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Independent Fiscal Commission

Volume 617: debated on Wednesday 23 November 2016

8. What discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on the work of the Independent Fiscal Commission. (907325)

I have regular meetings with Scottish Government Ministers. I last met the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Constitution at the Finance Quadrilateral on 21 October. Both Governments are committed to providing all necessary support for the Scottish Fiscal Commission and the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that it is a core principle of stable, accountable, mature government that Governments must not fiddle their own forecasts, but must instead answer for their choices, and the consequences of those choices, to the people whom they govern?

I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend, and the transfer of income tax and welfare powers to the Scottish Parliament does just that. No longer will the SNP and the Scottish Government simply be able to complain. If they genuinely have ideas, they will be able to do something about it, and the people of Scotland will understand the tax implications.

9. Exports from the services sector could be cut by 60% if the UK is out of the single market. That would result in a £2.3 billion hit for Scotland. Given that, can the Secretary of State tell us why his Conservative colleagues at Holyrood voted against the Scottish Government motion to protect Scotland’s position? (907326)

With reference to the work of the Independent Fiscal Commission, I call the Minister to answer.

I am sure that the Independent Fiscal Commission will have noted that my colleagues in the Conservative group in Holyrood voted against the SNP’s motion because we have absolutely no idea where the SNP stands in relation to the UK’s future relationship with the EU.