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Bourne: Reviewing the way Wales is funded

Speech to the National Assembly for Wales.

"I am pleased that this motion has been brought forward, because it represents important challenges that we face in the third Assembly, with our extended powers.

The motion, advisedly, does not mention the Barnett formula, but mentions the funding and financial powers of the Welsh Assembly Government. However, Jenny Randerson, in proposing the motion, followed by Dai Lloyd and Mike German, has put forward the case for looking at the Barnett formula.

There is no harm in looking at it, but I am not convinced, as they are, that this is necessarily bad news for Wales. However, if we look at the evidence—and if the evidence shows that it is bad news for Wales—as Assembly Members, we can scarcely ignore that.

I agree with Dai Lloyd that there is a great danger—and it certainly happened with this Welsh Assembly Government, or its similar predecessors—that the Government ignores commissions. It ignored the Sunderland commission, and it ignored large parts of the Richard commission.

This must not happen in this case; if we have a commission, it is important that its recommendations are taken on board. Although it will have United Kingdom dimensions, it will not just be for us to act on it, as it will have implications elsewhere. However, the formula has been there a long time, and there is no harm in looking at it—let us look at the evidence. There is a strong case for saying that.

On the other issue, which Jenny Randerson touched on, namely borrowing, I fully agree with that. I cannot see why we should not have borrowing powers. Lord Heseltine this week has produced a taskforce report for our party, which strongly recommends that local authorities and other bodies, including the Assembly, should have that power. I wholeheartedly agree with that; we should have that power, and it should be outside Treasury control.

I am sure that the Treasury will put up a strong fight, but that is an issue for another day. As part of this commission, and it is within the terms of reference that are set out here, we should be looking at that too.

Therefore, I urge Members to support the setting up of this commission. It does not prejudge the outcome. The outcome is what the evidence will be, and it will look at a range of evidence, across all the constituent parts of the United Kingdom, as it should do in relation to the Barnett formula. The borrowing powers represent a much simpler issue, but I strongly support that. I urge Members to vote in support of this motion."

"Yr wyf yn falch y cyflwynwyd y cynnig hwn, oherwydd ei fod yn cynrychioli'r heriau pwysig a wynebwn yn y trydydd Cynulliad, gyda'n pwerau estynedig.

Nid yw'r cynnig, yn fwriadol, yn crybwyll fformwla Barnett, ond mae'n crybwyll pwerau ariannol a chyllido Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru. Fodd bynnag, mae Jenny Randerson, wrth gyflwyno'r cynnig, yna David Lloyd a Mike German, wedi cyflwyno'r ddadl dros edrych ar fformwla Barnett. Ni wnaiff edrych arni ddim drwg, ond nid wyf wedi fy argyhoeddi, fel hwy, nad yw hyn o anghenraid yn newyddion drwg i Gymru.

Serch hynny, os edrychwn ar y dystiolaeth—ac os dengys y dystiolaeth ei bod yn newyddion drwg i Gymru—fel Aelodau Cynulliad, prin y gallwn anwybyddu hynny. Cytunaf gyda David Lloyd fod perygl mawr—a digwyddodd yn sicr gyda Llywodraeth y Cynulliad hwn, neu ei rhagflaenwyr tebyg—fod y Llywodraeth yn anwybyddu comisiynau. Anwybyddodd Gomisiwn Sunderland, ac anwybyddodd rannau mawr o Gomisiwn Richard.

Rhaid i hyn beidio â digwydd yn yr achos hwn; os cawn gomisiwn, mae'n bwysig rhoi sylw i'w argymhellion. Er bod iddo ddimensiynau'r Deyrnas Unedig, nid mater inni yn unig fydd gweithredu arno, oherwydd y bydd ganddo hefyd oblygiadau mewn mannau eraill. Fodd bynnag, bu'r fformiwla yma ers amser maith, ac ni wnaiff edrych arni ddim drwg—gadewch inni edrych ar y dystiolaeth. Mae dadl gref dros ddweud hynny.

Ynglyn â'r mater arall, y cyffyrddodd Jenny Randerson arno, sef benthyca, cytunaf yn llwyr â hynny. Ni allaf weld pam na ddylem gael pwerau benthyca. Mae'r Arglwydd Heseltine yr wythnos hon wedi cynhyrchu adroddiad tasglu ar gyfer ein plaid, adroddiad sy'n argymell yn gryf y dylai fod gan awdurdodau lleol a chyrff eraill, gan gynnwys y Cynulliad, y pwer hwnnw.

Cytunaf yn llwyr â hynny; dylai'r pwer hwn fod gennym, a dylai fod y tu allan i reolaeth y Trysorlys hefyd. Yr wyf yn sicr y bydd y Trysorlys yn codi'i ddyrnau, ond mater ar gyfer diwrnod arall yw hynny. Fel rhan o'r comisiwn hwn, ac mae o fewn y cylch gorchwyl a ddisgrifir yma, dylem fod yn edrych ar hynny hefyd.

O'r herwydd, anogaf yr Aelodau i gynorthwyo i sefydlu'r comisiwn hwn. Nid yw'n rhagddyfarnu'r canlyniad. Y canlyniad fydd y dystiolaeth, a bydd yn edrych ar ystod o dystiolaeth, ar draws holl rannau cyfansoddol y Deyrnas Unedig, fel y dylai mewn perthynas â fformiwla Barnett.

Mae'r pwerau benthyca yn fater llawer symlach, ond yr wyf yn gadarn o blaid hynny. Anogaf yr Aelodau eraill i bleidleisio i gefnogi'r cynnig hwn."

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