Linda Fabiani MSP for East Kilbride and Convener of the Scotland Bill Committee has described the Scotland Bill as a “missed opportunity” following the agreement reached between the UK and Scottish Governments on changes to the legislation.
Linda said “I welcome the deal reached between the two governments. I believe this is evidence of common sense, grown-up politics which I hope will also carry through to the discussions on the independence referendum. Although the final deal recommended to Parliament does not go as far as the majority of the Scotland Bill Committee wanted, there have been improvements on what was previously offered.
“I am encouraged that the details of how the new Scottish rate of income tax and the reduction in the block grant will work now require the approval of both Parliaments. It’s essential that the Scottish Parliament has say before signing off how this will be implemented. I am also pleased to see agreements reached to review further tax powers for the Parliament, higher borrowing limits, removing the transfer of most powers back to Westminster and on the role of the UK Supreme Court in Scottish legal matters.
“I am disappointed that there has not at this stage been movement on a two-stage devolution of the Crown Estate or on transfer of powers for welfare and benefits but am encouraged that the dialogue on these important matters will continue.”