Skip to main content

Scotland Bill (Fiscal Powers)

Volume 607: debated on Wednesday 23 March 2016

7. What discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on commencement of the fiscal powers in the Scotland Bill. (904206)

The UK and Scottish Governments have met 10 times under the Joint Exchequer Committee since the election last year. These discussions resulted last month in the agreement of a new fiscal framework for the Scottish Government. Agreement on the fiscal framework enables us to deliver on the vow we made to the Scottish people and delivers one of the most powerful and accountable devolved Parliaments in the world, with the economic and national security that comes from being part of the UK.

Does the Minister agree that it would be bad news for Scotland if it became the highest taxed part of the United Kingdom? Does he agree with Ruth Davidson MSP that Scottish taxpayers should not have to pay any more in tax than fellow Britons in England, Wales and Northern Ireland?

The Scottish people have essentially three choices in their elections. Two of them—voting Labour or SNP—would involve paying more in income tax.

Does the Minister agree with me about the Chancellor’s reckless, last-minute intervention to tweak the fiscal framework after it had been agreed by the Treasury and the Scottish Government? Is the Minister aware that the Chancellor’s brinkmanship intentions endangered the framework at the very last moment?

The answer is no. An agreement has been reached. We are pleased that we have that agreement, and now it is for the Scottish Government to be held accountable by the Scottish people.