Sunday, 7 June 2015

SNP amendments to force Westminster to go beyond Smith


KEY ECONOMIC POWERS MUST BE IN SCOTLAND'S HANDS

Ahead of the Second Reading of the Scotland Bill tomorrow (Monday), the SNP has today confirmed that the party will seek to strengthen the Scotland Bill to go beyond the recommendations of the Smith Commission.

The SNP Amendment reads :

That this House, while agreeing that there is a pressing need to further enhance the powers of the Scottish Parliament, nevertheless believes that the measures proposed in the Scotland Bill are not an adequate response to the election result in Scotland and fall short of what people in Scotland want and what Scotland’s economy and society needs; regrets that the Bill does not take into account the recommendations of the cross-party Devolution (Further Powers) Committee of the Scottish Parliament and therefore does not fully implement the agreement reached by the five political parties in the Smith Commission; further regrets that the UK Government retains an effective veto in key areas; believes that the legislation would be strengthened by the inclusion of additional devolved powers over job creation, taxation, welfare and wages as early priorities as Scotland moves to a position in the medium term where the Scottish Parliament and Government are responsible for all revenue raising; and therefore considers that the Bill will require substantial amendment as it moves forward.

Commenting, SNP Westminster Leader Angus Robertson MP said:

"The Scotland Bill published by the UK Government is woefully lacking - failing to meet even the limited powers set out in the Smith Commission and falling far short of the aspirations of people in Scotland as expressed so firmly at the General Election.

"The Smith powers are widely seen as the bare minimum which should be delivered to Scotland and yet every party in the Scottish Parliament - even the Scottish Tories -have
backed the view of the cross-party Devolution Committe that the Bill as it stands simply doesn't measure up.

"It is abundantly clear that there needs to be substantial changes and improvements to bring the Bill up to scratch - and to deliver the powers people in Scotland want to see.

"As it stands, major powers over social security, the minimum wage and other key economic powers would remain in the hands of David Cameron and George Osborne - it is time these powers were delivered to Scotland to allow us to take real action to grow our economy and tackle poverty.

"Just last month, people in Scotland spoke loudly and clearly in demanding substantial new powers and gave the SNP an unprecedented mandate to pursue them. Westminster now must show that it has listened to Scotland's voice - and agree to these changes to stengthen the Scotland Bill."
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