by Jen Stout Jan 23rd, 2015
Yesterday David Cameron visited Edinburgh to announce the plans to give Holyrood new powers. It was a big moment. These plans were only written because across Scotland, before, during and since the referendum, ordinary people demanded a fairer, more democratic country – and a government with new and better powers.
Tens of thousands of 38 Degrees members were part of the movement that pushed for these new powers. So are they good enough? If we’re not happy with them, there’s a chance we could push for some serious changes.
Please click here for our quick poll where you can have your say on the proposals – and help us decide what 38 Degrees members across Scotland could do next.
Cameron also stated that the plans, which are the result of the Smith Commission, are the end of the road for Scottish devolution. So are you happy with this ‘final resting place’ for the Scottish parliament?
There’s a lot going on in the new plans. They give 16 and 17-year-olds the right to vote in Scottish elections. They give Holyrood new powers over Scotland’s railways and over income tax.
But full tax powers are not included in the proposals. The Scottish parliament would have the power to set income tax rates and thresholds, and receive the first 10% VAT raised. But all other aspects of income tax (e.g. personal allowance), and other taxes such as Corporation Tax, National Insurance and North Sea revenue, would remain with Westminster.
Some welfare powers such as Disability Living Allowance and aspects of Housing Benefit are to be devolved – but overall the Universal Credit programme would remain with Westminster. Charities and NGOs say they’re disappointed over the lack of welfare powers.
120,000 of us signed the petition to David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg in the wake of the referendum vote: together, 38 Degrees members told them to stick to their promises of new powers for Scotland. Now that we have the plans in front of us, let’s decide together: have they delivered?
Please click here to have your say