Public Expenditure

House of Lords written question – answered on 14th January 2015.

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Photo of Lord Empey Lord Empey UUP

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to make the Scottish Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Welsh Assembly accountable to Parliament for the taxpayers’ money provided to these institutions to enable them to run public services in their respective regions.

Photo of Lord Deighton Lord Deighton The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury

The roles and responsibilities of the Government and the devolved administrations are explained in various provisions made in the devolution Acts, as well as in non-statutory publications setting out the relationship.

As set out in HM Treasury’s ‘Statement of Funding Policy’,

‘the devolved administrations will be fully accountable for the proper control and management of their public expenditure allocation and for securing economy, efficiency and value for money through scrutiny by the relevant Parliament or Assemblies and the detailed accountability and audit procedures listed in the Devolution Acts.’ (3.2.5)

The Government’s commitment to the integrity and autonomy of the devolved administrations is outlined in the ‘Devolution: memorandum of understanding and supplementary agreement’:

The United Kingdom Parliament retains the absolute right to debate, enquire into or make representations about devolved matters. It is ultimately for Parliament to decide what use to make of that power, but the UK Government will encourage the UK Parliament to bear in mind the primary responsibility of devolved legislatures and administrations in these fields and to recognise that it is a consequence of Parliament’s decision to devolve certain matters that Parliament itself will in future be more restricted in its field of operation.’

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