New Clause 21 — The Scottish Office for Budget Responsibility

Part of Bills Presented — Local Area Referendum (Disposal of School Playing Fields) – in the House of Commons at 10:13 pm on 29th June 2015.

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‘(1) Part 2 of Schedule 5 to the Scotland Act 1998 (specific reservations) is amended as follows.

(2) In Section A1 (fiscal, economic and monetary policy)—

(a) For the heading “Exception” substitute “Exceptions”—

(b) After that heading, insert—

“The creation of a body corporate, called The Scottish Office for Budget Responsibility, for the independent scrutiny of Scotland‘s public finances, including all tax and spending in areas for which the Scottish Government has legislative competence.””—(Ian Murray.)

This New Clause would provide for the creation of a Scottish Office for Budget Responsibility to exercise fiscal and budgetary oversight over Scottish Government competencies. The Smith Commission recommended that the Scottish Parliament should seek to expand and strengthen the independent scrutiny of Scotland’s public finances in recognition of the additional variability and uncertainty that further tax and spending devolution will introduce into the budgeting process.

Brought up.

Question put, That the clause be added to the Bill.

The Committee divided:

Ayes 194, Noes 376.