Tories feel a referendum on tax varying powers difficult to win.
There are many Conservative Assembly Members and Members of Parliament that don’t think a referendum on tax varying powers can be won.
If a ‘yes’ campaign in such a referendum is as good as lost then it’s highly unlikely that the referendum will ever see the light of day.
But Tories in both Westminster and Cardiff Bay want the Welsh Government to take responsibility for many taxes including income tax.
Their view is simple if the Welsh Government had responsibility for raising taxes it would be a great deal more circumspect on how it spent the money.
Currently Wales has plenty of representation to make laws, but no direct taxation to pay for those laws, the opposite of the situation that led to Britain losing its American colonies.
Carwyn Jones, Wales ‘s First Minister, is probably happy with the status quo. He can devise a programme of government on the grant he receives from central government. If there’s not enough in the coffers he can blame them for the cuts. How often has he said it’s “all the Tories’s fault”?
If taxation was to firmly rest within the Assembly’s powers, the Westminster Government could say “If you want more cash to spend, raise it.”
It’s the prospect of a referendum that is stopping any movement on this front. Nothing can happen until the people have spoken.
Referendum to be dropped?
That’s why the Tories will drop the need for a referendum. It’s not if, but when?
David Cameron may pave the way for an about turn on this matter when he visit’s the Royal Welsh this week. With the announcement being made at the Tory party conference and expect it to feature in the next Wales Bill.