How Should Wales be Funded?

Short Debate Contribution

Mark Drakeford: In a short debate a few weeks ago, Mike said that a land-value tax met the key criteria he outlined for a sensible taxation system for Wales. Since then, the proposal for land-value tax has been endorsed by newspapers as wide ranging as the “Daily Mail” on the one hand and the “Morning Star” on the other, and by commentators ranging from Samuel Brittan on one side of the spectrum to Will Hutton on the other. As well as clearly being a tribute to the persuasive power of the short debate, it suggests that there is a movement towards what Will Hutton calls a reform of, ‘one of the most irrational and unfit-for-purpose tax systems in the world.’

That is how he describes the cumulative impact of successive post-war Chancellors of the Exchequer tinkering at the margins of the British tax system. In answer to your question about how Wales should be funded, the answer is not to argue for new taxes—that is not the sensible way to think about this—but to argue in favour of a sane, sensible, and progressive tax system. That is what greater chances for the Assembly to be in charge of these things would necessarily bring about.