Committee (4th Day)

Part of Scotland Bill – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 15th March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Davidson of Glen Clova Lord Davidson of Glen Clova Shadow Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow Advocate-General for Scotland, Shadow Spokesperson (Scotland) 6:15 pm, 15th March 2012

It is not for me to answer for the Government. Doubtless that will be done in due course but, accepting the kind invitation for the moment, it is plainly desirable to have a coherent starting point. Simply to say, "This can now be devolved and the Scottish Government can set off on their own way, without any regard to what is happening in the rest of the UK", might be unhelpful not only to the rest of the UK but to Scotland.

I apologise if I did not pick up on his enthusiasm for advancing this in order to reduce the power to create new taxes. I understand his concern about the extent of that power. However, it might be interesting to note that the Holyrood Scotland Bill Committee has accepted that once the future of this tax has been decided, it should be considered for devolution then. Therefore, it would appear that while the noble Lord, Lord Forsyth, is in advance of the Scottish Government in their demands for ever greater powers, at least in Holyrood there has been an indication that they are prepared to wait.