The first thing to say is that Wales benefits from the


union. Listening to what is going on about 300 million being


short-changed. We are getting more out of the union than we could end.


As a politician in Wales, I will argue for more for Wales as part of


the union but what we have got to do is create an economy that can


generate more wealth itself. The only way to do that is by having the


fiscal and taxation levers to do that. You grow the tax base. You do


that by incentivising people to work, creating entrepreneurs. Come


to Wales and stay here. You have to lower taxes in Wales. That is the


way you create your wealth. There was no part in arguing this again


and again, you have to have the solutions. This is an important site


you are looking for cancers. That is why we have inward investment


strategies. -- for cancers. That is why we have brought regeneration


ideas forward. The important thing is to generate wealth here in Wales


and link it to specific projects like research financing which is a


UK wide issue and wheels can punch well above its weight by plugging


into the UK agenda of improving the research bases on nice islands. On


taxation, you want income tax, would you lower rates for the top earners?


Possibly. I am not prepared to make a commitment. That is an ongoing


debate on that in the party. We have not decided. The problem is the


party leaders the others he made these promises to Scotland without


consulting Parliament and they made them out of panic, and the Barnett


formula, making promises to Scotland without considering the rest of the


UK, including England, means they will began adding momentum towards


speak up. A commentator said the referendum in Scotland had a week


and the sleeping beast of English nationalism. Party leaders will need


to address this. We do not have any UK politicians on the panel. I think


that is what caused the problem in Scotland in the first place, they


spend their time in Westminster rather than Scotland. A question


about health in the front? It is like begging. The idea that English


waters will give ?300 million more to Wales seems ludicrous to me. We


have to break out about this argument about how much money we


need, important although it is. We need to energise politics in wheels,


it is a steal in Wales as it is in England because we are not engaging


people in the issues that matter. For example health, people feel


passionately about it but they feel pushed out of that debate. It is


difficult to have an adult debate about the health service in Wales.


There are important decisions to be made. Politicians arguing is a


massive turn-off. I think we're having a debate about what powers


but not with the public about why need those powers. I am not sure if


there is a classical consensus about how and when it is done around the


table. We have not expressed to teachers why they would be better or


worse off if this was to come. How exactly will be change the lives of


people in Wales? We have already said we are 300 million short since


the Barnett formula came in. It has degenerated the NHS and dirt


education system. Three local primary schools near me had a


consultation about closing. If we need to protect things for future


generations, how will we have the ability to invest in our future, we


have not got the education in Wales for people to come year.


The lady at the back, it is creditedical that Wales' voices are


heard. That's why we have to have unity and we have in terms of the


way forward but let's remember it was our First Minister, Carwyn Jones


who two years ago said we need a UK convention to discuss this. It can't


be just - Were you not impressed? I was impressed Andrew that David


Cameron said Wales should be at the heart of the debate, which was good.


It was a nod. Wales should be at the heart. So obviously we pressed for


this UK convention but it is critical, as Marcus has said, that


we can move forward to engage people in Wales, people are passionate


about the health service. I have to say I'm financial minister, with a


budget that has been cut by this UK Government, by 10% in real terms,


that's why there is a pressure on health and education but let's use


this opportunity to unite where we can, speak strongly together, get


the engagements of not just people who use services but our health


professionals and our teachers, of course and our children. I want to


also go for votes for 16 and 17-year-olds because I think it'll


make a difference. Let's try to get another question in. That comes from


the academic, David Howell. David. Where would you like to see


Wales in five years from now? Big question. Let's go to somebody who


has not constrained by being in office, Leanne Wood. I would like to


see us in a position where the fiscal gap was closing, where our


economy was improving, where more of our people were in better-paid jobs


and where we were starting to put together the institutions and


infrastructure, whereby we could get to the point where we had the debate


that people have had recently in Scotland about why powers, why


independence, what independence could achieve, to prevent us


carrying on with the same-old business as usual. The cuts you have


talked about, that is currently closing schools and putting our


health service in jeopardy. Whichever party is in power in


Westminster is going to continue with the austerity agenda. The


debate in Scotland was something alternative to this could be


possible with independence. I would dearly love us to be able to have a


similar conversation like that here in Wales. Andrew TR Davies. 2019, in


Wales, what is going on? A lot will depend on who gets selected in 2016.


There is a sequence of elections, 2015 and 2016, the again and Welsh


Assembly elections which will set the tone for what we want to be in


2019. We can carry on with in business as usual with the Labour


Party and the other two parties propping them up or we can move to


aprogressive agenda that grows the we'll shall economy, offers


opportunity for people in Wales to grow, create the pillars of society


and ultimately support our own public services. You could do that


now, you are in power in Westminster and giving more to Wales. We are


doing that, look at the economic growth, the job creation, look at


the way the UK is looked at across the rest of the world. We have a


successful model at running the economy. Look at who willed a and


France. Compare and contrast what we have done by stabilising the public


finances and turning people back to work, to what is going on in France.


Book in Wales ultimately what we have to do is be passionate and have


belief in what we can do and it has to be focussed in stopping this


anaemic economic growth, and growing the economic economy, so people feel


prosperous in Wales, making money. In England resentedment of


Westminster and north and Midlands is leading to demands for city


states and devolved regions. In Wales, there is also resentment not


just of Westminster, but Cardiff Bay, too, hasn't the time come to


empower the level of government that's closest to the communities


people leave in. More devolution, we will come to


that. Our questioner, where do you think we will be. Two questions,


where I would like us to be and where I think we'll be. We talked


about strength in the devolution settlement. I would like to see that


and a lot of people would agree. We have talked about demonstrable


returns in relation it the devolution settlement in Wales.


Whether voters necessarily believe we are in a position to do something


positive, with a stronger devolution settlement, I think is a more


pressing question. The only thing I would add to that is what I would


true lie like to see is the level of engagement from voters that we have


seen in Scotland. I think it is a tremendous thing to celebrate. On


that, coasty Williams, the vision thing, the engagement. -- Kirsty


Williams. Everybody knew what we were talking B how do you replicate


that in Wales? -- talking about. I would like to see a settled


constitution so we can move on from talking about the these issues and


concentrate on what we are going to do with the powers. I think that's


how you get the engagement when you will be offering voters in Wales


real choices knowing you can deliver them rather than having to second


guess whoo might or might not happen in waechls you are right,


absolutely. I represent a Mid Wales constituency. Believe me people in


Brecon often feel as disinterested in Cardiff as they do in else W so


really driving power down, devolution not just for Cardiff but


back to local government in Wales. We are coming to the end of the


programme. The vision thing, you are in charge, Jane, what is the vision,


five years from now? Well, in five years, I hope, actually, Andrew, we


will have a Labour Government in Westminster to deliver on some of


the issues which are affecting so many people today Ed Miliband has


said ?8 minimum wage which will address some of the poverty issues


people are experiencing in Wales. What we have to do and I entirely


agree with panel members and my colleagues, that we have to do more


to engage people in the political process. I have mentioned 16 and


17-year-olds. Our young people tell us what they think Wales should be,


a Wales which is more prosperous. A Wales which is healthier but also a


Wales which is fairer. I think that's where - that's why, in terms


of our discussions, our engagement with young people particularly, that


will bring people on board but it has to be a fairer and more equal


Wales. And let's face it, I do think many of the panel's members have


said - what we should be doing with our powers now? We went on the


doorsteps and argued all of us we should have legislative powers.




We are drawing to an end. We have three leaders around the table. Will


you be leading your party in five years Leanne Wood? I hope so. Yes.


Definitely. No challenges coming down the road? You never know in the


Conservative Party. And Kirsty Williams? Any plans? No


plans, except keeping on pressing Wales's case in Westminster. That's


what I think my job at the moment is to do, to ensure that we get our


fair share out of these discussions. Carwyn Jones isn't here, he will


still be, presumably, leading your party, will he? Do you fancy it? He


has taken the lead not just in Wales but for Wales on behalf of the whole


of the UK. Let's become his but for Wales on behalf of the whole


convention and make sure Wales is strong in the debate.


OK, well I think the debate will go on. Thank you very much to our


panellists. That's all we on. Thank you very much to our


for tonight. The debate goes on social media at


# The Walesreport. Huw Edwards will be back with a new series of the


Wales Report in October. But for now, thanks for joining us,


diolch am Wylio, Nos Da, Good Night.


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