Holyrood tax powers \’must be expanded\’ – Times


Angus Macleod
Times, 21.11.08

A leading think-tank called yesterday for Holyrood to be given the power to raise all of the money it spends and for teh appointment of a Scottish Chancellor.

Reform Scotland, in a submission to the Calman Commission, which is examining whether the powers of the devolved Parliament in Edinburgh should be extended, said that Holyrood should be made more financially accountable to the taxpayer.

It also called for the establishment of a body to represent English interests, the lack of which was the "Achilles\’ heel" of the present devolution settlement.

The report said that a Scottish Exchequer would have to be set up and that would require a Chancellor.  The Exchequer would be responsible for collecting all taxes levied north of the Border on behalf of the UK and Scottish governments.

Westminster would retain responsibility for raising the £20 billion that is spent in resereved areas such as defence and welfare benefits north of the Border.