“Osborne leans to devo-plus policy” – Sunday Times


By Jason Allardyce

George Osborne is open to the idea of devolving more financial powers to the Scottish Parliament to prevent independence, according to senior Conservative sources.

The Chancellor is said to believe the party must embrace further constitutional change to see of Alex Salmond’s Scottish National Party and help rebuild the Tories in Scotland, where they have one MP.

David Cameron, who has said he is prepared to discuss proposals for further devolution, is expected to return to Scotland to address his party’s Scottish conference this week.  he will make a positive case for the union between England and Scotland.

Tory cabinet ministers believe if Scots reject independence in the 2014 referendum, the party will make a general election manifesto commitment to hold a commission into the governanve of Britain.  Party strategists said greater tax powers for Holyrood are likely to flow from this. 

Support appears to be growing within the party for the “devo-plus” option, which would put Holyrood in full control of income tax, corporation tax and most welfare spending.