Senior AM to Call for Legislative Power; DEVOLUTION: Cabinet Member Is to Demand Legal and Tax-Raising Powers Akin to Scotland's
Byline: CLIVE BETTS Assembly Editor
THE FIRST member of the cabinet administration to demand full lawmaking powers for Cardiff will speak out today.
The present situation is a "constitutional time-bomb" set to go off shortly after administrations of different political persuasions are returned in Cardiff and London.
The warning and subsequent demand for full powers by 2010 from Alun Pugh, deputy minister for education, will be repeated next week in slightly different terms by the heavyweight and highly regarded Constitution Unit of the University of London.
Mr Pugh, Labour AM for the closely-contested seat of Clwyd West, will look back in history when he makes his demand at the University of Glamorgan in Pontypridd, where he was once student-president.
He will say that the delivery of the full parliament for Wales will involve the completion of "Keir Hardie's unfinished business"; Mr Hardie was the MP for Merthyr and Labour's Parliamentary leader until his death in 1915, and a fervent advocate of home rule.
The Constitution Unit looks to the future in its The State of the Nations 2001 (Imprint Academic). The present secondary law-making powers held by Cardiff are inherently unstable, says the unit.
"The Welsh settlement is effectively rewritten with each new Westminster Act; it is clear that many involved in Welsh public life see the key issue as acquiring primary legislative power, and to do so during the life of the second National Assembly, to be elected in May 2003, " says the study.
The unit blames the crooked interface between the powers held by London and those enjoyed by Cardiff.
Mr Pugh focuses instead on what will happen when Labour is no longer in power in both Cardiff and London.
He will tell students, "Having no law-making powers in Cardiff means that in the event of the Tories returning to power in Westminster, we in Wales could be steamrollered by laws whipped through by English Tories.
"Scotland, however, could block the re-introduction of poll tax, education vouchers and NHS privatisation . …