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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  • 22nd January 2019

    The UK is increasingly polarised by Brexit identities and they seem to have become stronger than party identities, a new academic report finds. Only one in 16 people did not have a Brexit identity, while more than one in five said they had no party identity. Sir John Curtice’s latest analysis of public opinion on a further referendum finds there has been no decisive shift in favour of another referendum. The report, Brexit and public opinion 2019, by The UK in a Changing Europe, provides an authoritative, comprehensive and up-to-date guide to public opinion on each of the key issues around Brexit. CCC Fellow, Dr Coree Brown Swan contributed a chapter on "the SNP, Brexit and the politics of independence"

  • 22nd January 2019

    In the papers accompanying the draft Environment (Principles and Governance) Bill published at the end of 2018, the UK Government says that it is “exploring opportunities to co-design the final proposals with the devolved administrations.” There are clear benefits in having strong co-operation and collaboration across the UK in the oversight of our environmental law and performance. Yet the challenge of finding a way forward in terms of working together is substantial since each part of the UK is in a different position at present. Given where things stand today, it may be better to accept that a good resolution is not possible immediately and to revisit the issue at a later stage - so long as there is a strong commitment to return and not allow interim arrangements to become fixed. Colin Reid, Professor of Environmental Law at the University of Dundee examines the issues.

  • 17th January 2019

    Richard Parry assesses a memorable day in UK parliamentary history as the Commons splits 432-202 on 15 January 2019 against the Government's recommended Brexit route. It was the most dramatic night at Westminster since the Labour government’s defeat on a confidence motion in 1979.

  • 17th January 2019

    What is the Irish government’s Brexit wish-list? The suggestion that Irish unity, as opposed to safeguarding political and economic stability, is the foremost concern of the Irish government is to misunderstand and misrepresent the motivations of this key Brexit stakeholder, writes Mary C. Murphy (University College Cork).

  • 17th January 2019

    Brexit is in trouble but not because of the Irish backstop, argues the CCC's Michael Keating.

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