Scotland’s main parties to discuss further devolution at Smith commission


Scottish Parliament

Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh

By Shaun Gibson : @ShaunyNews

SCOTLAND’S politicians will put aside party differences today to work on more devolved powers to the Scottish parliament. Representatives from five Scottish parties – two each from the SNP, Labour, the Conservatives, the Lib Dems and the Greens – will be told by Lord Smith of Kelvin to find consensus on bringing new powers to Scotland when they meet in Edinburgh Lord Smith and the politicians are on a tight timetable to deliver the vow made by the pro-Union parties to deliver more powers for Scotland in the event of a No vote. With a Command paper already issued, the parties have to agree a way forward by the end of November . Then the UK Government will put forward draft legislative proposals based on what is agreed in a bill in January.

Lord Smith has the responsibility of getting parties to agree

Lord Smith has the responsibility of getting parties to agree

The bill will be brought forward after the general election by whatever government come in. Reaching consensus on the points that can be agreed will be the easy part in the first formal session of the Smith Commission. The five Scottish parties have already submitted their proposals so everyone is aware of each other’s demands. The focus will be on finding common ground, something Lord Smith is optimistic about. He said: “Having spoken to all of the parties individually, I believe the will is there to reach 
agreement. “Today’s talks give them the chance to sit down together, find common ground and begin the process of delivering what the people of Scotland expect – a package of new powers which will strengthen the Scottish Parliament within the UK.”

Easily-dealt with issues include devolving the powers of the Crown Estate Commission, who own 
the seabeds around the UK and receive rents from Scotland’s fish farm and offshore wind turbine operators. Moving beyond that, there may be agreement on devolving powers such as funds for housing benefit and aspects of welfare including attendance allowance and job training. Nicola Sturgeon has already said that the process must deliver “something substantial.” The First Minister-elect knows independence won’t come out of the talks but wants something very close to it. She said. “The language that was used during the referendum campaign was very clear. The other parties, in seeking to persuade people to vote No, said that more powers would amount to near federalism, a modern form of home rule, devo max.”

Nicola and Alex have all the balls in their side of the court

Nicola and Alex have all the balls in their side of the court  😉

Parties

All 5 must agree

The SNP submission makes great play of the campaign pledges of other party leaders, laying plenty of ground to cry foul if, in their eyes, the powers package falls short of what was solomnly pledged. Alex Salmond, now cast in the role of pointman for the SNP as his formal leadership role fades, has already talked of “betrayal”. The Scottish Government have called for maximum devolution within the UK, including full control over tax and fiscal policy, in a wide-ranging set of proposals stopping just short of full 
independence.But the demands of the SNP and the Greens for devo max powers will sail right over the bar of one of the Commission’s key remits, to maintain the integrity of the UK. The great faultine may not be if the Commission deliver devo-max demands, they will not, but on how much and how far they will go up to that limit.

There are major disagreements between Labour and the Conservatives on the issue of tax devolution . In the run-up to the talks the trickery of David Cameorn on linking whether or not Scottish MPs should continue to be allowed to vote on English-only issues in the House of Commons has fouled the atmosphere . The Tories want to go further on the handover of tax levying powers than Labour do. Complete devolution of tax raising powers would be independence by the back door, Gordon Brown has argued. But the Lib Dems, who want Holyrood to have complete control of the rates and bands of personal income tax, seem unfazed.

The Conservatives and Lib Dems want Edinburgh to be in charge of setting rates and bands of personal income tax while Labour would impose limits, lower than even Brown wants. Brown wants Holyrood to be responsible for raising 54 per cent of its own revenue, quadrupling the figure from the £4billion it currently raises to £18billion in 2016. Scottish Labour want powers that would allow the Scottish Government to raise 40 per cent of their budget. There is plenty of room for the parties to fall out, as they will, but also pressure on them to find 
agreement too.

Meanwhile, former first minister Jack McConnell fired a shot across the bows of the Commission and his own party yesterday saying that the quick fix must stand the test of time. He said: “If you are designing a new tax system for Scotland, the system has to work and be sustainable for at least a number of years. “I hope Lord Smith will note the proposals from the different parties but then start a discussion on the basic principles that should then determine what is delivered.” He added: “Deals reached behind closed doors are not going to reach a semi-permanent solution. This has to be seen as based on principle and stand the test of time.”

The representatives on the commission:

SNP – Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney and Linda Fabiani MSP.
Scottish Labour – Finance spokesman Iain Gray MSP and shadow work and pensions minister Gregg McClymont MP.
Former Scottish Conservative leader Annabel Goldie will represent her party with Glasgow University law professor Adam Tomkins.
The Scottish Liberal Democrats – Former Scottish Secretary Michael Moore MP and former party leader Tavish Scott MSP.
The Scottish Green Party – Co-leaders Patrick Harvie MSP and Edinburgh councillor Maggie Chapman.

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http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/oct/22/scotland-main-political-parties-devolution-smith-commission

http://article.wn.com/view/2014/10/22/Scotland_s_main_parties_to_discuss_further_devolution_at_Smi/

http://www.rte.ie/news/2014/1022/653981-scotland-devolution/

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Scottish Referendum Debate Rages On As Alex Salmond Threatens ‘Revenge’


Alex Salmond Reveals The White Paper For An Independent Scotland

Stepped down as 1st Minister so he could do more for Scotland

By Shaun Gibson : @ShaunyNews

Alex Salmond has hinted at another referendum on Scottish independence taking place as he threatened to exact “revenge” if pledges promised by the government are not fulfilled.

As MPs in the House of Commons debated the promise of more powers for Scotland, the SNP leader accused David Cameron of “reneging” on pledges promised in the run up to the historic vote and warned there would be consequences if the No parties fail to deliver more powers for Scotland. The debate erupted into a heated clash between William Hague and Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the latter of whom argued that “crude” Tory plans risked undermining the UK in the wake of the referendum. Salmond’s comments also came as a senior Labour MP warned that the refusal of some supporters of independence to accept the result of the 55% to 45% ‘No’ vote will “poison” politics in Scotland. Glasgow South West MP Iain Davidson, the chairman of the Commons Scotland committee, told MPs today that politicians and voters should “accept that there was a clear and decisive result”. “It appears that no form of devolution will satisfy those who are in favour of separation,” he said. “We ares starting to see not just an unhappiness about the result but an actual rejection of the result. A myth of betrayal is being put forward.” Davidson said there was now a “grievance a day mentality” on the part of the SNP and supporters of the unsuccessful ‘Yes’ campaign. “That is going to poison, potentially, Scottish politics,” he said.

But Salmond has insisted that Cameron is set on letting down Scottish nationalists.

So far, not good on his word

So far, not good on his word

“The Prime Minister started the process of reneging on the commitment when he came out of Downing Street hours after the referendum and said that progress in Scotland should be in tandem with … constitutional change in England. Even Gordon Brown is finding it difficult to stomach,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. Indicating that he did not view another referendum as completely off the agenda, he added: “What I said was that the referendum was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said. “My view is that constitutional referendums came along once every political generation – about every 20 years or so. “Circumstances obviously can change. Clearly, if you had a situation where three leaders made such a public vow – not even a political promise but a vow – in the last few desperate hours when they thought they were losing the referendum campaign and then reneged upon it, then that would obviously be a very, very substantial change of circumstances. “These matters ultimately are for the people of Scotland to decide. It is for the people of Scotland to decide whether it is satisfactory to be conned and tricked by Westminster leaders, or they will exact a revenge at the ballot box.”

But Leader of the House of Commons William Hague said Salmond was “almost looking for and hoping for some sense of betrayal”. The Tory minister told Today: “Let it be very clear that every commitment made by not only the Conservative but Labour and Liberal Democrat parties about what would happen if the result of the Scottish referendum was No, every commitment has so far been kept and will be.  “We have said, the Prime Minister and I have said, that those things should go in tandem. But they are not tied in the sense that one is dependent on the other. “The commitments to Scotland are unconditional and will go ahead – this is an absolute 100% clear commitment that will go ahead whatever we decide or don’t decide about England.

“But it is our view that fairness to the whole of the UK means the party should also agree on the same timetable the consequences for Scottish MPs voting on English matters. “If they can’t, then of course it will be a matter we all debate in the general election campaign. This is a democratic country. The people will decide.” Earlier, Hague clashed with Brown, who warned “nations can collapse by accident”. Brown said excluding MPs from non-English constituencies from some votes would erode the “stability and harmony of the British constitution”. “You cannot have one UK if you have two separate classes of MP,” he said. “You cannot have representatives elected by the people who are half in and half out of the law making process.” Brown has already warned that Cameron’s plans to ban Scottish MPs from voting on English laws risk breaking the “fragile” Union.

HAD NO MANDATE TO MAKE PROMISES!

HAD NO MANDATE TO MAKE PROMISES!

The former Labour leader said combined with plans to devolve total control over income tax to Holyrood, Cameron’s proposals were a “lethal cocktail” that could end the United Kingdom. Brown accused the PM of playing “fast and loose” with the constitution, prompting mockery from the SNP who said his input to the debate since the vote had become “increasingly surreal”. Cameron today accused Labour of “not being interested in fairness” for the UK after it decided to boycott talks on English votes for English laws. Ed Miliband’s party denounced the talks being led by Hague as “a closed-shop stitch-up” when “proper reform” is needed. But the Prime Minister rejected the suggestion that he was playing politics with the Union following the vow made to the people of Scotland during the referendum campaign. He said: “What we need is obviously more devolution for Scotland but a settlement that’s fair for the whole of the United Kingdom. “I think it’s a matter of great regret if Labour are going to walk out of this Cabinet committee which they could join in and make their suggestions. “But obviously they are not interested in fairness across the United Kingdom so we will have to work hard with other partners to make sure we deliver.”

http://www.newsnow.co.uk/h/Current+Affairs/Scotland/Scottish+Independence

http://www.theindependenceconversation.com/2014/10/15/news-scottish-referendum-debate-rages-on-as-alex-salmond-threatens-revenge-huffington-post-uk/

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Full Scottish Government Proposal PDF Form – For Westminster


Nicola’s first act is to pressure Westminster

Nicola’s first act is to pressure Westminster

By Shaun Gibson : @ShaunyNews

I am sure many have seen this full PDF Form. This is from the SNP at Hollyrood to Westminster. The credit goes to Nicola Sturgeon, and she doesn’t miss the mark. We were promised DevoMax that makes us 90% free from the Union, as yet it’s been too slow for everyone’s liking. So this is the ball starting to roll Scotland. Add to this Ruth Davidson being questioned by Police (Blog below this one) https://acenewsdesk.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/police-question-ruth-davidson-over-postal-votes-reports/ is proof that indeed nobody is sitting on their hands doing nothing. Hollyrood are demanding what was written into law in the event of a No vote and this is just the start. The police are well into the investigation of vote fraud or any kind of wrong doing in the Referendum. So, we are starting to see things happen now, watch this space I guess Scotland

Link to full PDF File: ScotGov Report

ScotGov Report_001 ScotGov Report_002 ScotGov Report_003 ScotGov Report_004 ScotGov Report_005 ScotGov Report_006 ScotGov Report_007 ScotGov Report_008 ScotGov Report_009 ScotGov Report_010 ScotGov Report_011 ScotGov Report_012 ScotGov Report_013 ScotGov Report_014 ScotGov Report_015 ScotGov Report_016 ScotGov Report_017 ScotGov Report_018 ScotGov Report_019 ScotGov Report_020 ScotGov Report_021 ScotGov Report_022 ScotGov Report_023 ScotGov Report_024 ScotGov Report_025 ScotGov Report_026 ScotGov Report_027 ScotGov Report_028 ScotGov Report_029 ScotGov Report_030 ScotGov Report_031 ScotGov Report_032 ScotGov Report_033 ScotGov Report_034 ScotGov Report_035 ScotGov Report_036 ScotGov Report_037 ScotGov Report_038 ScotGov Report_039 ScotGov Report_040 ScotGov Report_041 ScotGov Report_042

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