Scotland Seeks Fiscal Autonomy despite Projected Deficit



Scotland has been demanding independence for a long time and 56 out of 59 MPs are clamouring for independence.  MPs are preparing a crucial Bill which would allow Scotland to set income tax rates, control a proportion of VAT raised in Scotland and set their own stamp duty – giving them the ability to increase taxes and create new benefits.  It would give full fiscal autonomy for Scotland.

The UK Government will reject Scottish nationalists’ call for the Scotland Bill that offers full fiscal autonomy for the country.  Scottish Secretary David Mundell considered the SNP’s proposal “disastrous” because they would lose the higher spending allocations they get under the Barnett formula.  Autonomy would mean Scotland will have a £7bn to £10bn deficit in 2015-16, as per a report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS).  But SNP Deputy Leader Stewart Hosie dismissed the IFS report as redundant.

The Scotland Bill is in its first day of the committee stage in the Commons.  MPs are preparing to scrutinise it.  The SNP wants the legislation to go further.  It had also tabled an amendment for the bill to give Scotland full fiscal autonomy.