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03 March 2014

Part 2 of the Silk Commission published

Part 2 of the UK Government's Silk Commission, 'Empowerment & Responsibility: Legislative Powers to Strengthen Wales', which focuses on the further devolution of powers to the National Assembly for Wales was published today and recommended widescale reforms to the devolution settlement.

The report has 61 recommendations in all including the devolution of police, youth justice, energy projects up to 350MW and water as well as limited tax devolution which was recommended in part 1 of the Silk Commission. The report also called for the current conferred powers model to be replaced with a reserved powers model which is currently the case in both Scotland and Northern Ireland. Crucially, the Silk Commission did not support the devolution of welfare, as called for by CHC and other Welsh organisations to mitigate the disproportionate effect of the UK Government's Welfare Reforms on people in Wales.

The Welsh Government hopes that the recommendations will be met in full and that those recommendations will be implemented by 2021. It is now up to the UK Government to move forward on any reforms, and the Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones MP, has said that this will be the responsibility of the next UK government due to the limited amount Parliamentary time available between now and the 2015 General Election.

The draft Wales Bill which will devolve limited tax powers to the National Assembly of Wales is currently making progress through Parliament and it is hoped to be implemented in 2015/16.

The full report of part 2 of the Silk Commission can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1cnmvZb

While a summary of the report is also available here: http://bit.ly/MHZUKo