Scotland Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:59 pm on 27th January 2011.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Iain Stewart Iain Stewart Conservative, Milton Keynes South 2:59 pm, 27th January 2011

I am grateful for that intervention. I think it is unhelpful to make an exact analogy with a particular model. Spain has a very curious multi-speed system of devolution between its different constituent parts.

I promised to discuss why I do not believe, certainly at this point, that fiscal autonomy is feasible or desirable for the Scottish Parliament. There are huge unknowns in the fiscal relationship between Scotland and England, for the simple reason that we have never assigned tax revenues or allocated public spending on a straight territorial basis-that just has not happened. As part of our research for the book, I spent many hours enjoying and analysing the various forecasts and documents that the Scottish National party had published over the years giving its view on what Scotland's net contribution to or net borrowing from the United Kingdom had been.

Part of the SNP's criticism was that the official Government figures, as published in the annual Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland survey, were based on assumptions about what Scotland's share of corporation tax or income tax should be. However, the SNP's own figures are based on assumptions and projections. They disagree with the assumptions made, but they could not analyse particularly and exactly what the Scottish revenues were.