Committee (4th Day)

Part of Scotland Bill – in the House of Lords at 5:00 pm on 15th March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Conservative 5:00 pm, 15th March 2012

I do not want to press my noble friend; I am happy for him to elucidate what the position is; but throughout this afternoon, his speeches have been peppered with the word "accountability" and how this is making the Scottish Parliament accountable. If the suggestion is that the Scottish Parliament get compensated for the effects of changes in the tax base in England by the English taxpayer, that is not accountability; that is subsidy. It is about maintaining the status quo.

My noble friend shakes his head. Perhaps I have got it wrong. I thought he was saying that if changes are made to the tax system in England which have the result of narrowing the tax base, the Scottish Parliament will be compensated by being sent a cheque. Is that not what he is saying?