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Although referendums on Scottish and Welsh devolution are planned for the same day, the two proposed elected bodies...
Although referendums on Scottish and Welsh devolution are planned for the same day, the two proposed elected bodies will be markedly different. The Scottish assembly will be a 'parliament' with law making and tax adjustment powers. The Welsh assembly will be chiefly an administrative layer, operating within a fixed budget, with powers to make regulations on matters which have been delegated to it.

Two white papers, Scotland's parliament and A voice for Wales, set out how the proposed elected bodies will operate. The proposed bodies will take over the powers, functions and budgets of the Scottish and Welsh secretaries, although these posts will still exist to give Scotland and Wales a voice in Westminster.

While the Welsh assembly will have no tax adjustment powers, it will be able to decide how its budget is to be spent and determine its own priorities. Matters to be delegated to it will include economic development, agriculture, education, local government, health and social services, housing, environment, planning, transport and roads, the arts and sport. It will also be able to reduce or reorganise more than 80 quangos delivering a range of services such as health, housing and economic development. However, the system of Welsh local government will remain unaltered.

The proposed Scottish parliament will have power to legislate on all domestic issues related to Scotland, save for defence and other strategic issues which will be reserved to Westminster. The Scottish parliament and the proposed Scottish executive will become responsible for matters including criminal law and procedure, civil courts and tribunals, legal aid, judicial appointments and local government. Private and local Bills will also be promoted through the Scottish legislature, instead of through Westminster. Matters to be reserved to Westminster include constitution and foreign policy, international border control, monetary policy, employment legislation, social security policy and administration, regulation of professions, and transport safety.

The election procedures for both assemblies will include an element of proportional representation.

Both bodies will have the right to scrutinise proposed domestic and international legislation affecting Scotland and Wales, and have their representations taken into account.

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