Scotland Bill

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

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

That is exactly the point. The relationship between Scotland and England is so interwoven that to start to unpick it now would be hugely complicated and difficult. On the point about pensions, I have mentioned the potential difficulties under the current proposals that would need to be clarified. If there were full fiscal autonomy, those problems would be magnified many times over. People might have made national insurance contributions all through their lives. How would all that be untangled to sort out the different rights and contributions? The process would be enormously complicated. I am not saying that it would be impossible, but I do not believe that it is practical at this point in time. I hope that my right hon. Friends on the Front Bench will take up my point that we should move towards assigning revenues and spending on a straight territorial basis, so that in time we might be able to move to a system involving much greater devolution of fiscal power down to the Scottish Parliament.