MPs get stroppy over right to buy
Posted on Sunday, October 19, 2008 at 2:13pm
A few days ago I received the letter from Dafydd Elis Thomas addressed to Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy regarding the housing LCO that has been considered by the Welsh Affairs committee. Dafydd doesn’t take setbacks to our constitutional development in Wales lightly, so I knew that he had a few strong words to say to our man in the Wales Office!
For those of you who don’t know, we are seeking powers for the Welsh Assembly government to suspend the right to buy in areas where this may help with the supply of social housing stock. Within this remit is the call for the powers to abolish the right to buy. It doesn’t mean that the WAG will choose to use these powers imminently, but it would have the power to do so, should it see fit.
But this particular transfer of power is proving difficult at the moment. The Welsh Affairs Select committee wants to limit the powers that we acquire in this area, so that we are able to suspend the right to buy, which is a flagship One Wales government policy. However, the WAG would not be able to abolish the right to buy under the ruling of the committee. Dafydd has branded this as an ‘anti-devolution sentiment’ by the Labour dominated committee, and I couldn’t agree more. It is no surprise that the MPs are revolting in this manner- they do not want to relinquish any additional powers to Wales. The Tories and the Labour MPs are as bad as each other on this issue, and is again a clear reason as to why we need a full legislative parliament for Wales.
I despair of what the committee will do when they receive the LCO on the Welsh language. There will be more than a letter landing neatly on Paul Murphy’s door when that time comes, that’s for sure.
A copy of the letter is attached.