Devolution

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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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The decision by the Secretary of State for Wales to pause the legislative process for the Wales Bill not only makes constitutional sense but, say Huw Pritchard and Lleu Williams of the Wales Governance Centre, it’s good politics. 

The Secretary of State for Wales, Stephen Crabb, promised to make “significant changes” to the Draft Wales Bill, a promise that has been warmly welcomed by many commentators.

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Devolution to local government in England raises concerns over the lack of public engagement and the legal framework, writes Robert Thomas of the University of Manchester School of Law.
 
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After months of protracted negotiation, the UK and Scottish governments have finally found something they can agree on, says David Eiser - that two plus two equals five. 
 
So, after months of negotiation, a deal has finally been agreed on how the Scottish Government’s block grant will be adjusted to reflect its new powers over taxation and welfare.
 
John Swinney has effectively got the deal he wanted, at least until 2022. And Nicola Sturgeon has said the deal provides ‘not a penny of detriment’ to the Scottish budget.
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  • 18th December 2018

    Aileen McHarg looks at last week’s decision by the Supreme Court in the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Legal Continuity) (Scotland) Bill reference which demonstrates both the strength and the weakness of Holyrood as a legislature.

  • 17th December 2018

    The Supreme Court's ruling on the Scottish Continuity Bill gave both sides something but acknowledged that the vast bulk of the Bill was within Holyrood's competence at the time it was passed however, suggests Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, the strong feeling that devolved interests are not taken seriously highlights underlying fractures within the Union.

  • 14th December 2018

    Disagreements about the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland are about more than practical considerations of where customs checks should be performed, says Michael Keating.

  • 14th December 2018

    Derek MacKay’s third budget of this parliamentary session was doomed to be overshadowed by events at Westminster.

  • 12th December 2018

    Although the N-VA has insisted it left the Belgian government to pursue ’principled opposition’ those principle are, says Coree Brown Swan, at the very least informed by a strategy that allows it to maintain policy influence from outside government while countering the electoral threat posed by a resurgent Vlaams Belang.

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