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

No, I do not accept the logic of that. We can debate as we go through which powers require what sorts of consents, but the central nub of the Bill is to devolve income tax rate-setting to the Scottish Parliament. That is what is envisaged. As I say, I believe that it should be done in a clean and clear way and it is then for the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government to decide what consultation there is. As I pointed out, the Scottish Government at the moment consult in a very sensible and open way for their budget Bill. There is no reason to doubt that they would do something sensible and proportionate with the new power.

To answer my noble friend's question about allowances of one kind and another in the context of a higher Scottish rate, the position is that the Government are consulting with representatives from the pension industry, charities-which he specifically mentioned-and other interested parties through the Scotland Bill technical groups. There will be a technical note setting out proposals in these areas after the Bill receives Royal Assent, so it is very much work in progress. My noble friend identifies important issues but, on the basis of my explanation, I ask him to withdraw his amendment.