Devolution Proposals

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Joint statement on more devolution for UK

The leaders of the Scottish Conservatives, Labour Party and Liberal Democrats held a photocall today to mark their joint support for more devolution in the UK.

Following the photocall on Calton Hill, Ruth Davidson, Johann Lamont and Willie Rennie released a joint statement on support for further devolution in the UK.

Below is the text of the statement:

“Power lies with the Scottish people and we believe it is for the Scottish people to decide how we are governed.

For the Scottish Conservatives, the publication of the Strathclyde Commission report on further devolution marks another significant moment in a long journey for the party. Having passed from strident opposition to a Scottish Parliament to the Calman Commission and lines in the sand, they now have their own set of proposals on devolution.

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David Bell and David Eiser examine the financial implications of Scottish Labour proposals for the devolution of certain welfare benefits. 

The Scottish Labour Party has proposed further powers for the Scottish Parliament. They are perhaps not as radical as might have been expected, but the argument is that rights that are enshrined at UK level – such as free health and education – should be paid for from UK tax resources. This leaves around 40 per cent of spending that could be directly paid by Scottish taxes.

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The final report of the Labour Party’s Devolution Commission, published yesterday, contains two main proposals on taxation. Firstly, that the Scottish Parliament’s powers over income taxation should be enhanced with the ability to: vary income tax rates by up to 15p in the pound, compared to the 10p that would be implemented in 2016 as a consequence of the Scotland Act 2012; make the Scottish income tax system more progressive (but not less) by allowing upward variation (only) in the higher rates of tax relative to the basic rate.

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The welfare dimension of Labour’s Devolution proposals

The future of the welfare state has been a key feature of the referendum campaign. Against the backdrop of the UK government’s controversial welfare reforms, the Scottish government and Yes Scotland have argued that an independent Scotland would oversee a more progressive, fairer welfare system. The Labour Party’s Devolution Commission proposals, published yesterday, are likely to reinforce the centrality of the welfare issue. But Labour’s welfare state is unmistakably British.

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