Results 1–20 of 300 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Lord Dunlop

Queen’s Speech — Debate (3rd Day) (1 Jun 2015)

Lord Dunlop: (Maiden Speech) My Lords, it is a great honour to open the debate today. I have the greatest respect for the wealth of knowledge and experience that exists within your Lordships’ House— wealth that is amply demonstrated by the list of speakers for this debate. It would be fair to say that entering this House and becoming a Minister at the same time is doubly daunting, so I am grateful for...

Smith Commission: Implementation — Question (8 Jun 2015)

Lord Dunlop: My Lords, the Scotland Bill will deliver in full the historic Smith commission agreement to devolve further powers to the Scottish Parliament within a strengthened United Kingdom, as agreed by all the main political parties in Scotland last November. The implementation of the Smith commission agreement shows this Government’s commitment to make the Scottish Parliament one of the most...

Smith Commission: Implementation — Question (8 Jun 2015)

Lord Dunlop: My Lords, the Smith agreement was agreed by all five of Scotland’s main political parties. I believe that is the first time in the history of devolution that that has happened. It will create, as I have already said, one of the most powerful devolved parliaments in the world. This Government’s commitment is to deliver Smith in full, and we are doing so. Of course, as my right honourable...

Smith Commission: Implementation — Question (8 Jun 2015)

Lord Dunlop: My Lords, it is not a characterisation I would agree with that the electorate of Scotland repudiated the Smith agreement. Every one of the manifestos of all the main parties, including the SNP, included a commitment to take forward the Smith agreement. Of course, there will be discussions, and I know that there are many views within this House about how best to do that, but the main...

Smith Commission: Implementation — Question (8 Jun 2015)

Lord Dunlop: My Lords, I am not sure exactly where the SNP stands now on full fiscal autonomy. Its position seems to change by the day but I am absolutely clear, and the Government are clear, that full fiscal autonomy would be bad for Scotland. By the end of this Parliament, it would leave a £10 billion funding gap that would have to be addressed by higher taxes or larger spending cuts in Scotland. The...

Smith Commission: Implementation — Question (8 Jun 2015)

Lord Dunlop: It is absolutely right that, in addition to taking forward the commitments to constitutional reform in each part of our United Kingdom, including England, it is necessary to look at how those devolution settlements work as a whole. That is why the Government are committed to reviewing the intergovernmental arrangements and taking them forward in discussion with the devolved Administrations....

Smith Commission: Implementation — Question (8 Jun 2015)

Lord Dunlop: The noble Lord makes a very good point indeed. In addition to debating and asking for more powers, the debate should increasingly focus on how the Scottish Government intend to use their existing powers and the very considerable powers that will be coming their way in the very near future.

Smith Commission: Implementation — Question (8 Jun 2015)

Lord Dunlop: I do not believe we are proceeding in a piecemeal way. We will be taking forward four strands of constitutional change over the course of this Parliament: change in Scotland, in Wales and in Northern Ireland, and, as I have said, fairness for England. We will listen very carefully to the discussion about how these devolution settlements work as a whole, and I look forward to some lively...

Scotland: Block Grant — Question (15 Jun 2015)

Lord Dunlop: My Lords, as set out in the cross-party Smith agreement, the Scottish Government’s block grant will be reduced to reflect their increased tax powers. The UK and Scottish Governments have agreed to work to finalise the new fiscal framework by the autumn, alongside the passage of the Scotland Bill. The Barnett formula will continue as part of these arrangements, but as the Scottish Government...

Scotland: Block Grant — Question (15 Jun 2015)

Lord Dunlop: My Lords, the noble Lord may well be right that the SNP Government will seek to continue to blame the United Kingdom Government, but the people of Scotland would certainly blame the UK Government more if we landed them with a £10 billion funding gap, costing every family in Scotland £5,000 in higher taxes or spending cuts. That would be the price of full fiscal autonomy. The Government...

Scotland: Block Grant — Question (15 Jun 2015)

Lord Dunlop: I thank my noble friend for that question. The simple overarching principle is that neither Scotland nor the rest of the United Kingdom should gain or lose financially as a direct consequence of implementing the Smith agreement. There are two aspects to this. First, at the point of devolution, the tax and spending block grant adjustments made to reflect the transfer of powers should of...

Scotland: Block Grant — Question (15 Jun 2015)

Lord Dunlop: My Lords, we are very mindful of the funding needs of Wales. Obviously, Welsh funding was the subject of the Holtham review and, according to the criteria set out by Holtham, Wales is not currently underfunded. For the foreseeable future, per-head funding is unlikely to converge with that of England in the near term. The UK Government have committed to introduce a funding for Wales that will...

Scotland: Block Grant — Question (15 Jun 2015)

Lord Dunlop: My Lords, the Smith agreement was, of course, an all-party consensus. We have an extensive package of constitutional reform for all parts of the United Kingdom and our priority is to deliver on the constitutional commitments that we have made. We want a balanced and fair settlement across the United Kingdom. I am sure that there will be a lively debate on what more can be done, which the...

Scotland: Block Grant — Question (15 Jun 2015)

Lord Dunlop: I thank the noble Lord. As I have said, our priority is to deliver the commitments that we have made. Of course we will listen to other ideas. As I have said, there will be a lively debate, including in this House. We will listen very carefully to what noble Lords and others have to say on this matter.

Devolution — Question (2 Jul 2015)

Lord Dunlop: The Government have no plans to establish a constitutional convention. Our focus must be on delivering the commitments that we made to the people of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Government do not support full fiscal autonomy for Scotland and have no plans to publish a White Paper on the issue. The Government’s priority is the delivery of a balanced constitutional...

Devolution — Question (2 Jul 2015)

Lord Dunlop: My Lords, the Government will honour the commitment to retain Barnett made by all three party leaders in the run up to the referendum. The fact that Barnett has endured for 40 years and 16 Scottish Secretaries shows that there are no easy alternatives. However, the significance of Barnett will reduce as the Scottish Parliament becomes 50% self-funded. The UK Government and the Scottish...

Devolution — Question (2 Jul 2015)

Lord Dunlop: My Lords, the Government are addressing the imbalances in our constitutional arrangement which we inherited from the previous Labour Government. Let me give two examples. The Scottish Parliament was set up with significant powers to spend money but little responsibility for raising it; and the previous Labour Government established a strong Scottish Parliament without properly addressing the...

Devolution — Question (2 Jul 2015)

Lord Dunlop: My Lords, when discussing constitutional conventions, what always springs into my mind is a remark made by, or attributed to, Harold Wilson when he talking about royal commissions—“They take minutes and last years”. I cannot see any evidence of public support for a convention. The public want us to get on and deliver the constitutional commitments we have made to each part of our United...

Devolution — Question (2 Jul 2015)

Lord Dunlop: I acknowledge the noble Lord’s great expertise in this area. The Government are addressing the various strands of our constitution in Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and England. Our priority is to deliver those commitments rather than spending time on a constitutional convention. Of course, if others want to set up their own convention they are welcome to do so. I read with interest the...

Devolution — Question (2 Jul 2015)

Lord Dunlop: I am sure that noble Lords in this House and others outside it will come forward with proposals. The Government will engage with those proposals and will be happy to discuss them.


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