Devolution

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New analysis by Prof David Bell, a CCC Fellow based at the University of Stirling, has concluded that those benefits newly devolved under the Scotland Act 2016, “are typically older, more likely to be single following the death of a partner, not in employment and heavily dependent on benefits and pensions rather than earned income”.
 
Professor Bell adds, “Further, those receiving devolved benefits are much less likely to be in households where children are present.”
 
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A landmark new report by the Wales Governance Centre (WGC) at the University of Cardiff, Government Expenditure and Revenue Wales 2016, gives the clearest picture yet of the state of welsh public finances. Guto Ifan and Ed Poole at the WGC, explain that the report shows that public sector expenditure for Wales exceeded public sector revenues by £14.7 billion in 2014-15.
 
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The suggestion that an increase in the additional rate would lead to a mass migration of wealthy Scots has been widely - and rightly - criticised, says David Eiser. However, the likelihood of widespread tax avoidance by higher earners is a very real one. 
 
The SNP has been taking a lot of criticism for its failure to support a rise in the Additional Rate to 50p. 
 
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Does Nicola Sturgeon’s refusal to increase the Additional Rate of Income Tax to 50p unless it is increased in the rest of the UK undermine the case for tax devolution? David Eiser argues that there were always going to be constraints on the exercise of devolved powers and incumbent governments have to decide how these relate to the wider policy context.
 
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So the fiscal framework has been agreed. Or has the can just been kicked down the road? Both interpretations are consistent with last week’s last-minute agreement between the Scottish and UK governments. There is now no significant obstacle to the passage of the Scotland Bill. As a result the Scottish Parliament will take control over the setting of the rates and bands of income tax from 2017 and a raft of welfare powers will be introduced when the administrative arrangements can be made.
 
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