This morning (Thursday 27th November) the Smith Commission published its report on recommendations on further devolution powers to the Scottish Parliament.
Agreement between the parties:
A consensus on the new powers was reached between the five main Scottish political parties on the 26th of November. Provided under three pillars, the powers recommended include:
- UK legislation will state that the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government are permanent institutions.
- 16 and 17 year olds will be able to vote in Scottish Parliamentary elections.
- Improved Scottish Government representation of the UK to the EU
- Certain welfare benefits (such as the Disability Living Allowance) to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament, while Universal Credit remains reserved to the UK Parliament.
- The National Minimum Wage will remain reserved.
- Income Tax will remain shared, however the Scottish Parliament will have the power to set the rates, and receive the income tax paid by Scottish taxpayers. HMRC will continue to collect and administer the tax.
“The recommendations set out in the agreement will result in the biggest transfer of power to the Scottish Parliament since its establishment”
Foreword by Lord Smith, The Smith Commission Report, p. 4.
Views and submissions were taken from:
- the main Scottish political parties (the Scottish Conservatives, Scottish Greens, Scottish Labour, Scottish Liberal Democrats, and the Scottish National Party)
- 407 intermediaries (including the University of Glasgow, Scottish businesses, and representative social organisations such as Capability Scotland and the Poverty Alliance)
- 18,381 members of the public.
The submissions are available to read on the Resources page of the Smith Commission website.
What happens next?
The UK government will publish clauses implementing the Smith Commission Report consensus by the 25th January 2015.
For more information on this report, and any other official publications, please visit the Maps, Official Publications and Statistics Unit on Level 7 of the Library.