Wales could gain borrowing powers
Wales could be about to gain borrowing powers in a move that has been described as an “historic” agreement with the UK Government.
For the first time, the Welsh and UK Governments have established an agreement in principle for the nation to be able to loan money to pay for major schemes.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said today's announcement "is an important step forward on the devolution journey for Welsh people."
Finance Minister Jane Hutt agreed it would be beneficial to Wales.
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She said: “The statement we are publishing today includes a new commitment by both Governments to review the path of Welsh relative funding at future Spending Reviews.
"I welcome the in principle devolution of capital borrowing powers, which should give the Welsh Government an additional lever to generate economic growth.”
The administration in Cardiff Bay cannot currently borrow money for large projects and relies on an annual grant of around £14.95 billion from the UK Government.
Unlike Scotland and Northern Ireland, who receive similar funds, Wales has no borrowing powers.
However, these powers will only come into force if the administration in Cardiff Bay raises its own funds.
Decisions on the devolution of taxes – which could provide a new source of revenue – will be made by Silk Commission, in a report which is due out on November 19.
Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones, said he hopes today's announcement will "reassure the people in Wales of the progress both Governments have been making on Welsh funding arrangements."
Community Housing Cymru Group Chief Executive Nick Bennett welcomed today's announcement, saying: "Wales, Northern Ireland and many English regions have been badly affected by 30 years of failure in regional policy across the UK.
"We need to be taking more responsibility for funding our infrastructure."