Fiscal Policy

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The final report of the Labour Party’s Devolution Commission, published yesterday, contains two main proposals on taxation. Firstly, that the Scottish Parliament’s powers over income taxation should be enhanced with the ability to: vary income tax rates by up to 15p in the pound, compared to the 10p that would be implemented in 2016 as a consequence of the Scotland Act 2012; make the Scottish income tax system more progressive (but not less) by allowing upward variation (only) in the higher rates of tax relative to the basic rate.

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You wait for months for a fuller case for further devolution for Scotland within the UK to turn up and then two arrive at the same time. Yesterday morning we saw the ‘Campbell II’ Report by Sir Menzies Campbell’s Home Rule and Community Rule Commission (as discussed here  by James Mitchell), and later on yesterday Gordon Brown’s speech in Glasgow and his associated contribution to the Labour Party’s Devolution Commission.

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Stirling Team’s Inequality Paper in the News

The University of Stirling’s Future of the UK and Scotland team has received wide coverage today (Tuesday 21 January) with their report on using taxes and benefits to reduce inequality.

You can see this coverage at our new page: We will be updating it regularly to give you a flavour of how our teams’ work is being reported.

Tackling income inequality presents challenges for Scotland

Scotland faces significant challenges in closing its “inequality gap”, according to new research carried out by University of Stirling academics and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Scotland and the UK currently have much higher income inequality than comparable Nordic countries such as Norway and Denmark, with Scotland having a gap against these Nordic countries of 4.7 points on the Gini Coefficient - the recognised measure of the equality of a nation’s income distribution.

Scotland analysis: EU and international issues

This is the ninth paper in the Scotland Analysis series and sets out how people and businesses in Scotland are served by the UK’s foreign policy, its diplomatic network and international relationships. It finds that an independent Scotland would face tough negotiations on the terms of its EU membership and that Scottish taxpayers are likely to pay more into the EU budget than they get back.


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