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Scotland Act 2012: Financial Provisions

Volume 596: debated on Wednesday 10 June 2015

2. When he plans to publish the third annual report on the implementation and operation of part 3 (Financial Provisions) of the Scotland Act 2012. (900151)

I thank the Secretary of State and also say how much I and all my Back-Bench colleagues will miss the real gentleman who was Charles Kennedy.

Part 3 of the Act includes the power to devolve further existing taxes as well as creating new ones. Just so that we know where we stand following the election, will the Secretary of State update the House on what further taxes the emboldened Scottish Government have asked to be devolved and which requests he is minded to grant?

The hon. Gentleman will know from the Second Reading debate on the Scotland Bill that there was some uncertainty on the SNP Benches about whether proposals would be brought forward to put in place the SNP’s previous policy of full fiscal autonomy. I now understand that such proposals will be brought forward, but only on the basis that other parties with a real interest in Scotland will vote them down.

Will my right hon. Friend explain to SNP Members how the Barnett formula actually works? If there are spending cuts in English Departments, it follows that there are cuts in Scottish spending as well. If they support the Barnett formula in the vow, they presumably understand why these reductions have to be made.

It is not clear what the SNP understands in relation to fiscal matters, but I agree at least with the new hon. Member for Edinburgh East (Tommy Sheppard) that fiscal autonomy for Scotland would be “a disaster”.