Fiscal Policy

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David Eiser reports from a seminar at the Centre on Constitutional Change led by Carlo Cottarelli of The International Monetary Fund. Carlo shed light on how devolved fiscal powers are operationalised across a sample of 13 federal countries.

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George Osborne made a typically robust defence of his economic record in the last Autumn Statement of this Parliament. Some of the measures he announced may well pay electoral dividends. Although the amounts involved are relatively small, the reduction of Air Passenger Duty for children and the revision of stamp duty in England will no doubt shore up support in the Conservative heartlands.

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Smith Poll: Holyrood Should Control Tax & Welfare - Report & Press Release

A poll probing attitudes to the Smith Commission and its terms of reference has found that 63% of Scots support the full devolution of both taxes and welfare benefits, including unemployment benefit[i]. There were also significant majorities for the devolution of pensions (58%), energy policy (57%) and environmental legislation (62%)[ii]. The Scottish Parliament retained sizeable  majority support for control in all policy areas except immigration, defence and foreign affairs.

The devolution of income tax has received considerable attention in the discussion surrounding the Smith Commission. In the fourth of the extracts from our recent e-book, Dr Angus Armstrong argues that devolving taxation without borrowing powers will leave nobody happy.
 
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Lord Smith is due to present his report on proposed additional powers for the Scottish Parliament on 27 November. In the first of a series of blogs taken from our upcoming e-book, Beyond Smith: Contributions to the continuing process of Scottish devolution, Professor Charlie Jeffery considers how the politics of fifteen years of devolution will determine the outcome. He argues that, while there is clearly room for compromise between the parties, each sees Smith as a staging post on very different journeys.

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  • 20th July 2018

    Richard Parry reviews a fast-evolving situation as the march of time and need to reconcile rhetoric and practicality constrain policy-makers

  • 13th July 2018

    The White Paper published this week talks about the UK Government making ‘sovereign decisions’ to adopt European rules but, as we know from the experience of Norway and Switzerland, this can be an illusory sovereignty when the costs of deviating from the rules is exclusion from the single market or European programmes. CCC Director Professor Michael Keating looks at whether the UK is ready for this kind of deal.

  • 12th July 2018

    Last week the government released its fisheries white paper. While most of the fisheries and Brexit debate centres on quotas and access to waters, there is also an important devolution dimension. Brexit already has profound consequences for the UK’s devolution settlement and fisheries policy is one example of this. So, in addition to communicating its overall vision for post-Brexit fisheries policy, the white paper was also an opportunity for the government to set out how it would see that policy working in the devolved UK.

  • 4th July 2018

    At the same time as Parliament prepares to ‘take back control’ from Brussels, the executive is in fact accruing to itself further control over the legislative process. CCC Fellow Professor Stephen Tierney addresses a number of trends – only some of which are a direct consequence of the unique circumstances of Brexit – which suggest a deeper realignment of institutional power within the constitution and a consequent diminution of Parliament’s legislative power.

  • 27th June 2018

    Faced with a choice between splitting her Cabinet into winners and losers, Theresa May has sought to keep the Brexit crap game going. She does this by avoiding betting on either a hard or soft Brexit. Professor Richard Rose of Strathclyde looks at the high stakes outcomes facing the Prime Minister. .

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