Committee (4th Day)

Part of Scotland Bill – in the House of Lords at 4:45 pm on 15th March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Conservative 4:45 pm, 15th March 2012

My Lords, this amendment would delete subsection (4) of proposed new Section 80G, which provides for the Treasury to make changes to tax retrospectively. The whole basis of the Bill is that the Scottish Parliament will raise a proportion of its own money and should plan its budgets accordingly. If the Treasury were to use this power to change the tax base retrospectively, it could have a very dramatic impact on the provision of services and the financial position of the Scottish Parliament. Therefore, the amendment seeks to tease out from the Minister exactly how it is intended to use this power since there are obvious dangers in having a retrospective ability to change the rules of the game well into the financial year. It could cause great trouble for an Administration in Edinburgh and might even be used in a highly undesirable political way. I beg to move.