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Block Grant Settlement

Volume 525: debated on Wednesday 16 March 2011

6. What recent representations she has received on the mechanism for calculating the block grant settlement for the Welsh Assembly. (45736)

I thank the Minister for that reply. In 2009, the Holtham commission concluded that the Barnett formula was no longer fit for purpose and was in need of urgent reform. Does the Minister agree that the Barnett formula should be replaced with a mechanism based on need?

It is fair to say that everyone recognises that the Barnett formula is nearing the end of its life. However, it is necessary to stabilise the public finances before we consider the formula. In the wake of the vote in the Welsh referendum, the coalition will establish a Calman-like process for the funding of the Welsh Assembly.

Earlier the Secretary of State said that the devolution settlement was a moving object. Will the commission to which the hon. Gentleman has just referred consider whether the Welsh Assembly should be given tax-varying powers?

It is important that the Welsh Assembly should be accountable for its activities, and I can tell the hon. Gentleman that nothing is ruled out.

Order. There are far too many private conversations taking place in the Chamber and they are very noisy. It is most discourteous. Let us have a bit of order.