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Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, 11 December 2014 - Evidence from Professor David Bell and Mr David Eiser, Stirling University

The Draft Scottish Budget 2018-19

Strategic Context

It is a pleasure to introduce the Draft 2018-19 Budget to the Scottish Parliament. This will be the first year in which the full proposals of the Smith Commission can be implemented. It has taken three years to put these proposals in place.

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Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, 11 December 2014 - Evidence from Professor Nicola McEwen, ESRC Centre on Constitutional Change, University of Edinburgh

This paper outlines some of the issues that may emerge from the recommendations of the Smith Commission on the devolution and administration of social security. It begins with a general observation on the changing nature of the devolution settlement, the scope of the recommendations on welfare devolution and flexibility, and the challenges of increased policy interdependence.

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Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, 11 December 2014 - Evidence from Professor Charlie Jeffery, Professor of Politics, University of Edinburgh

The Smith Commission report was a compromise of often quite divergent positions that was crafted at speed. Already it has been criticised from a number of directions, including from within parties represented in the process (though not, generally, from those directly involved in the process).

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The Smith proposals are radical: the devolution of extensive tax and welfare powers will make Scotland one of the most autonomous regions in Western Europe. It seems that only a federal system can manage these changes while also giving Scotland a continuing stake in the Union. Otherwise, as the Scottish Parliament gets stronger and stronger, the UK will appear more and more irrelevant to many Scots. It is not too dramatic to say that federalism may well be the last throw of the dice for the Anglo-Scottish union. 

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Is the Smith Report devo-max? Not according to Michael Keating, who says that the proposals are neither devo-max nor the 'near federalism' suggested by Gordon Brown.

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The Smith Commission seems set to include some welfare devolution in the Heads of Agreement to be announced on Thursday. But what does welfare devolution mean in practice? Professor Nicola McEwen argues that there are a variety of models of welfare devolution, each with different implications for the ability of the Scottish Parliament to redesign welfare and meet social and economic needs.

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