Swinney anger over ‘breach’ of Smith Commission plans

Like most is unhappy

Like most is unhappy

By @ShaunyGibson – Used to be @ ShaunyNews

Via: http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/scottish-politics/swinney-anger-over-breach-of-smith-commission-plans.1417721657

I think many of us are unhappy at this, but I believe when Nicola and Alex say “Scotland will be Independent” They mean it as in “Soon” Alex said all along “I will not walk away from First leader regardless of the result” Then he walked away. Hmm. I think I see a cunning plan 😉 Watch this space folks. SNP have something up their sleeves

The commission recommended that the work programme, which helps jobseekers find and keep employment, should be transferred from Westminster to Holyrood when the current commercial arrangements expire. The Scottish Government said this should mean the transfer taking place in March 2016, but the UK Government has extended the contract by a year.

Scottish Skills Secretary Roseanna Cunningham accused the Westminster Government of “breath-taking arrogance”, and wrote to UK Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith to complain. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) said it was “utterly appalled” by the move to extend the contract. Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said the decision was made in August, before the Smith Commission was set up.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney, giving evidence to Holyrood’s Devolution Committee, said Ms Cunningham’s remarks were “understandable and appropriate”. He said: “The Smith Commission recommended that on the completion of the work programme contracts, these should be devolved to the Scottish Parliament and that’s in the spring of 2016, and we’re now being advised, without our consent, that that’s been delayed a year in a process which is not yet complete. “What we get to in all of this analysis is the whole question of good faith. We need to get on in good faith and one of the things which I think undermines that good faith is seeing the goalposts being moved on an important issue the Smith Commission has judged upon.”

But earlier, the committee heard from Mr Carmichael, who said: “First of all, I think it is important to say that this was a decision taken in August, so some of the breathless commentary about this being ‘a dreadful decision that was designed to thwart the will of the Smith Commission’ is not justified because, frankly, this decision was taken long before the Smith Commission was even set up.” Lucy McTernan, deputy chief executive of SCVO, said: “We are utterly appalled by the UK Government’s move to extend its work programme contracts when it was agreed by the Smith Commission that it would transfer to the Scottish Parliament as soon as current contracts expired. “But our disappointment doesn’t lie so much in the almost immediate failure to keep to the agreement as in the fact that it’s impossible to justify why such a broken and failing system would ever be continued. “We’re completely dismayed by this delay in ridding Scotland of this exploitative, punitive and under-performing programme.”

SNP MSP Linda Fabiani, a member of the Devolution Committee, said that the sooner the programme is devolved, the sooner it can be “put right”. “Quite why the UK Government thinks it is acceptable to completely ignore the Smith Commission proposals and press ahead with its failed scheme is baffling,” she said. A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “Unemployment in Scotland fell by 38,000 over the last year and our priority is to ensure as many people are helped into work as possible while fulfilling our commitment to the Smith Commission’s proposals on devolution. “Maintaining continuity of support is important. That is why we are allowing time for the powers to be devolved and for the Scottish Government to build its new programme to make sure long-term unemployed people get the help and support they need to find a job and have the security of a regular wage.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon met with Mr Carmichael today to discuss the issue. She said: “I stressed the need to make sure that the UK Government signs no new Work Programme contracts for Scotland as these powers are to be devolved under the Smith Commission recommendations. “It would not be fair or right that Scotland is tied into this programme longer than it needs to be. Mr Carmichael has pledged to speak to the Department of Work and Pensions on the issue, and they should now rethink their plans. “Westminster now needs to act to make sure plans for the transfer of the powers recommended for devolution by the Smith Commission are taken forward as soon as possible.”

The politicians also discussed extending the franchise to 16 and 17-year-olds for the next Scottish Parliament elections in 2016 after recommendations in the Smith Commission.

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Sturgeon: Scottish independence is a matter of ‘when, not if’

Nicola Sturgeon: Scottish independence is a matter of 'when, not if'.

Nicola Sturgeon: Scottish independence is a matter of ‘when, not if’

By Shaun Gibson : @ShaunyNews

Scottish independence is a matter of “when, not if” – particularly if unionist parties deliver on their vow of substantial new powers for Holyrood, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Devolution of the financial, economic and welfare powers implicit in unionist pledges of “home rule” will render future “scaremongering” over Scotland’s capacity for self-government “risible”, according to Ms Sturgeon, who is almost certain to be Scotland’s next first minister. But she recognised that Westminster faces a difficult task in delivering powers which it claimed “would cause the sky to fall in” before the referendum. Ms Sturgeon will today face calls to rule out a rapid second referendum by Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael, who has already warned nationalists against arguing for “independence by the back door” in the forthcoming Smith Commission negotiations on more powers. Writing in left-wing periodical Scottish Left Review, Ms Sturgeon said: “There is no going back – and much as they might have wanted to, Whitehall politicians and mandarins cannot put us back in a devolved box. “The word ‘devolution’ is no longer adequate, for that describes a process of handing down carefully circumscribed powers from on high to a relatively passive people. “Scotland is now more politically engaged and assertive than at any stage of the democratic era.”

Better Together’s “project fear” tactics “undoubtedly played a role in determining the outcome” of the referendum, but if unionists deliver on their devolution pledges in full it would diminish future dire warnings about the implications of self-government, she said. “Threats of higher supermarket prices and business relocation – empty and orchestrated from Downing Street though they were – diverted attention and undermined confidence,” she said. “In the circumstances, achieving 45% and 1.6 million votes for an independent Scotland was remarkable, and in my opinion will be judged in days to come as the moment which determined that independence was a question of ‘when, not if’.” She added: “Put simply, the more responsibilities we can demonstrate Scotland is capable of successfully discharging – and the more these are used to build a fairer country and more economic opportunity for all – the less people will heed the siren voices claiming that to go further would cause the sky to fall in.”

Ms Sturgeon confirmed that former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown’s aspiration for “a modern form of Scottish home rule” in a federal UK within two years will be the SNP’s benchmark for the Smith Commission. “Additional powers which answer to the description of either home rule or federalism require both a quantitative and qualitative enhancement of Scottish self-government, especially in the core areas of finance, the economy and welfare,” she said. “These were, of course, the very areas where the No campaign depicted doom and gloom if decisions were taken at Holyrood rather than Westminster. “However, squaring that circle is Westminster’s difficulty – Scotland’s opportunity lies in gaining the powers we were promised in return for a No vote, and ensuring that we use them wisely for the benefit of the commonwealth. “If that is what transpires – and unless it is then the vow to the 55% who voted No, as well as the 45% who voted Yes, will have been broken – then Scotland will be self-governing to an extent which would render a future Project Fear attack on the implications of independence risible. “So while the referendum result did not go our way, these are still good times for Scotland.”




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Boris Johnson vows to resist Scots tax devolution – As I said early August!

As I have said all alone, links below

As I have said all alone, links below

I have been getting PELTERS from the No camp for saying exactly this here below. Now Scotland YOU have one day to believe David Cameron, but do know any other Tory politician that takes the hot seat in the UK could and probably will take this “Vow” of promised DevoMax away from Scotland. I said Boris Johnson said this, and here is further proof Scotland. I ask you undecided, what on EARTH will it take for you to understand any “Vow” can and probably will be taken from us a few years down the road, should Boris Johnson take power one day or someone like him, SCOTLAND, WE LOSE DEVOLVED POWERS WE ARE NOW BEING PROMISED! We need to understand what Cameron and his two pals have offered in the “Vow” are lies and Boris has proven that theory correct. Scotland, DO NOT BE STUPID, VOTE YES, AND END THIS PANTOMIME!

What I said way back in August 12th and was told I was telling lies, well? am I lying? was I wrong?

Boris Johnson let slip Tory plans to deny Scotland powers if we vote No in the Referendum!! Share, please!!


SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE: Boris Johnson was accused of wanting to “turn the screw on Scotland” after he said the UK should resist handing new tax raising powers to Holyrood if independence is rejected next month.

The London mayor stated his opposition to devolving greater tax responsibilities to Scotland as a poll showed he had opened up a big lead over his rivals as the politician the public would like to see replace Tory Party leader David Cameron. Nationalists last night seized on the intervention to warn that Mr Johnson’s comments offered a “grim insight” into Scotland’s future devolution prospects in the event of a No vote and a Johnson premiership. Some 34 per cent of voters interviewed believe the London Mayor – who announced last week that he will seek to return as an MP at the general election – should be the next Tory leader. The YouGov poll found he was 19 points ahead of Home Secretary Theresa May, while Chancellor George Osborne was third favourite with just 9 per cent.

However, in a departure from Mr Cameron’s stance on devolution Mr Johnson insisted there is “no reason” for pledging more powers to the Scottish Parliament over tax and spending in the event of a No vote. Mr Cameron backed handing Holyrood the power to set its own rate of income tax and levels of some benefits as part of a package of enhanced devolution as set out in the party’s Strathclyde commission. However, Mr Johnson, when asked about the plan, became one of the most senior Tories to set out his hostility to greater devolution for Scotland as he said greater powers should instead be handed to England’s major cities.

He said: “Alex Salmond has been thrashed in these debates, but for no reason we are promising the Scots more tax raising powers. There’s no need. “What has England ever got out of this devolution process? If you want to have growth in the English cities then you should do what Manchester wants, what Liverpool, Leeds and all of us want – and that’s more tax raising powers.” Pro-independence campaigners said there was now a serious prospect of Mr Johnson emerging as the UK prime minister after the 2015 General Election. Blair Jenkins, Yes Scotland’s Chief Executive said: “With Boris Johnson being tipped for the Tory leadership, we’ve been given a sobering insight into the reality of what additional powers will be offered in the event of a No vote.