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Devolution, sustainability and GDP convergence: Is the Welsh agenda achievable?

Author

Listed:
  • Lynn Mainwaring
  • Richard Jones
  • David Blackaby

Abstract

Mainwaring L., Jones R. and Blackaby D. (2006) Devolution, sustainability and GDP convergence: is the Welsh agenda achievable?, Regional Studies 40, 679-689. The Welsh Assembly Government has a constitutional duty to promote sustainable development. The devolution settlement does not, however, empower the Assembly to deviate from UK tax rates, while the Assembly Government has itself adopted ambitious gross domestic product growth targets. Here, the paper considers notions of sustainability and it attempts to place the Welsh agenda within those conceptual approaches. It then discusses the significance of the absence of tax variation as an instrument for generating relative sustainability gains. In particular, it examines the regional relevance of the 'double-dividend' argument that governments can substitute efficient environmental taxes for inefficient labour-market taxes. Finally, it considers the implications for sustainability of promoting quality of life, or happiness, achievement above the gross domestic product as the main goal of policy. The lessons drawn should be of relevance to other semi-autonomous regions. Mainwaring L., Jones R. et Blackaby D. (2006) La regionalisation, le developpement durable et la convergence du PIB: le programme gallois, est-il realisable?, Regional Studies 40, 679-689. L'Assemblee galloise se voit attribuer en droit constitutionnel la promotion du developpement durable. Neanmoins, l'accord sur la regionalisation ne donne pas a l'Assemblee le droit de s'ecarter des taux d'imposition en vigueur au R-U, alors que l'Assemblee elle-meme a vise des objectifs ambitieux pour ce qui est du PIB. Cet article cherche a examiner des notions de developpement durable et a relativiser le programme gallois par rapport a ces approches conceptuelles. Il s'ensuit une discussion de l'importance du manque de variation fiscale comme outil qui engendre des gains relatifs dus au developpement durable. En particulier, on examine l'importance regionale de l'argument en faveur du 'double dividende', a savoir les gouvernements peuvent substituer des taxes ecologiques efficaces au taxes du travail inefficaces. Pour finir, on considere les retombees pour le developpement durable de la promotion de la qualite de la vie, ou du bonheur, par-dessus le PIB comme but principal de la politique. Les lecons ainsi tirees devraient presenter de l'interet pour d'autres regions semiautonomes. Pays de Galles Regionalisation Developpement durable Double-dividende Bonheur Mainwaring L., Jones R. und Blackaby D. (2006) Machtubertragung, Nachhaltigkeit und Konvergenz des Bruttoinlandsprodukts: ist das walisische Programm durchfuhrbar?, Regional Studies 40, 679-689. Die Regierung der Parlamentarischen Versammlung von Wales hat die in der Verfassung verankerte Pflicht, nachhaltige Entwicklung zu fordern. Das Ubereinkommen der Machtubertragung befahigt die parlamentarische Versammlung jedoch nicht, von den Steuersatzen des UK abzuweichen, obschon die Regierung der parlamentarischen Versammlung sich selber ehrgeizige Wachstumsziele fur das Bruttoinlandsprodukt gesetzt hat. Der vorliegende Aufsatz geht auf Vorstellungen der Nachhaltigkeit ein und versucht, das walisische Programm in diesen begrifflichen Ansatz einzuordnen. Dann folgt eine Diskussion der Bedeutung fehlender Steuerunterschiede als Instrument zur Schaffung einer verhaltnismassigen Zunahme der Nachhaltigkeit. Insbesondere wird die regionale Zunahme des Argumentes der 'doppelten Dividende' untersucht, das Regierungen gestattet, unwirksame Arbeitsmarktsteuern durch effiziente Umweltsteuern zu ersetzen. Abschliessend werden die Implikationen fur die Nachhaltigkeit der Forderung der Lebensqualitat, bz.w.des Erreichens einer Zufriedenheit uber das Bruttosozialprodukt hinaus als Hauptziel der Bestrebungen besprochen. Wales Machtubertragung nachhaltige Entwicklung doppelte Dividende Zufriedenheit Mainwaring L., Jones R. y Blackaby D. (2006) Transferencia de competencias, sostenibilidad y convergencia del PIB: ¿Se puede alcanzar el programa de Gales?, Regional Studies 40, 679-689. El Gobierno de la Asamblea de Gales tiene el deber constitucional de fomentar el desarrollo sostenible. Sin embargo, la transferencia de competencias no implica que la Asamblea este capacitada para desviarse del tipo de gravamen que se aplica en el Reino Unido, y al mismo tiempo el Gobierno de Gales ha adoptado ambiciosos objetivos de crecimiento del PIB. En este documento consideramos las nociones de sostenibilidad e intentamos ubicar la agenda de Gales en estos planteamientos conceptuales. Asimismo analizamos en que medida es importante la ausencia de una variacion fiscal como instrumento para generar beneficios relativos de sostenibilidad. En concreto, examinarmos la relevancia regional del argumento de 'doble dividendo' segun el cual los gobiernos pueden sustituir impuestos para el mercado laboral por impuestos eficaces para el medio ambiente. Para terminar, examinamos las implicaciones de la sostenibilidad en el fomento, por encima del PIB, de la calidad de vida o la felicidad como el objetivo principal de la politica. Las ensenanzas extraidas deberian ser importantes para otras regiones semiautonomas. Gales Transferencia de competencias Desarrollo sostenible Dividendo doble Felicidad

Suggested Citation

  • Lynn Mainwaring & Richard Jones & David Blackaby, 2006. "Devolution, sustainability and GDP convergence: Is the Welsh agenda achievable?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(6), pages 679-689.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:40:y:2006:i:6:p:679-689
    DOI: 10.1080/00343400600868994
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    References listed on IDEAS

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