Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Affordable housing LCO illegal?

According to the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments (JCSI), a cross party group of MPs and Lords, the recently agreed affordable housing LCO may not be intra vires or in other words, it may be illegal. Their report says that there is no provision in the Government of Wales Act for decisions to be made jointly between Welsh Ministers and the Secretary of State for Wales. After all, Welsh Ministers are not accountable to the UK Parliament.

I've blogged about the problems with this LCO before. Betsan Powys reports the responses to the JCSI report:

"Jointly the Wales Office and Welsh Assembly Government put it like this:

"Both the UK Government and the Welsh Assembly Government have noted the conclusions of the JCSI, but we are confident that the Order we have agreed, and which was approved in the National Assembly for Wales, is legal under the Government of Wales Act. We therefore intend to proceed with the Order."

Or as the Counsel General, Carwyn Jones put it in the chamber: "the JCSI doesn't have a veto of any kind over the way in which an LCO does proceed in the future. Certainly, we are confident that there is no difficulty in terms of the vires of the LCO with regard to any future devolution of power."


Peter Black said...

Leanne, the actual conclusion was that it 'was doubtful if it was intra vires'. In other words it may be ultra vires or illegal.

Leanne Wood said...

Thanks for pointing that out. I've changed it now.