Scotland’s Fiscal Framework — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:55 pm on 24th February 2016.

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Photo of Lord Dunlop Lord Dunlop The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland 3:55 pm, 24th February 2016

On that last point, absolutely I believe that this is a deal that is fair to all parts of the United Kingdom. That is what the Smith agreement was all about—being fair to Scotland and fair to the UK as a whole. That is what this deal delivers.

To address directly the first of the two points that the noble Lord raises—and this was a point that came up in the House of Commons—on the cost of the deal to England, Wales and Northern Ireland, there is no additional cost to the taxpayers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This deal produces the same outcome as Barnett set out in the comprehensive spending review. There is no adverse impact on UK taxpayers.

On the noble Lord’s other issue—I forget what it was; oh yes, it was the point about transition—the Scotland Bill, that delivers the Smith agreement, is a significant act of devolution. It represents a new world and an opportunity for a new politics in Scotland, one in which blame can no longer be heaped at Westminster’s door. It is absolutely right to have a review on how the far-reaching arrangements are working in practice to ensure that, as my right honourable friend says, they are fair, transparent and effective in line with the Smith agreement.