Clause 15 — Assignment of VAT

Part of Bills Presented — Local Area Referendum (Disposal of School Playing Fields) – in the House of Commons at 8:00 pm on 29th June 2015.

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Photo of Wayne David Wayne David Labour, Caerphilly 8:00 pm, 29th June 2015

No, of course not. What I am saying is that it would have been far better if the Government in Scotland and the Government in London had sat down maturely and worked things out for the benefit of services in Scotland rather than pursue a fixation with the idea that things had to be brought together on a centralised basis in Scotland, irrespective of the consequences. The Government were absolutely adamant on this. Presumably they could not find parliamentary time, or did not have the political inclination to bring forward an amendment to have a scheme that would have benefited everyone.

The sensible thing would have been to do precisely what I have said, but that is in the past. The important thing now is to move forward and resolve this situation. Our proposed new clause 20 calls for a review of the situation. It is a modest request, which I very much hope that the Government will accept. If they do accept it, it could provide an opportunity for everyone to get together and, hopefully, resolve the issue.

It has been suggested by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations that VAT rebates should be devolved so that they better conform to devolved policy to support society and public services. A suggestion has been made that the UK Government could allocate a Barnett formula-based share of the VAT rebates to the Scottish block grant. That is one possibility, but, like all the other suggestions, it needs to be soberly and carefully discussed. It could be a part of the review that we propose. I hope that the Government will accept our amendment so that we can have that meaningful discussion and reach a decision for the benefit of Scotland.