Fiscal Policy

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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

  • 18th May 2018

    Different political actors have responded to the decision by the Scottish Parliament to withhold its consent for the UK Government’s showpiece EU (Withdrawal) Bill in very different ways. Prof Nicola McEwen sifts the facts from the hyperbole and explains where we are and where we go from here.

  • 15th May 2018

    On 8 May the UK’s House of Lords passed an amendment to require the House of Commons to vote on remaining in the European Economic Area (EEA), the possibility of Britain adopting the so-called ‘Norway model’ is back on the agenda of British politics. Here the authors of Squaring the Circle on Brexit: Could the Norway Model Work?, John Erik Fossum and Hans Petter Graver, give some background to Norway’s relationship with the European Union and reveal the truth behind some common myths about the Norway model.

  • 4th May 2018

    The Sewel Convention has historically worked well, says Michael Keating, but Brexit will put it to the test.

  • 3rd May 2018

    Amendments to controversial Clause 11 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill were agreed in the House of Lords yesterday evening, following a deal between the UK and Welsh governments last week. Jack Sheldon and Mike Kenny explain the significance of this agreement for the UK as a whole and outline a number of unresolved issues it raises.

  • 2nd May 2018

    The hesitant progress of Brexit legislation through Westminster has provided parliament with an opportunity to show its teeth and, says Tobias Lock, it demonstrates that the legislature has bite as well as bark.

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