Tuesday, 3 April 2018

EVEL is as EVEL does

The Labour MP for Swansea East has earned a great deal of praise for her campaign to establish a fund to cover the cost of children’s funerals in England, mirroring the situation in Wales, and rightly so.  I don’t want to take anything away from her determination or her success, but it did strike me that there’s a small constitutional issue here.
This is a case of an MP for a Welsh constituency campaigning for a change in policy in England only (because the policy has already been implemented by the devolved administration in Wales) which doesn’t affect the constituency which she represents or the people who live there.  Whatever happened to the infamous West Lothian question? 


Democritus said...

Not sure if the adoption of similar policy for England will mean a barnett consequential for Wales that could replace money the Welsh Govt has found from other sources until now. Understand is part of Hammond's Budget, so we'll have to await the Red Book to see. If it is being funded via extra funding for Dept for Communities & Local Govt, probably yes; if DWP (in the past, stingy & means-tested, support for funeral costs has been provided as welfare payment) probably not - but in that case it would be UK-wide benefit in any event. Despite 1 or 2 taxes being devolved recently, overall welsh govt revenue still moves in lockstep with spending on devolved depts in England. UK Govt spending decisions in relation to the England only Depts (i.e. all the big ones bar defence & DWP) and associated UK-wide taxation/borrowing rates have big, obvious impacts on Wales - which is why we require effective representation at Westminster.

Anonymous said...

What amazes me is that no one in the media ever seems to pick up on constitutional absurdities of this sort.