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.
David Eiser looks at the distributional effects of implications of the Chancellor's budget.
Speaking before Budget 2014, John Swinney declared the Budget was the Westminster Government’s ‘last chance to seriously tackle inequality’. Early in his Budget speech, George Osborne argued that ‘income inequality is at its lowest level for 28 years’, so he clearly agrees that it is an important issue. (1) But did the Budget measures do anything to improve this statistic further?
The final report of the Labour Party’s Devolution Commission is now out, ready for presentation and, we presume, approval at the Scottish Labour Conference this weekend. The publication of the report leaves the Conservatives as the only significant pro-union party yet to declare its hand on what further devolution it would consider in the event of a No vote in September.
On 18th March, 2014, Prof. Brad MacKay is launching the key findings from his ESRC research fellowship, exploring the business decision-making in conditions of constitutional and political uncertainty in Scotland and the United Kingdom. You can view the full report The Scottish Independence Debate: Evidence from Business. Here, Brad reflects on some his key findings.
A version of this blog appeared in the Guardian, 11 March 2014
At its height, the welfare state was a symbol of nationhood and solidarity that helped Scots to feel at home in Britain. Nowadays, much of the core welfare state functions have been devolved to the Scottish Parliament. The one that remains at Westminster - social security - is taking a battering.