The SNP has seized on a warning that public spending cuts would be greater in Scotland under the Calman commission’s financial plans to change devolution.

Professors Andrew Hughes Hallett and Drew Scott, academics of Edinburgh and St Andrews universities, have warned that Calman changes will have a "more severe" effect in Scotland than in other parts of the UK, and that recommendations from the commission could result in a 25% cut in spending, lost income tax revenue and an inability to use higher VAT to compensate.

Commenting on the findings, SNP Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie MP said:

"The Calman financial proposals have been overtaken by events, and exposed as the London parties’ Poll Tax – with Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems all planning to impose this financial whammy on Scotland when what we need is real financial responsibility.

"The emergency Budget last week shows why Calman couldn’t work, while the GERS figures showing a Scottish surplus of £1.3 billion compared to a UK-wide deficit of £48.9 billion completes the case for Scotland to be responsible for our own resources.

"With the Tory/LibDem budget threatening Scottish growth and the Labour party unable to protect Scotland – having created the mess in the first place – only financial responsibility and independence for Scotland can help Scotland’s economy grow more strongly and build recovery."

The report by the leading academics is a major blow to the Unionist parties who set up the commission and a huge boost to the Campaign for Fiscal Responsibility, launched this month with a call for Scottish ministers to control taxes, social welfare and have borrowing powers.

The findings also come as reports emerge of a new major oil find in Scottish waters that could yield up to 300 million barrels of oil.


# sid 2010-06-29 08:22
fool's fiscal autonomy or
full fiscal autonomy
I know which one I want. after the week we are having with 3 big story's I bet the opposition can't wait for the summer break
# mato21 2010-06-29 08:30
Now who would you believe regarding the impact of Calman these two academics or the eminent Andy Kerr who cannot even do a simple subtraction as demonstrated on an earlier post
# eye_write 2010-06-29 09:14
Calman, just another underhand British con trick. Oh, surprise.
# Vakov2000 2010-06-29 11:59
This comment has been edited as it was felt not to be in keeping with the forum ethos.

Online Editor
# EdinScot 2010-06-29 13:29
This is no surprse. Calman was a knee jerk unionist reaction to the Scottish Governments' National Conversation.

Our country needs and deserves more powers. Time for us to break out from the unionist stranglehold.
# enneffess 2010-06-29 20:42
The national conversation achieved very little to be honest. I went on to it several times and there was hardly any activity at all. The idea I suppose was fair enough, but very badly implemented.
# Dougthedug 2010-06-29 13:30
"...a huge boost to the Campaign for Fiscal Responsibility, launched this month with a call for Scottish ministers to control taxes, social welfare and have borrowing powers."

Calman was always designed to be a con-trick which promised lots while doing nothing in a very complicated way. If the income tax rate is untouched then the only financial feedback the Scottish Government gets is via the overall tax take on the assigned taxes. In a good economic year there will be a surplus, in a bad year a loss and while the block grant element of the funding will always be reset the next year to bring the total funding back to the Barnett formula level the actual income for each year is always going to be uncertain.

Financial autonomy for Scotland within the Union, full or partial, is like the legend of El Dorado. A city of gold away over there which will make everything come good if only there was some way to get to it.

Well there isn't a way. Financial autonomy for Scotland has no obvious electoral benefit for the Conservatives, Labour or the Lib-Dems and the only way to get it in the next five years is the vain hope that David Cameron and the rest of Westminster will go against all their political instincts and grant it to Scotland.

Those who propose fiscal autonomy never seem to define what it actually means in terms of actual taxes or to recognise that only Westminster has the power to grant it.

Financial autonomy will be a consequence of independence not a stepping stone or half-way house to it.
# Dougthedug 2010-06-29 18:56
Just an update. Full fiscal autonomy is receding ever further into the distance.

Here's some quotes from the article:

Business and civic leaders will join taxation experts on the new body, which will implement the recommendations of an official review of devolution conducted by the Calman Commission.

Sources close to Mr Alexander said the group’s formation was "highly significant", clearly signalling that only the Calman recommendations and nothing more will be implemented.

Where's that map to El Dorado?
# mato21 2010-06-29 19:03
Can Danny Alexander be told to stick his proposals where the sun dont shine?I am asking this as a serious question.
# enneffess 2010-06-29 20:44
I am now totally confused with GERS, Calman and god knows what else. We get "experts" from all sides, and each party will put forward those that are more favourable with their policies.
# brh206 2010-06-30 07:50
Calman should be put to the people of Scotland in a multi choice referendum. If not then I pray that the eloctorate will reject Labour , the Torries and The Liberal Torries next year. Scotland please wake up to what is being done in your name and take some resposibility for our Country's future. Vote green or socialist just don't vote for the 3 parties that will do anything to keep us down.

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