Academics advise Scottish Government on Scotland Bill
The Scottish Parliament’s Scotland Bill Committee is hearing evidence from a range of constitutional academics on its adoption of the Scotland Bill, which will grant more powers to the devolved institution.
As The Herald reported earlier today, Oxford’s Professor Iain McLean has said that rejecting the Bill would be pointless, and would damage the SNP at the forthcoming election. He warned of increasing problems of compliance costs and tax avoidance if the Scottish Parliament was to have full tax raising powers, as the SNP is pushing for. Professor McLean said the ‘no detriment’ guarantees of the Bill would protect Scotland from losing out from changes to taxation around the UK, a key worry of the SNP’s.
The Committee will hear later today from Professor Drew Scott, Professor of European Union Studies at the University of Edinburgh and Professor Andrew Hughes Hallett, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at George Mason University. If they are similarly supportive of the Scotland Bill, the SNP will be under further pressure to accept the Bill.
Alex Salmond gave an interview to the revamped Sunday Herald this weekend in which he spoke of turning the Scotland Bill ‘from a mouse to a lion‘ if the SNP wins the Scottish election in May.
Devolution Matters’ post on the Bill’s passage through three different legislative chambers, which I somehow missed earlier, is well worth a link.