The Communist Party in Wales has called for federalism in Britain as ‘the only progressive and democratic solution to the national question’ for Wales, Scotland and England.
Speaking in the party’s Welsh congress in Pontypridd this weekend, Welsh CP secretary Trevor Jones said that equal status between the nations of Britain is essential if they are to stay together.
‘The Tory government’s latest devolution proposals are a constitutional dog’s breakfast’, he told delegates, ‘allowing England’s 533 MPs to overrule 40 Welsh MPs on everything from criminal justice, policing and land use to major infrastructure projects, sports ground safety and dangerous dogs.
He demanded that these and other “reserved matters” should be devolved to the National Assembly in Cardiff as they have been to the Scottish Parliament.
Policies decided at an all-Britain level in foreign affairs, social security and other areas should need agreement from each of the nations of Britain, Mr Jones insisted.
He also warned against ‘taxation traps’ being set by the Tories in the interests of the rich and big business.
‘Increasing income tax in Wales while decreasing the central block grant will redistribute the tax burden from the richer to the poorer parts of Britain, instead of redistributing the wealth’, Mr Jones pointed out.
He warned that the devolution of corporation tax on company profits to Northern Ireland could signal the start of a ‘race to the bottom’ across the United Kingdom.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced in his autumn statement that the corporation tax rate in the province will be set at 12.5 per cent, well below the 20 per cent rate in Britain, putting pressure on England, Scotland and Wales to follow suit. In Germany and the USA, company profits are taxed at between 32 and 35 per cent.
Welsh communists also declared their total opposition to British military intervention in Syria, calling instead for support of the fight against ISIS being waged by the Damascus government and Kurdish militias.
Furthermore, delegates decided that the Communist Party and close allies will contest all five regional constituencies in next May’s National Assembly of Wales elections, thereby ensuring election broadcasts on television and radio.