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 Sassoon Lord Sassoon The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury 2:00 pm, 15th March 2012

I shall, if I may, continue and complete the two legs of this argument. If the setting of the Scottish rate becomes part of the existing budget process of the Scottish Government, my noble friend's amendment will be unnecessary because currently the draft Scottish budget is published in September or October, following which the public and Scottish parliamentary committees are consulted on its proposals. A budget Bill is then typically passed in the spring and, if the Scottish rate is announced as part of the draft budget and the resolution is passed as part of the Bill, the Scottish Government's existing processes will already include the type of consultation that my noble friend envisages, irrespective of whether it is an increase in the rate or not.