Committee (4th Day)

Part of Scotland Bill – in the House of Lords at 2:00 pm on 15th March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Davidson of Glen Clova Lord Davidson of Glen Clova Shadow Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow Advocate-General for Scotland, Shadow Spokesperson (Scotland) 2:00 pm, 15th March 2012

Perhaps I may add some further Angusian support for the amendment, recognising that Angus is well represented in relation to this particular amendment. It has already been observed by a number of noble Lords that the underlying purpose of the Scottish rate of income tax is to bring real accountability to the Scottish Parliament on behalf of the Scottish taxpayer. As the noble Lord, Lord Forsyth of Drumlean, says, decisions on this tax will have a profound effect and will of course be extremely important for the Scottish Parliament. Therefore, we on this side agree that there should be an obligation to consult interested parties, such as business, charities and pension funds.

The only point that I would raise is that such an obligation to consult might also be useful were a lower rate of tax to arise. I immediately appreciate that this amendment comes from a quarter that does not envisage such a possibility but, perhaps on a logical basis, there may be a reason for both higher and lower outcomes requiring consultation.