Fiscal Policy

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Funding deal can end threat of the “Barnett Squeeze”

The UK Government and the Welsh Government are currently discussing the future of a ‘funding floor’ for Wales, designed to protect the relative level of government spending per head in Wales. A new report by researchers from Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre and the Institute for Fiscal Studies assesses three options for the floor, and considers how such a floor might interact with the Welsh block grant after taxes are devolved to Wales from April 2018.

A landmark new report by the Wales Governance Centre (WGC) at the University of Cardiff, Government Expenditure and Revenue Wales 2016, gives the clearest picture yet of the state of welsh public finances. Guto Ifan and Ed Poole at the WGC, explain that the report shows that public sector expenditure for Wales exceeded public sector revenues by £14.7 billion in 2014-15.
 
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The suggestion that an increase in the additional rate would lead to a mass migration of wealthy Scots has been widely - and rightly - criticised, says David Eiser. However, the likelihood of widespread tax avoidance by higher earners is a very real one. 
 
The SNP has been taking a lot of criticism for its failure to support a rise in the Additional Rate to 50p. 
 
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Does Nicola Sturgeon’s refusal to increase the Additional Rate of Income Tax to 50p unless it is increased in the rest of the UK undermine the case for tax devolution? David Eiser argues that there were always going to be constraints on the exercise of devolved powers and incumbent governments have to decide how these relate to the wider policy context.
 
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Scotland's fiscal framework: Assessing the agreement

The Smith Commission Agreement, published on 27 November 2014, set out proposals for substantial fiscal devolution to the Scottish Parliament. The Scotland Bill – due to receive Royal Assent shortly – will enshrine these powers in law.

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  • 20th July 2018

    Richard Parry reviews a fast-evolving situation as the march of time and need to reconcile rhetoric and practicality constrain policy-makers

  • 13th July 2018

    The White Paper published this week talks about the UK Government making ‘sovereign decisions’ to adopt European rules but, as we know from the experience of Norway and Switzerland, this can be an illusory sovereignty when the costs of deviating from the rules is exclusion from the single market or European programmes. CCC Director Professor Michael Keating looks at whether the UK is ready for this kind of deal.

  • 12th July 2018

    Last week the government released its fisheries white paper. While most of the fisheries and Brexit debate centres on quotas and access to waters, there is also an important devolution dimension. Brexit already has profound consequences for the UK’s devolution settlement and fisheries policy is one example of this. So, in addition to communicating its overall vision for post-Brexit fisheries policy, the white paper was also an opportunity for the government to set out how it would see that policy working in the devolved UK.

  • 4th July 2018

    At the same time as Parliament prepares to ‘take back control’ from Brussels, the executive is in fact accruing to itself further control over the legislative process. CCC Fellow Professor Stephen Tierney addresses a number of trends – only some of which are a direct consequence of the unique circumstances of Brexit – which suggest a deeper realignment of institutional power within the constitution and a consequent diminution of Parliament’s legislative power.

  • 27th June 2018

    Faced with a choice between splitting her Cabinet into winners and losers, Theresa May has sought to keep the Brexit crap game going. She does this by avoiding betting on either a hard or soft Brexit. Professor Richard Rose of Strathclyde looks at the high stakes outcomes facing the Prime Minister. .

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