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Scotland Bill — Committee (5th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:15 pm on 21st March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Conservative 5:15 pm, 21st March 2012

I am sorry to persist in this; perhaps I am just being thick. To take the example given by the Minister, which is the same example that I tried to give from the flow chart, if the Scottish Government find that their block grant is short of £100 million as a result of the increase in the allowances, that means that the amount that people are paying in tax in Scotland has gone down. Why can the Scottish Government not just use their tax-raising power to get the £100 million back from the people who have benefited? That is how the model is supposed to work.

If the Minister is not happy with that, why does he not go further and give the Scottish Parliament the ability to change the allowances as well as the rates? In those circumstances, if the Chancellor wishes to raise the allowances and the Scottish Government do not, they do not raise the allowances. I am making the case here for more devolution, not less-not on the grounds that I am committed to more devolution but on the grounds that this is a complete dog's breakfast.