By a Newsnet reporter

A new survey of Scottish voters has indicated that most people in Scotland want a minimum of Devo-Max following the independence referendum.

According to the latest Scottish Social Attitudes survey, almost two thirds of people want the Scottish Government to make all decisions, or all with the exception of foreign affairs and defence, against only 25% who want minimal extra powers.

The survey interviewed 1,497 adults face to face between 25th June and 23rd October last year and found:

- The Scottish Parliament should make all the decisions for Scotland – 31%

- The UK government should make decisions about defence and foreign affairs; the Scottish  Parliament should decide everything else – 32%

- The UK government should make decisions about taxes, benefits and defence and foreign affairs; the Scottish Parliament should decide the rest - 25%

- The UK government should make all decisions for Scotland – 8%

- (Don’t know) – 3%

Commenting on the results, SNP MSP Bruce Crawford - who chairs the Scottish Parliament's Referendum Bill Committee - said:

"These figures show that there is a strong majority for key areas such as pensions, welfare, taxation and the financial powers needed to transform childcare to be decided in the Scottish Parliament rather than by Westminster - and the only way to gain these powers is to vote Yes in September.

"Sixty-three per cent of people in Scotland want either 'devo-max' - which would decide everything in Scotland apart from defence and foreign affairs - or independence. And independence is already six-points more popular than the status quo.

"Westminster refused point-blank to include 'devo-max' on the referendum ballot paper - so the only way to achieve the powers over pensions, welfare and tax which the overwhelming majority of people in Scotland want is to vote Yes for an independent Scotland.

"Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has already said that the anti-independence parties will not agree on a 'more powers' offer. And Labour MPs and other senior figures are fighting tooth and nail to stop the Scottish Parliament getting any more powers."

The poll, which took place over four months ago, was carried out before a string of polls showed the Yes campaign increasing support.

It also took place prior to the damaging split within Scottish Labour that saw several senior figures refuse to back plans from Johann Lamont for income tax to be fully devolved.  The row led to threats by some Scottish Labour MPs to boycott their own party conference.

Mr Crawford added: "Scottish Labour MPs are threatening to boycott their party conference, further undermining Johann Lamont’s leadership. This followed senior figures Ian Davidson MP, Ken Macintosh MSP, and a member of Labour’s own Devolution Commission, Willie Young, coming out in favour of maintaining the status quo.

"It is only with a Yes vote this September that we can achieve the powers Scotland needs to succeed, including better pensions and tranforming childcare."

The survey will pile pressure on all three Unionist parties to come up with a clearly defined package of extra powers prior to the referendum, should Scots vote No.  However as yet this looks unlikely, with Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson last week ruling out such a consensus.


# pomatiaH1 2014-02-18 10:41
I find it extremely odd, the part about foreign policy and defence, and wonder how people would think that would work.
It is foreign policy that took us into Iraq and Afghanistan, it is defence costs that pile up enormous bills for Trident etc and the costs of foreign wars.
Now we are deploying drones, I think this will come back to haunt us through the hatred it engenders in countries suffering civilian deaths.
Not knowing what is happening in our name won't stop the reactions from abroad.
# bringiton 2014-02-18 10:56
Why would the Westminster parties be so determined to prevent an economic basket case of a country/region from having full control over it's finances?
They all know that,as usual,this is a lie and that a Scotland which has complete control of it's finances would be a far wealthier place than rUK (except London and the SE).
Many other federations/confederations operate very sucessful divergent fiscal policies without the need for centralised management.
So,the answer is not economics but,as usual in the UK,politics which determine policy.
If they are so concerned about keeping the UK state intact then they should come up with a system which allows for fiscal diversity.
This would mean,no issues with successor states,membersh ip of various clubs,a phased withdrawal of Trident from the Clyde and so on.
However,they are prepared to risk the end of the UK in order to try and maintain the political hegemony of Westminser.
# Leader of the Pack 2014-02-18 11:19
Its about time those who believe in devolution realise that devo max is a never to happen changri la level of dream and wishful thinking. No UK Government is ever going to grant Scotland anywhere near Devo Max because there would be no point to the union if they did. The whole idea of the union is for Westminster to control and spend Scotlands assets and revenues. Without this power the whole concept of the union is pointless and worthless to them.
A Scotland with full access and control of its own finances would create a massive imbalance in the standard of living across the UK as a whole creating all kinds of aggravation South of the border as those less fortunate than Scotland see the difference. Unless of course you have the same party in power in both Parliaments then it would be as if there were no devolution at all.
How can devo max be achievable if the same party controls both Parliaments?
# Jo Bloggs 2014-02-18 11:23
What I can't understand is why surveys ask these questions anymore. DevoMax or DevoAnythingEls e are not on the ballot paper. Westminster wanted all or nothing and surveys of opinion should reflect the actual choice, not this DevoWhatever fantasy. Either Scotland will decide to take responsibility for all policy or Scotland will consent to be governed as London sees fit.
# Breeks 2014-02-18 12:50
When Unionists were fresh in their Better Together livery, they boasted their unity and common purpose, but even so, they couldn't define ANY cohesive notion of DevoMAX. Instead, and I still cannot believe they did, but they conspired to get DevoMAX in any shape or form taken off the agenda.
We now have momentum gathering behind a YES vote, yet even now, the Unionists cannot define DevoMAX or specify which powers they would devolve.
If not now, with a YES vote barrelling towards them, then when?
If full independence cannot focus the minds of Unionists adequately to define what DevoMAX even means, or rather meant, then what impetus will there be beyond the referendum when Scotland has said no?

DevoMAX was the open goal for Unionists, and they hoofed it into the stand. When they killed of DevoMAX, I think the Unionists sealed their own fate. They don't deserve to win for that single rash stupidity. Fine by me.
# Abulhaq 2014-02-18 13:13
I do not understand the "defence/ foreign affairs with Westminster" logic. Expensive in monetary and human cost this cannot be left to Whitehall. Without a total constitutional reordering of the British state into a confederacy further devolution would be highly problematic. Westminster has halted on Lord's reform which is relatively small-beer. Federalism? hang on for another couple of centuries? get real citizens. Noooo chance.
# Marga B 2014-02-18 13:14
This is what Catherine Stilher has said in an interview to the Catalan press - is it true?:

"In the UK, all groups are in favor of a greater degree of "devolution", even the conservatives…

"if "no" wins, then there will be changes in the sense that more powers will be returned..

"so whatever happens the day after the referendum, and presuming “no” wins, there are going to be changes in Scotland on the lines of granting more powers to Holyrood. In fact, there’s also talk of extending “devolution” around the UK, giving more power to local governments.

"There is a real movement for power to become more regional. Milliband himself is constantly referring to “devolution” for Northern England."
# creigs1707repeal 2014-02-18 13:17
And in these results from the Social Attitudes Survey rests the 'Scottish Paradox'--we want all these powers for the better governance by us of our own country. Just don't call it 'independence'.

'Devo-Super-Max' anyone?
# Dundonian West 2014-02-18 13:18
Derek Bateman,broadca ster,has a word or two to say about trusting Bettertogether on anything.
Short extract:"When Labour can abandon its position on protecting living standards in order to join with the Coalition cutters, what price their promise of more devolution? If jointly the Westminster parties can deny what is rightfully ours when it suits them, why would we believe any of them when they dangle Devo Max?"
# Marga B 2014-02-18 13:30
Dundonian, as you can see re. C. Stilher, Labour MEPs are spreading the good news of the "extra powers" guarantee after a "no" (whatever Westminster government gets in - where have we heard that pledge before recently?).
# bringiton 2014-02-18 14:32
Marga,Labour are on record as claiming that devolution in Scotland has been a failure (because they are no longer in control at Holyrood and are likely to remain that way after 2016).
Their solution appears to be to fund local councils directly from London,bypassin g Holyrood completely.
It isn't more power devolved but the old divide and rule British policy leaving Westminster completely in control.
# tarbat 2014-02-18 14:15
I wonder what the second preference choice is for those that want Devo-Max? Given that nobody is offering Devo-Max, so they can't have Devo-Max, would they settle for the status quo, or decide to vote for independence.
# thejourneyman 2014-02-18 14:24
Scots should forget Devo Max or any promises from the unionist neo liberal fantasists.
What's on offer is a far, far bigger prize after independence is won. Scotland's people have a very serious opportunity to build a country with the people at its heart. Thats why I'll be voting for independence!
# scotswhahae 2014-02-18 15:04
Independence for me, no more promises of Jam tomorrow would suffice. As for what is being reported as further powers if we just vote no, there will be a change in powers as far as I am concerned, but it will be powers recalled by Westminster. Holyrood IF it survives will just be another COUNCIL. That collects our taxes for Westminster. Vote YES & let's be that Nation Again.
# Rafiki 2014-02-18 15:19
The Liberals, who were almost obliterated in 2011 SCottish Elections are the only people punting Devo anything. Their views are vaguely supported by Reform Scotland. As a Nationalist I was delighted that Westminster rejected it as the biggest enemy of the best is the second best.
If Scotland votes "No" we will get Devonix- as even that which we have shall be taken away.
London needs our oil for their economy and Trident for their seat iin the Security Council.
# gus1940 2014-02-18 15:22

I sse that The Tailfins of The Red Arrows are being painted with a giant Union Flag - in time for Armed Forces Day at Stirling - and so it goes on.

Yet another pathetic confused peformance from Help Me Rhona Carmichael last night - I was almost starting to feel sorry for the poor wretch until I remembered what he stands for.
# theycantbeserious 2014-02-18 18:37
The devo max question is there just to muddy the waters and keep the promise of jam tomorrow at the forefront of the minds of the Scottish electorate.

The promise of jam tomorrow is all that the union has regarding the potential for a no vote. However, we know from experience that this is an offer for the gullible and those with a vested interest, as the union will never deliver on any promise that reduces their power and wealth.
# rodmac 2014-02-18 20:24
The pound, Europe, the economy, borders, foreigners, NATO...Round and round we go..

But Cutting to the Chase...

# WRH2 2014-02-19 00:10
I believe that when AS suggested that Devo-Max could be a second question this was the reason behind that suggestion. He obviously knew the No campaign as a matter of course, would reject the idea out of hand. If there were to be a no vote it would leave Westminster with a big headache as few want to have the status quo or less. How will they resolve that one? And I'm equally curious about the currency and the other unions that AS spoke about a while back.. Just how many are designed to be dropped and leave the No campaign with lots of egg on their faces to deal with.
# UpSpake 2014-02-20 08:47
We have Insurance that Westminster cannot repatriate powers 'given' to the Scots Parliament. Devolution of power once enacted is a one way street.
For clarification, devolution and the creation of the Scots Parliament was not at the largesse of Labour, it was forced on Tony Blair by the Council of Europe, not the EU.
Any and all assurances provided by the then Labour administration to quell the concerns of the CofE means that should any attempt be made by Westminster to userp the powers resting in the Scots Parliament then all that the FM has to do is issue an appeal to the CofE.
The conditions of pluralist democracy so evident in the CofE's demands on Westminster have not changed/gone away.
Salmond ought to know this. If he doesn't then readers here now do.

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