Lord Dunlop: 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...
Lord Dunlop: I assure the noble Lord that we are very confident that the delivery of these powers will go ahead as intended.
Lord Dunlop: I thank my noble friend for his words. We are months away from elections to the Holyrood Parliament and, as I said earlier, the deal opens the way to make sure that that debate is on the right terms—about how each of the political parties competing in that election will use those powers, and not the perpetual debate about what those powers are.
Lord Dunlop: As I said earlier in answer to another question, there is no additional cost to taxpayers in other parts of the United Kingdom. We have had many debates in this House about the Barnett formula. There are many former Secretaries of State who, when they had the opportunity to get rid of the Barnett formula, did not do so. Indeed, some of those Secretaries of State take great pride in arguing...
Lord Dunlop: As I said, today is the final day of the Scottish Budget. That is why we do not have the fully published document today. There are a few minor technical and implementation issues from the agreement that need to be finalised. However, I have given a commitment to the House, and my strong expectation is that that agreement will be published tomorrow.
Lord Dunlop: I can only repeat what I said earlier: there is no additional cost to the taxpayers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Lord Dunlop: I absolutely understand what the noble Lord is saying. That is why we have sought a deal that is fair to Scotland and to the rest of the UK.
Lord Dunlop: Once the review is complete, it will be for the two Governments to reach an agreement. However, I need to say to my noble friend that this is a very significant act of devolution. In future, more than 50% of the Scottish budget will be financed from taxes that are raised in Scotland, and that is a major development.
Lord Dunlop: Obviously discussions are going on between the UK Government and the Welsh Government about the fiscal arrangements for Wales. I am sure, as this deal has been successfully concluded, that they will be successfully concluded as well.
Lord Dunlop: I think I have covered the rules of Report in an earlier answer. As I say, with the funding arrangements we have sought to strike a balance that enables these powers to be transferred to the Scottish Parliament while respecting the “taxpayer fairness” principle that applies across the rest of the UK.
Lord Dunlop: The review will look at how the funding arrangement is operating against the Smith agreement. I remind the House, because this is often forgotten, that the Smith agreement says that it should, “aim to bring about a durable but responsive democratic constitutional settlement, which maintains Scotland’s place in the UK and enhances mutual cooperation and partnership working”, and should,...
Lord Dunlop: During this transitional period, the protection that is put in place ensures that what was the case with regard to the numbers in the comprehensive spending review will be delivered over this period.
Lord Dunlop: I very much agree with my noble friend. The whole purpose behind this is that the Scottish Government should be held fiscally accountable for the decisions they take so that they should be able to reap the rewards of the good decisions they take and bear the risks and costs of their bad decisions.
Lord Dunlop: As the Statement made clear, if the Scottish economy grows more slowly than the UK economy as a whole, that risk will be borne by the Scottish Government.
Lord Dunlop: The figure I mentioned is a one-off implementation cost to transfer the powers over and the systems that go with them. It is not an ongoing cost.
Lord Dunlop: I thank my noble friend but I cannot commit to what he asks. We have already moved a Motion to consider on Report the Bill in the same order in which we considered it in Committee, which was precisely to allow time for this agreement to be reached and published, and to allow your Lordships’ House to scrutinise it.
Lord Dunlop: No. It has always been the case—right from the start of these discussions—that a block grant would continue. However, we are providing for more of the budget to be financed from the tax revenues raised in Scotland.
Lord Dunlop: As I said earlier, this is an open review and it does not establish a default position. It will be for the Governments to set the terms of reference and the remit, and those will be decided in due course.
Lord Dunlop: I am grateful to all noble Lords who have spoken, and in particular to my noble friend Lord Dundee and the noble Earl, Lord Kinnoull. We had a very useful discussion, and we all agreed that it is an important principle that we improve intergovernmental relations. While it is the differences of opinion between Governments that attract the headlines, behind the headlines a lot of very good...
Lord Dunlop: My Lords, I thank the noble and learned Lord, Lord Wallace, the noble Lords, Lord MacKenzie and Lord McFall, and the noble Earl, Lord Kinnoull, for their contributions. Let me begin by saying that I understand and sympathise with the intention of this amendment and with the island authorities. I also commend the noble and learned Lord, Lord Wallace, the noble Lord, Lord Stephen, the noble...