“Holyrood tax-raising powers gain majority support in poll” – P&J


The majority of people from across the political spectrum believe Scotland should be responsible for raising most of the money it spends, according to research from an independent think-tank.

Reform Scotland has released data from its online opinion poll on a possible third option of “devolution plus” in a referendum on independence.

Reform Scotland said its “Devo Plus” model would remove the block grant funding which Scotland receives from Westminster, and make Holyrood solely responsible for raising the money it spends.

Its online survey asked 811 people sourced from its distribution lists and via Twitter a range of questions about independence and devolution. Asked if they thought the Scottish Parliament should be responsible for raising the majority of the money it spends, more than 86% of those questioned said it should.

A majority answered yes across all political affiliations.

Asked how they would vote in a straight yes or no question on independence, 66% said they would vote yes. But more than half of respondents identified most with the SNP.

Ben Thomson, chairman of Reform Scotland, said: “It is becoming increasingly obvious that the general public want a greater ability for Holyrood to raise revenues to better match its spending responsibility whilst at the same time many still value the relationship with the rest of the UK.

“Reform Scotland’s proposal sets out in detail how revenues could be raised both by Westminster and Holyrood for both levels of government to fund their costs within the current constitutional framework.”

Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: “The poll has been rather swamped by SNP supporters – as online polls often are.  But there is still a strong sense that home rule could become the most popular route to a successful Scotland in the future.”

Tory chief whip John Lamont said: “It was clear that a huge proportion of Scots support the changes proposed by the UK coalition government in the Scotland Bill.

“It is astonishing that the SNP are doing their utmost to thwart this and before we consider any form of ‘devo max’ the provisions in this bill must be put in place first.”