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Scotland Act 2016: Commencement Regulations

Volume 617: debated on Wednesday 30 November 2016

In March this year, Her Majesty the Queen gave Royal Assent to the Scotland Act 2016, marking an important milestone in fulfilling the UK Government’s commitment to deliver on the Smith Commission agreement, making the Scottish Parliament one of the most powerful devolved Parliaments in the world.

Since Royal Assent, a number of important provisions in the Act have come into force, including new powers in relation to consumer advocacy and advice, gaming machines, equalities, transport, and welfare.

I can today inform the House that the UK Government have made the commencement regulations for the following sections of the Scotland Act 2016:

13: Power of Scottish Parliament to set rates of income tax

14: Amendments of Income Tax Act 2007

15: Consequential amendments: income tax

The regulations ensure that the transfer of income tax powers will occur, as agreed by the UK and Scottish Governments, from 6 April 2017, bringing into force substantial new financial levers enabling the Scottish Government to set income tax rates and thresholds for the earned income of Scottish taxpayers.

In addition, commencement regulations will be made on 5 December for the following sections of the Scotland Act 2016, to be commenced in April 2017:

20: Borrowing

21: Provision of information to the Office for Budget Responsibility

67: Destination of fines, forfeitures and fixed penalties

These commencement regulations represent another milestone in delivering the recommendations of the Smith Commission agreement, and it is a testament to the constructive work between the UK and Scottish Governments.

The two Governments continue to work closely together to ensure a safe and secure transition of the remaining powers in the Scotland Act 2016.