Wales politics

Welsh tax powers 'should match' Scotland and Northern Ireland

Image caption The prospect of more tax powers for Scotland and Northern Ireland has sparked debate in Wales

Assembly opposition parties have called for more tax powers for Wales, to match those set to be given to Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said Wales should be able to set its own air passenger duty.

He called it "perverse" for Scotland to gain the power while Wales did not.

Plaid Cymru said new tax powers heading to Scotland and Northern Ireland had changed the "going rate" for devolution and Wales should get the same.

First Minister Carwyn Jones has said Wales should be offered the same devolved powers as Scotland, following publication of the Smith Commission report.

'Green light'

The Silk Commission on Welsh powers proposed devolving control over the duty on long-haul flights to the assembly, but the idea was left out of the Wales Bill.

That decision was a "mistake", Mr Davies told journalists in Cardiff Bay on Tuesday.

Image caption Andrew RT Davies said it would be perverse for Scotland to control air passenger duty while Wales did not

"Given that the green light has been given to Scotland for air passenger duty then I think it's perverse it's not devolved to Cardiff," he added.

Speaking later during First Minister's Questions on Tuesday, Mr Jones agreed it would be "completely unacceptable" for Scotland but not Wales to get powers over air passenger duty.

Earlier, Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood responded to reports that Chancellor George Osborne will give powers over corporation tax to Northern Ireland.

With Scotland recommended to get full control over income tax bands and rates, she said these latest developments set "a new going rate for devolution".

Ms Wood repeated her call for higher Welsh public spending, although political opponents have dismissed Plaid's claim Wales should get an extra £1.2bn a year.

Welsh ministers say they should receive £300m more each year from the Treasury.

Changes to the size of the Welsh government's annual grant are decided using the Barnett spending formula.

Ms Wood said the Welsh government had "failed to fight for fair funding, so my question to the government is what is their game plan now?"

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams said the "momentum for devolution" was moving "faster now than it has for years".

"We must take this opportunity to ensure Wales gets the powers it needs to help build a stronger economy and fairer society," she added.

Image caption Leanne Wood says Plaid is only arguing for fair treatment for Wales compared to other parts of the UK

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