Fiscal Policy

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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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“Flaw” in Barnett formula protects Scotland and Northern Ireland from hundreds of millions of cuts

At present, the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland get most of their money in the form of a block grant from the UK Treasury. How this grant changes from year-to-year is largely determined by the Barnett formula – which aims at providing the same pounds-per-person change in funding for the devolved governments as is the case in England.

Professor Kirstein Rummery discusses the opportunity provided to Scotland when on the 9th Oct the Finance Cabinet Secretary John Swinney delivered the 2015-16 budget to the Scottish Parliament. For the first time since 1707, Scotland had the opportunity to start raising its own taxes.  A chance for the Secretary to start flexing his muscles and demonstrate would Scotland could do to achieve its goal of a fairer, more prosperous society ahead of the Smith Commission’s recommendations for further devolved powers.

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Scotland 2014: The Budget

Professor Kirstein Rummery and Professor David Bell discuss the implications of the 2014 budget presented to the Scottish Parliament by John Swinney MSP, The Cabinet Secretary for Finance on the 9th October. Click here  to watch video on BBC iPlayer. 

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Latest blogs

  • 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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