UK Government must commit to a fair fiscal deal for Scotland
Gavin Newlands, the MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has joined calls for the Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell MP, to commit to a fair deal for Scotland on the fiscal framework that accompanies the Scotland Bill after Mundell dodged the questions from MPs in the House of Commons today.
Responding to a series of questions by SNP MPs, the Secretary of State was unable to say whether he supported the ‘no detriment’ principal agreed by the Smith Commission, what he thought a fair financial deal would look like, or why – given his role – he was not attending the negotiations between the Scottish and UK governments.
Gavin Newlands, the MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:
“Leading economists, academics, trade unions and many others have warned that Scotland could be worse off by hundreds of millions of pounds if the UK Government do not ensue that a fair fiscal framework that will accompanying the Scotland Bill.
“The cross-party Smith Commission agreement recommended that the UK Government adopt a ‘no detriment’ policy for devolving more powers to Scotland. Therefore, the Scottish Government’s budget should not be reduced because of the devolution of powers.
“The Prime Minister pledged that he would fulfil the agreements reached by the Smith Commission, but it is clear that his government are failing that test in so many different ways.
“The sole Tory MP in Scotland, the Secretary of State for Scotland ducked and dived our questions on the fiscal framework. Perhaps this can be explained by the fact that the UK Government have not invited Mr Mundell to the negotiations.
“Nevertheless, it is crucial that any financial deal that accompanies the Scotland Bill is fair for Scotland – the SNP will not sign off a deal that will make Scotland worse off. The UK Government must now fulfil the no determent policy.”