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 hesitate to press this at this hour but, to give a real example, suppose that it is 2015. We are all enjoying paying these high Scottish taxes. There is a lower tax in England and the Government decide that they are going to introduce a far more generous scheme of tax relief on contributions to charity. Let us say that they make them wholly allowable and the result is that there is a reduction in the overall revenue available to the Scottish Parliament from the tax base on the Scottish income tax, because people are eligible for that. Of course, we are not yet clear whether that would apply to Scotland, but this power would enable the Treasury to implement a policy without any agreement of the Scottish Parliament and it would have a detrimental effect.

My noble friend appears to be saying that the answer to that is that they would be compensated for that, but there would be a transfer of resource from England to Scotland to compensate them for that change in the tax policy. Why would that be appropriate?