Scotland Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:11 pm on 27th January 2011.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Pete Wishart Pete Wishart Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Culture and Sport), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Constitution) 1:11 pm, 27th January 2011

The Secretary of State said in response to an intervention that air passenger duty could not be considered because it is being considered by Europe just now, but it was being considered by Europe when Calman was looking at these matters as well. There is no real difference between then and where we are now.

I am not just talking about aviation duty. I am talking about the fact that only 35 of the 60 Calman proposals have survived. This is a question not so much of Calman-plus, as the Secretary of State and the Liberals like to say, as of Calman-half. Useful Calman proposals such as those on the devolution of welfare measures-including much-needed measures on immigration-on the marine environment and on taxes on aviation and aggregates have been left out of the Bill. Other Calman proposals have been significantly watered down. They include the proposals on the administration of elections, which will still effectively be reserved to this House, on appointees to the BBC and on the Crown Estate, about which we have growing concerns.

We will be constructive in trying to get this Bill through, but I really hope that the Tory-led Government will take seriously our attempts to improve it. I do not know whether Labour Members will continue to be nodding dogs as the Bill goes through, or whether they will join us in trying to improve and strengthen the Bill to ensure that we get better legislation for the people of Scotland. It most definitely needs improvement if it is to meet the aspirations and ambitions of the Scottish people.