Fiscal Aspects of the Scotland Bill - Getting it Right

A major lecture on the Fiscal Framework of the Scotland Bill was delivered by the Principal of the University of Glasgow, Professor Anton Muscatelli on Wednesday 24 February.

Professor Muscatelli, who has consistently argued that the financial agreement underpinning the new tax and welfare powers were crucial, analysed key aspects of the deal that has now been agreed between the Scottish and UK Governments.

In his lecture, ‘Fiscal Aspects of the Scotland Bill – Getting it Right’, Professor Muscatelli said: “The past year has seen a huge amount of political debate and intense negotiations on something that few people might otherwise have been concerned about. Yet getting the fiscal framework of the Scotland Bill wrong would, in my view, have been disastrous for public services in Scotland. At worst it could have cost up to £7 Billion over the coming decade.

“I believe that the deal now secured is a good one for both the UK and Scottish taxpayers. It will ensure a sound basis for the future funding of the things that we all rely upon, such as the NHS, schools and the police.

“The UK and Scottish Governments were right to take time to work through the detail. They were right to look at every aspect of a deal that will now make the Scottish Parliament one of the most powerful devolved institutions in the world. And they were right to ensure that the Fiscal Framework gives clarity to the Scottish Parliament for the next parliamentary term.

"The Smith Commission no-detriment clauses are complex and required much detailed and technical discussion. It is a very good outcome to see a considered resolution by the two Governments which addresses these formal requirements without exposing Scotland to unacceptable additional demographic risks."

The talk by Professor Muscatelli was part of the Stevenson Trust Lectures. 

The event took place in the Sir Charles Wilson Lecture Theatre, and was chaired by the Chancellor of the University of Glasgow Sir Kenneth Calman.


First published: 1 March 2016

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