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 Michael Moore Michael Moore The Secretary of State for Scotland 12:32 pm, 27th January 2011

I respect the hon. Gentleman's interest in these matters and I commend the way he has followed devolution developments over the years. The primary responsibility for accountability is to the Scottish Parliament. Governments of different hues have gone before the committee system and made statements in the Scottish Parliament; there are 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament and that is their primary function. Ultimately, as in this House, all are accountable to the electorate. What we are trying to do with accountability in this Bill is enhance the financial powers so that parliamentarians in Scotland can be made accountable not just for the spending decisions, but for the tax-raising decisions that precede them.

Let me finish my point about the Barnett formula. We do not intend to alter it or review its arrangements at this time. Nothing in the Bill, however, prejudges future changes to the funding formula. Rather, the Bill's effect will be to make the Scottish Parliament more reliant on its own revenues and less reliant on the block grant to fund public spending in Scotland.