The UK and the Scottish Government have concluded their discussions on a new funding agreement for Scotland. This will give unprecendented new powers to Scotland. The agreement will be finalised in a new Scotland Bill to be put through parliament later in the spring.
This historic deal means that:
- funding for Scotland will be at the same level as the Barnett funding set in the recent Spending Review – Scotland will not receive a penny less than under Barnett
- the Scottish Government will get new borrowing powers – so that it can manage its budget effectively and invest up to £3 billion in vital infrastructure, while being accountable to the Scottish people for its decisions
- the Scottish Government will get £200 million to implement the new powers
- a review in the next Parliament will make ensure the deal we have agreed is still delivering against all the Smith principles
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said, “The arrangements we’ve reached with the Scottish Government are fair to Scotland and fair to taxpayers in the rest of the UK. This enables us to deliver on the vow we made to the Scottish people and delivers one of the most powerful devolved Parliaments in the world and the economic and national security that comes from being part of the UK.This clears the way for the debate in Scotland to move on to how these tax and spending powers should be used.”
The Prime Minister. David Cameron, has also said:
This is a significant day for devolution. The agreement is a major milestone in delivering a powerhouse parliament for Scotland and will enable us to meet our commitment to make Holyrood one of the most powerful devolved parliaments in the world.
We have reached a deal which is fair to Scotland and fair to the whole of the UK. It delivers accountability to the Scottish government and transforms politics in Scotland. It means May’s Holyrood elections can be fought on the issues which matter most: how the Scottish government should use these extensive new powers, rather than what they are.
I welcome this agreement which shows that Scotland’s 2 governments can work constructively together for the benefit of Scottish people.