Scotland politics

Labour's Lord Foulkes backs 'devo max' bill amendment

Lord Foulkes
Image caption Lord Foulkes wants an amendment to be made to the Scotland Bill

Scotland should have full control over its finances, a senior Labour politician has said.

Lord Foulkes believed the UK government's proposals to extend devolution in the Scotland Bill did not go far enough.

He has put forward a "devo-max" amendment to the legislation calling for Scotland to have full fiscal responsibility.

The plan would see Holyrood ministers being able to raise and spend cash.

Lord Foulkes said: "The current bill does not go far enough in devolving fiscal responsibility to Scotland. I think that the time has now come when we must seriously consider a more radical change in funding devolved governments.

"It is described by some as full fiscal autonomy - I would describe it more appropriately as full fiscal responsibility, so that the responsibility for raising money as well as spending it goes to the Scottish and other governments."

The Scotland Bill, put forward by the Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition, aims to hand more power to Holyrood in a range of areas including tax-raising and borrowing, air gun legislation and speed limits.

When the legislation was unveiled last year Scottish Secretary Michael Moore hailed it as the "largest transfer of fiscal power from central government since the creation of the United Kingdom".

Last month think tank Reform Scotland announced plans to set up a group which would look at how to give greater tax powers to Holyrood.

It will focus on the idea of "devolution plus" which would see the Scottish Parliament solely responsible for raising the money it spends.

Plans would stop short, however, of the "devo max" proposal.

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