National Assembly to debate report examining Welsh Government’s borrowing powers
The National Assembly for Wales is to debate whether or not the Welsh Government should be allowed extra powers to borrow money.
The debate, which will take place later today (October 24), will focus on a report published by the Assembly’s Finance Committee.
If the Welsh Government were to be granted borrowing powers, the report recommends that such powers should be put on a firm legislative footing and exercised responsibly with due regard for prudence, sustainability and affordability.
The committee also believes that such powers should be used to finance capital spending and boost economic growth in Wales and should not have a negative impact on the Welsh block grant – the process by which the Welsh Government gets its funding from the UK Government.
During the course of its inquiry into borrowing powers and innovative approaches to capital spending, the committee looked at the borrowing arrangements that are currently in place across the UK and the lessons that could be learned from local government and other parts of the UK.
The findings of the report have been submitted to the Silk Commission for consideration. The Silk Commission is currently reviewing whether fiscal powers should be devolved to the National Assembly.
The Committee made 17 recommendations in its report. All but one have been accepted by the Welsh Government with the remainder being given further consideration.
“In the current economic climate, where capital budgets are in decline, it is vital that governments are able to use limited resources,” said Jocelyn Davies AM, Chair of the Finance Committee.
“Capital investment can act as an important lever to support the economic growth we all would like to see.
“We welcome the response of the Welsh Government to our findings and also look forward to findings of the Silk Commission, which is due to report next month.”Follow @CaerphillyObsvr