Scottish Parliament to have more revenue powers
The Scottish secretary Michael Moore announced late last night that the Scottish Parliament’s powers could be increased in order to allow it to raise up to a third of its revenue.
The Scotland Bill, which will be published in the next couple of weeks and is based on the findings of the Calman Commission, could increase the Parliament’s control of its own budget from 15% to 35%
The Scottish Parliament is set to discuss the details of next years budget this week, with Scotland facing cuts.
The Treasury puts the them in the £900million area, but Scottish Finance secretary John Swinney claims the figure is closer to £1.3billion.
Swinney also claims that Scotland built up surpluses of £3.5billion between 2005 and 2009, while the UK was building up a £72billion deficit.
However, with rumblings of discontent in the background about the new one-year budget being short-termist, and with the Scottish Parliament having a track record of passing its budgets only just in time, it looks like Scottish politics is in for an interesting development. Will the increased powers make it easier or harder to agree on a budget?
It also raises the question of whether any powers given to the Scottish Parliament should be given to the other devolved administrations. I’m sure plenty would say yes.