David Eiser reports from a seminar at the Centre on Constitutional Change led by Carlo Cottarelli of The International Monetary Fund. Carlo shed light on how devolved fiscal powers are operationalised across a sample of 13 federal countries.
On November 27th 2014, the Smith Commission published proposals for further devolution of powers to Scotland. We now know what is to be devolved – the UK and Scottish Governments now have the more prosaic task of implementing the changes. Getting the details of how the taxes and welfare are devolved will be crucial.
The Smith Commission report advocates an extensive devolution of fiscal powers to Scotland. But is it optimal that all of the tax devolution is concentrated into one tax, namely income tax?
George Osborne made a typically robust defence of his economic record in the last Autumn Statement of this Parliament. Some of the measures he announced may well pay electoral dividends. Although the amounts involved are relatively small, the reduction of Air Passenger Duty for children and the revision of stamp duty in England will no doubt shore up support in the Conservative heartlands.
David Bell and David Eiser
The Smith Commission proposals seek to increase the powers of the Scottish Parliament and to secure a corresponding increase in the Parliament’s accountability and responsibility for the effects of its decisions and their resulting benefits or costs.