Scotland politics

Smith Commission: Holyrood hold debate on more tax and welfare powers

Holyrood chamber Image copyright PA
Image caption MSPs will debate more powers for Scotland in the Scottish Parliament chamber

More tax and welfare powers have been discussed at Holyrood during a special debate on the Smith Commission on Scottish Devolution.

The Scottish government has proposed full control of all taxes.

Each of Scotland's political parties has its plan for more powers for the Scottish Parliament.

Lord Smith of Kelvin, who was appointed to look at further devolution following the referendum "No" vote, will make his recommendations next month.

Labour has said Scotland should have the power to raise 40% of its budget, through increasing the tax-varying powers to become available through the Scotland Act, from 10p to 15p - potentially raising an extra £2bn.

The Liberal Democrats suggest that the Scottish Parliament should have the fiscal powers to raise most of what it spends.


What next for Scotland's future?

  • During the referendum campaign, David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband signed a pledge to devolve more powers to Scotland, if Scots rejected independence
  • Immediately after the result became clear, Mr Cameron appointed Lord Smith of Kelvin to oversee the implementation of more devolution on tax, spending and welfare
  • A white paper is due at the end of November, after a period of consultation
  • A draft new "Scotland Act" law would be published by Burns Night (25 January) 2015 ready for the House of Commons to vote on
  • And legislation would be passed after the 2015 General Election

Follow the story with the BBC by going to our special Scotland: What Next? page.


The Scottish Conservative Party said Scotland should be responsible for setting the rates and bands of personal income tax and the Holyrood parliament should get a share of VAT.

And the Scottish Greens believe the country should have full control of income tax, including the right to set rates, bands and personal allowances.

The Scottish government has called for full responsibility for all taxes to be transferred to Scotland, including powers over income tax, national insurance, corporation tax, capital gains tax, fuel duty, air passenger duty and inheritance tax.

It wants Holyrood to be given responsibility for all domestic spending, including welfare, with payments made to the UK government for reserved services.

The administration is also seeking control over employment policy, areas of transport policy not already devolved, competition, energy and broadcasting policy and the Crown Estate.

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