Further evidence of Welsh Tory incompetence is their claim that the draft Localism Bill which was published on the 13th December 2010, will give Welsh taxpayers a veto over council tax increases. Jonathan Morgan AM claims that this Bill will allow taxpayers in Wales the power to demand a referendum over council tax increases and this press release was published in full by our wannabee Clwyd South AM, Cllr Paul Rogers. Clearly neither of these two Tories have actually read the explanatory notes to this Bill otherwise they would have realised that very little in this Bill affects Wales because local government in Wales is a devolved issue and remains so. The only part of the Bill that really affects Wales is Clause 57 which reads:
Clause57 – Assembly Measures dealing with referendums on council tax increases.
216. Clause 57 confers legislative competence on the National Assembly for Wales. The clause allows the Assembly to pass laws (known as Assembly Measures) in relation to local referendums on proposed increases in council tax levels. This would enable the Assembly to make provision for Wales corresponding to the provision made for England by clause 56.
The Bill therefore grants the Welsh Government the power to legislate to allow a referendum IF IT SO CHOOSES TO UTILISE THAT POWER. I would argue that why waste money on a referendum which could cost as much if not more than the council tax increase proposed.
This is yet another example of Tory incompetence and really raises the question of whether candidates with so little knowledge of devolved government deserve the Welsh public's vote.