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Case for finance powers- The Daily Express

Daily Express, 19 October 2009

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The recession has strengthened the case for Holyrood to be given greater financial independence, a leading think tank says.

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But Reform Scotland warns that in the short term there will need to be spending cuts or tax rises or both in order to address the UK’s deficit.

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The report called on the Scottish Parliament to prepare for more powers, so that these can be implemented as soon as the political decisions are taken.

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Authors, economist Graeme Blackett and law and tax expert James Aitken, state: “If additional fiscal powers are to have a real impact on the governance of Scotland and on the performance of the Scottish economy, they must be of a scale that is great enough to address the fundamental defect of the current devolution settlement – its lack of financial accountability.”

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The four main parties at Holyrood want increased fiscal powers.

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The Calman Commission which examined the devolution set-up recommended that income tax rates in Scotland should be set 10p lower.