John Baron MP votes against full fiscal responsibility for Scotland

June 30, 2015
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MP says asymmetry the price to help preserve the Union

In the House of Commons last night, MPs considered the second day of the Committee Stage of the Scotland Bill. The Bill is intended to implement the findings of the Smith Commission, which was drawn up following last year’s Scottish independence referendum.

Some of the amendments debated last night dealt with whether Scotland should be granted full fiscal responsibility – in essence control over all matters in Scotland save defence and foreign affairs – which John voted against. The Smith Commission did not recommend Scotland be granted full fiscal autonomy, pointing to the possibility of a large hole in Scottish Government spending as a result of the loss of the Block Grant.

John said,

“Given the size of England relative to the rest of the Union, asymmetry is the price the English pay to help keep the Union together. We forgot that lesson with Ireland in the 19th Century.”

“However, there also needs to be greater transparency in both the extent of the block grant, which should be fixed, and in the future direct relationship in Scotland between any additional spending and tax increases. Scottish Governments must take responsibility for their levels of spending.”

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