The second in the series deals with weather a Devolved Wales could have tax varying powers, it is not surprising that Guto thinks not:
"Around 85% of the Welsh population live within 50 miles of the English border. This is crucial and makes a separate tax system in Wales a damaging prospect for all of us"
One of the difficulties people in the UK have with border problems is that having lived as an Island or collection of Islands, for so long we forget that these border problems are things that most countries have dealt with for a very long time. Having large populations living close to boarders with other countries is actually the norm. If Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal etc can overcome such difficulties then England, Wales and Scotland can too if they choose to go their separate ways.
But looking at the conundrum Guto raises from a Devolutionist view rather than a Nationalist one, I feel that there is a moral problem with having this level of government that has the power to spend money, but cannot be held to account for raising any of the money that it spends.
I love my free bus pass, I love the fact that I can use the swimming pool free of charge. You might argue that paying for these services means that less is spent on education, but the fact that I have these services means that I don't go to school so if I want to be selfish what care I. If providing the services meant an extra £X on my tax bill I might think differently.
The Boston Tea Party was about no taxation without representation – isn't representation without fiscal responsibility just as bad?
Even if all Guto's comments about the difficulties of differing tax systems between England and Wales are accepted, there is a way in which Wales could have fiscal responsibility.
On top of my Council Tax from Conwy Council, I have to pay a precept for the North Wales Police and a precept from my parish council.
Couldn't the Assembly also raise a precept?
Since the inception of Council Tax, Welsh councils have charged £200-£600 less than many English councils, doesn't this leave wiggle room for the Assembly to raise some of its own money through a devoloution precept?
A £100 band D Assembly precept would still make living in a band D house in Flintshire a lot cheaper than living in a band D house ascross the road in Cheshire, but would give, not tax raising powers, but tax raising responsibility to the Assembly.