Ceredigion’s Welsh Liberal Democrat MP Mark Williams has welcomed yesterday’s announcement by Liberal Democrat Wales Office Minister, Baroness Jenny Randerson, that Government will publish plans for a reserved powers model for Wales by St David’s Day next year, and that 16 and 17 year olds will be able to vote in a future income tax referendum in Wales.
Commenting Mark Williams said;
‘I am delighted to hear that a reserved powers model for Wales will be published soon. The Welsh Liberal Democrats have called for this for a long time, and as Jenny Randerson said in her announcement, this will bring much needed clarity to the devolution settlement for Wales.
‘It is great to see a developing consensus on devolution for Wales, and I know the Welsh Liberal Democrats are certainly looking for a distribution of powers not dissimilar to what’s being achieved in Scotland. The overwhelming feeling is Wales cannot, and should not be left behind.
‘I am also very pleased to hear that the Government has listened to calls to allow votes for 16 and 17 year olds in some elections, particularly following my question to the Secretary of State on this a few weeks ago, and following the engagement of many young people in Scotland following the independence referendum. In Scotland more than 80% of the 16 and 17 year olds registered to vote did so, and research from other parts of Europe indicates that interest and turnout amongst this age group is higher than the 18-24 age group. Now that Scotland has set this precedent, it would be bizarre indeed for 16 and 17 year olds not to be able to vote in future referendums in Wales.
‘This announcement is a huge step forward in the devolution process for Wales, and is a proud record of delivery for Welsh devolution by the Liberal Democrats in Government.’