The Smith Commission has given it’s considered views on which powers should be granted to the Scottish Parliament. That’s all well and good but these proposals fall somewhat short of the mark, they amount to nothing in reality (apart from full control of road signs). Oh how Unionists must be laughing at their cocaine and whore parties tonight.
The Smith Commission Report is available here. The ins and outs of this report will be pored over for some time I’d imagine, with Unionists giving us all the “Vow Delivered” clap trap and “Now the Scottish Government must tell us how it’s going to use these significant new powers.” The simple fact is that although some new powers are being offered they all come with caveats. If the Scottish Government makes efficiency savings in one area and saves some cash, then the block grant from Westminster will be cut. If the Scottish Government chooses to use some devolved power which costs a bit more, the money will have to be found from within the existing block grant.
The most striking part of the report for me is in paragraph 76 which says, “Within this framework, the Scottish Parliament will have the power to set the rates of Income Tax and the thresholds at which these are paid for the non-savings and non-dividend income of Scottish taxpayers.” Which means that the Scottish Government can tax the workers, but not the rich. That’s a nice touch of Tory there.