Scotland politics

Scottish election: Devolved and reserved powers

The Scottish Parliament election campaign will see politicians fight on a rage of issues - but where are the areas in which Holyrood has responsibility?

Here is a look at which powers are devolved and which are reserved to the UK Parliament.

DEVOLVED POWERS

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Westminster is responsible for the wider economy, but Holyrood agrees a separate Budget for Scotland to cover all devolved policy areas, based on the three-year settlement received from the Treasury under the Barnett funding formula.

It also sets inward investment and job creation goals for Scotland.

Scottish ministers oversee main economic development agencies - Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise - and the voluntary sector.

Tax is largely an issue for the Westminster government - Holyrood has powers to vary income tax by 3p above or below UK rate, but the so-called "Tartan Tax" has never been used.

Scotland has responsibility for administering European Structural Funds.

CULTURE, SCIENCE AND SPORT

Holyrood is responsible for funding culture and the arts, mainly through the agency Creative Scotland.

Science policy is reserved to Westminster, except where it relates directly to educational establishments - oversight of schools and universities is devolved.

The Scottish government sets policy on sports administration independently of Westminster, for instance overseeing the successful bid to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

EDUCATION

Holyrood is responsible for overseeing and funding the education system in Scotland, including nurseries/childcare, primary and secondary schools and colleges and universities.

Scotland has its own Scottish Qualifications Authority to deal with school exam system.

ENVIRONMENT

Widely devolved to Scotland, including water quality regulation and climate change.

In the last parliament, MSPs passed what is reputed to be one of the world's most ambitious legislation to cut carbon emissions, under the Climate Change Bill.

FARMING AND FISHERIES

Holyrood manages rural development, agriculture, forestry, and natural heritage.

The Scottish government also aims to influence the UK government in Europe on issues such as fisheries, although it has no formal role in international negotiations.

HEALTH

Holyrood oversees the performance of the NHS in Scotland.

It is also responsible for public health issues such as drink and drug abuse, dentistry, pharmaceutical services and mental health.

The Scottish Parliament led the way in the UK with a public smoking ban and also moved to abolish prescription charges.

Some aspects of health policy, such as abortion and embryology, are not devolved.

HOUSING AND PLANNING

Holyrood has control over the planning system, land use, and building standards in Scotland.

It also oversees housing and regeneration projects.

JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS

Scotland has its own, distinct legal and justice system; as such Holyrood has powers to oversee and legislate on police, prisons, the court system, civil and criminal law.

It also controls youth justice and sentencing, legal aid and oversight of the legal profession.

The Scottish government has its own law officers - the lord advocate and solicitor general.

Liquor licensing, drugs policy and crime reduction are also devolved in Scotland, as is the fire and rescue and ambulance services.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

The Scottish government is responsible for overseeing and funding the work of Scotland's 32 local councils, including social services.

Scottish ministers have signed a "concordat" with councils, giving them more freedom to spend money in return for a council tax freeze.

TRANSPORT

There are several devolved issues under this brief, namely public transport, roads and rail services.

Responsibility for ferry services includes state-funded "lifeline" ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne.

RESERVED POWERS

CONSTITUTION

The Scottish Parliament was set up by an act of Westminster and, as such, decisions on Scotland's constitutional future are reserved.

For example, independence, even if backed in a referendum set up at Holyrood, would still require consent from London.

The Scotland Bill, currently going through the UK Parliament, is to devolve new tax and borrowing powers to Holyrood, as well as devolving control in several other areas.

DEFENCE AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Policy-making on defence and international relations is not devolved.

IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY

Both these areas are wholly reserved to Westminster.

SOCIAL SECURITY

MPs in Westminster set the levels of benefits payments and tax credits in Scotland.