As Huw Lewis has been gagged by Rhodri Morgan until the future make up of government in Wales is sorted, I thought I may as well stick the boot in. For many months Plaid's Leanne Wood and Huw have been skirmishing over Labour's claim that they can end child poverty from within the current remit of the Assembly. It was due to be the flagship Labour pledge of last months election, before they realised that everybody else knew they couldn't deliver.
Interesting therefore to see Rhodri Morgan push the fight against child poverty right up the agenda for the Third Assembly, which brought this swift response from Alan Trench. For those of you unaccustomed with Mr Trench he is a senior research fellow at University College London's Constitution Unit. He is reported today in the Western Mail as saying:
"The child poverty stuff is pretty nebulous, with most of the power to make improvements lying with non-devolved departments like Work and Pensions and the Treasury, although it is possible for the Assembly to tinker at the edges with initiatives like free school breakfasts.....The fact is, though, that in terms of really tackling child poverty Wales doesn't have the powers or the money."
which is more or less the point Leanne has been making - ie that control over the benefits system and primarily the ability to redistribute wealth is the key to tackling child poverty.
This is Huw Lewis' primary policy area of concern. I wouldn't want to question his sincerity without knowing him, but if this is his major policy area then he would have to come to the conclusion that Wales needs powers over these areas currently preserved at Westminster (which admittedly goes far further than a proper Parliament based on current devolved ideas.)Far from being the biggest unionist in the Assembly, shouldn't he be the most ardent nationalist?
Political boffin, keen fisherman looking forward to retirement.
- One Last Post
- Retired - Gone Fishing
- Who Calls the Shots for Labour in Wales?
- More Labour Strife over Red - Green deal
- The Lib Dem Farce Keeps on Rolling
- Andrew Davies Wades in
- Is Gordon Brown Calling the Shots?
- Peter Hain - Billy No Mates
- Shurmer goes to the BBC
- Mittal Funding Scandal Makes the 'Times'
- The Contradictions of Huw Lewis
- Labour-Tory Coalition Shock in ......East Dunbarto...
- Where Next for Wales? - Adam Price MP
- Archbishop Slams Government of Wales Act
- ▼ June (14)