Committee (4th Day)

Part of Scotland Bill – in the House of Lords at 4:00 pm on 15th March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Conservative 4:00 pm, 15th March 2012

Picking up the last point made by my noble friend the Duke of Montrose, the Bill does not provide for North Sea oil, wind energy or any of those things, and that is why the tax will go up. If Alex Salmond were here, that is what he would say and it is what he will say. He will say that the Scottish rate of tax has to go up because Scotland does not have the power to deal with all these other things. I can write the script; it is not very difficult. The tax is going to go up.

I thank everyone who has participated in the debate. I think that my noble friend should be very influenced by the words of the noble Lord, Lord West, who knows a bit about the military. He should also be very influenced by the position in Ulster that has been spelt out. It is simply not fair to expect members of the Armed Forces who are deployed and living in barracks in Scotland to pay a higher rate of tax. When my noble friend says, "We consulted the Scottish Parliament and it was happy to leave it as it is", of course it was happy to leave it as it is; it wants the money. It is in its interests to have as many people as possible paying. My noble friend shakes his head. Why is it not in its interests?