Scotland should have fiscal independence
- By: Amina Hussain
Leading economists say that the Scottish parliament should be given complete control over taxation and spending in Scotland. Making the devolved administration fully responsible for raising its own funds would, they say, force the Scottish Executive to be more accountable for its spending decisions.
Welcoming the proposal, the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), John Swinney, said, “I want to see that the wealth of Scotland works for the people of Scotland.” But other parties have been more sceptical.
At present, the Scots pay all their taxes to the Treasury, which in turn hands back £19.8bn to pay for health and the other devolved powers, such as education. The Scottish parliament can top up this amount by increasing income tax, or it can lower taxes and hand money back to the Treasury. The case for fiscal autonomy argues that Scotland should collect all its own taxes, and only after