Lib Dems in Call for Extra Powers

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael Blackley Scottish Political Reporter

THE parties fighting to save the Union will secure a 'big win' in the referendum if they come up with plans to hand Holyrood extra powers, two senior Liberal Democrats said yesterday.

Former Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell and the party's Scottish leader, Willie Rennie, yesterday unveiled a blueprint for the handover of more powers to the Scottish parliament.

It proposes substantially increasing Holyrood's control over taxation by handing it powers over a range of levies, including income, capital gains ties to control council tax, free from financial incentives or penalties from government.

Sir Menzies said: 'We are first out of the blocks. We've done our duty by the Scottish public.

'I am sure, I hope and I'm confident that Labour and the Conservatives will have something to put before the people of Scotland because when we come to deal with the referendum campaign, there will be those who say, you asked us for a No vote, what are your alternatives?' He said the Lib Dems' proposals would help to counter growing resentment south of the Border about the powers of the Scottish parliament and the ability of Scottish MPs to vote on English matters while English MPs cannot vote on Scottish affairs - the so-called West Lothian question. …