UK parties outline Scottish ‘devo max’ proposals
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The main political parties at Westminster have pledged to give extra powers to Scotland if it votes to stay in the UK – including control of income tax.
Conservative party proposals
Scotland to set its own income tax bands and rates and to receive all income tax revenues, with the Barnett formula block grant from Westminster to be retained but reduced proportionately.
The Scottish government to receive a share of value added tax raised in Scotland. Devolution of taxes including air passenger duty to be considered along with transfer of elements of welfare policy, such as housing benefit and the attendance allowance for people requiring personal care.
A committee of all UK parliaments and assemblies to be created to consider how to make future constitutional arrangements “fair to all parts”. The government to look at changing the role of Scottish members of the UK parliament to reflect Scotland’s increased autonomy.
Scotland to have the power to vary the income tax rate to 15p in the pound above or below the rest of the UK. Scotland to be able to make rates more progressive, but not to cut them for the wealthier taxpayers. To retain the Barnett formula calculation for the block grant, which would be reduced in proportion to the new revenue stream.
No action on VAT or air passenger duty. Housing policy and attendance allowance to be devolved along with administration of employment tribunals and enforcement of equalities legislation. Work Programme and skills development implementation to be devolved to local councils.
Will legislate to ensure the Scottish parliament cannot be dissolved, and consider giving legal status to partnership arrangements between it, Westminster and national parliaments and assemblies.
Scotland to have control of income tax bands and rates as well as inheritance tax, capital gains tax and air passenger duty. Proceeds of corporation tax to be assigned to the Scottish parliament.
Move to a new “needs-based” system of fund transfers from Westminster, but Barnett formula to continue to operate until a new method agreed and no plans to replace it.
Devolution to include the transfer of powers over council tax and business rates to strengthened local authorities. Devolution to be a stepping stone to a fully federal UK.
The Lib Dems are also calling for the three big parties and other interested groups to attend a “constitutional conference” to drum up ideas and help agree a joint position.
Scottish National party
Scotland to become an independent sovereign nation by 2016, but to remain in the EU and retain co-operation and integration with the rest of the UK in policy areas including finance, energy and defence procurement.
Scotland to continue to share use of the Bank of England and sterling under a fiscal responsibility pact that would leave Edinburgh in full control of taxes.
Corporation tax and air passenger duty to be cut. Other taxes to be simplified and reformed according to the decisions of future Scottish governments. Welfare policies to be reformed after a period of transition to separate administration systems from the UK.