Scotland Takes Control

Today, The Smith Commission was announced by Lord Smith which set-out proposals to dismantle Westminster, and devolve powers to the Scottish Parliament.

The key recommendations of the Commission are that; Scottish Parliament will take control of income tax band rates, have more governance over powers and payments around the benefit system, and benefit from a share in VAT receipts and all Air Passenger Duty.

The Commission, agreed between all the Scottish chapters of Britain’s main political parties, has been welcomed by UK Government but Scottish Minsters have condemned the proposals as not going far enough to allow the nation to flourish. Nicola Sturgeon, Leader of the Pro-Independence Scottish National Party (SNP), said the Smith Commission was ‘ultimately disappointing’ as, despite the changes, the majority of tax and social security decisions will continue to be set by Westminster.

Other critics believe that the changes will give rise to other UK regions and cities seeking autonomy and eventual redistribution of powers to its constituent parts.

That said, the Commission represents the biggest transfer of powers to Scotland from the United Kingdom since 1999.

The Smith Commission will form the basis of the final legislation, due next year after the UK elections.