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Volume 601: debated on Wednesday 4 November 2015

8. What steps he is taking to ensure that the new devolution arrangement which would result from the provisions of the Scotland Bill is financially neutral. (901904)

The UK Government are delivering the cross-party Smith agreement in full, giving the Scottish Government substantial new powers over tax and spending. The Smith agreement stated that the devolution of powers

“should be accompanied by an updated fiscal framework”.

The UK and Scottish Governments are discussing that.

Let me offer the Secretary of State a sixth opportunity to disassociate himself from the subsidy claims that have been made by his own party in the Chamber. Will he do so now? Does he agree that the Treasury’s statements of funding policy over the devolution years have been a creaking and unstable mess, creating unnecessary friction, and will he recommit himself to a more open and transparent process—as he refused to do previously—for the calculation of the block grant to underpin the new fiscal framework?

There is a process, and it involves UK Treasury Ministers in negotiations with the Scottish Government. We are continuing to work on that process, and we will update the House when there is further news.