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Tories go on the offensive over Constitutional Commission costs

24 Jun 2022 3 minute read
Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd.

The Welsh Conservatives have accused the government of being out of touch with the priorities of the people of Wales and “wasting taxpayers’ money” on its Constitutional Commission.

The opposition has gone on the offensive after the cost of the commission were revealed in response to a written question by Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies.

The Welsh Government confirmed that £207,000 was spent on the commission last year but the budget has increased fivefold to £1.1 million for 2022/23 and will increase again if it is still in place beyond March next year.

The response also revealed that the Chair of the Expert Panel is paid £250 per day while other members of the panel receive £200.

Not devolved

The Welsh Conservatives have criticised the setting up of the commission as the constitution is not devolved, and claim its membership is largely made up of people on record as wanting more powers for Wales.

“While many people in Wales are facing mounting pressures on their finances, Labour ministers in Cardiff Bay are obsessing over areas of policy they have no power over and wasting taxpayers’ money with this pet panel,” Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies MS said.

“On top of this pointless and unwanted exercise, Labour are pushing for 36 more politicians in Cardiff Bay at a cost of £100m, without the public having a say in a referendum.

“The hard-working people of Wales do not want more politicians, but more doctors, nurses, and teachers. Labour are failing in the day job so look for distractions, but voters will see right through them.”

Manifesto promise

Establishing the commission, co-chaired by Professor Laura McAllister and Dr Rowan Williams, was one of the key promises of Labour’s manifesto for the 2021 Senedd elections.

The Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales was set up in November 2021 with two key objectives – to consider and develop options for fundamental reform of the constitutional structures of the United Kingdom, and to consider and develop all progressive options to strengthen Welsh democracy and deliver improvements for the people of Wales.

Earlier this month, plans to increase the number of Senedd members to 96 were endorsed by members of all parties other than the Welsh Conservatives, however a YouGov poll published yesterday showed just 39% of respondents backed expanding the Senedd, with 61% opposed.

The Welsh Conservatives have called for the plans to expand the Senedd to be put to a referendum before they go ahead in 2026.


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Erisian
Erisian
5 months ago

Offensive Tory on the offensive: As predictable as the existence of rice pudding and income tax.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
5 months ago

£250 as a day rate is about what I was getting over 12 years ago so I don’t see a problem with that. We also desperately need a constitutional investigation before launching the sort of citizen led constitutional convention that Ireland had a few years back.
Only if you are as anti-democracy as the current UK Tories would you object to it.

Richard
Richard
5 months ago

ARTD & chums are right to a
challenging focus on Welsh Gvt expenditure etc / that is the role history and the electorate has given them. Just as the Libs and Greens add concern on the silly list system…..we need good and focused comments and positive debate …..

We as a nation have a listening, inclusive and respectful history of inclusion – and must not replicate the steam roller Westminster ways.

hdavies15
hdavies15
5 months ago

ARTD would not object to such a Commission if the outcome was guaranteed to conform with his party’s predisposition. He and his team fear a shift to a pro independence stance among those who are currently shuffling around in that middle ground.

Not My Real Name
Not My Real Name
5 months ago

The tories have always been offensive

Brian Clement
Brian Clement
5 months ago

“The hard working people of Wales”. I am sure that we all immediately picture the Tories manning the barricades for those folks…NOT!

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
5 months ago

If the Constitutional Commission was in Labours’ manifesto, the matter has already been voted upon and won. RT should invite Bodger the boss down for a day in Y Senedd to show him how a government ‘gets on with the peoples’ priorities’ and is ‘delivering for the people’. A government never referred to in a good light in Westminster circles for fear of its’ own failures being flagged up and only ever mentioned when a bile ball needs coughing up and spitting out.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
5 months ago

Out of touch. So the Conservatives I
In London who spent £500,000 on two painting that looked like a two year old painted them, is. Andrew RT Davies just shut up for once your whining makes me nauseous.

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