Scotland Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:32 pm on 27th January 2011.

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Photo of Mark Lazarowicz Mark Lazarowicz Shadow Minister (International Development) 12:32 pm, 27th January 2011

The right hon. Gentleman is right that the essence of devolution means that the Scottish Government should not have their funding ring-fenced, as some have suggested it should be. However, the point raised by my right hon. Friend Mr Clarke related to accountability. I do not think that he was suggesting that we should ring-fence the funding transferred to the Scottish Parliament. It is a question of how there can be accountability to the UK Parliament. Perhaps there could be some way of bringing to this Parliament the ability to question the way in which money is spent by the Scottish Parliament. Intergovernmental and inter-parliamentary co-operation should allow such questioning to be pursued and, although my right hon. Friend has been trying to do that, he has not always been successful in getting the Scottish Parliament to respond.