Wales politics

Further Scottish devolution 'should be offered to Wales'

Flags of Scotland and Wales
Image caption The first minister has ruled out giving the Welsh government income tax decision making powers

Further devolution offered to Scotland should also be offered to Wales, First Minister Carwyn Jones has said.

Political parties campaigning for a No vote in Scotland's independence referendum said they will devolve more powers to Edinburgh.

But Mr Jones ruled out giving the Welsh government income tax decision making powers.

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has accused him and the Welsh Lib Dems of "cherry-picking" further devolution.

Mr Jones' comments come after the first opinion poll to suggest the Yes campaign had taken the lead for the referendum on 18 September.

Writing on Twitter after the YouGov poll for the Sunday Times, the first minister said: "Whatever further devolution is offered to Scotland must also be offered to Wales and Northern Ireland."

But he added full control of income tax, something the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have pledged to give the Scottish Parliament if there is a No vote in the referendum, would not be in Wales' interests.

'Wary of new powers'

He repeated his call for a constitutional convention to debate the distribution of powers throughout the UK.

"But we must be wary of taking new powers that carry a significant cost without a transfer of resources," Mr Jones wrote.

"The method and structure of devolution should be the same across the UK, even if the devolved powers may be different.

"We need to assess carefully what is in Wales' best interest. Devolution of welfare and full income tax devolution would not be."

Some tax and borrowing powers are being devolved to Cardiff Bay. They include partial control of income tax, subject to a referendum.

Mr Jones is expected to travel to Scotland this week to join other Labour figures in the Better Together campaign, which is calling for a No vote.

Meanwhile, Ms Wood is expected to travel north to lend her support to the campaign for a Yes vote.

"The outcome of the Silk Commission on further devolution for Wales was a perfect example of three parties undermining a process by cherry-picking and adding caveats, like the lock step on tax sharing powers," she said.

"Regardless of the outcome of the vote on September 18th, the coming months will see the constitutional future of the UK under negotiation."

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