Magazine article Public Finance

PM Now 'Willing to Consider Scots Borrowing Powers'

Magazine article Public Finance

PM Now 'Willing to Consider Scots Borrowing Powers'

Article excerpt

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has indicated that he is poised to drop his opposition to borrowing powers for Scotland.

Lord (David) Steel, the former presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament, told delegates at the CIPFA in Scotland annual conference that Brown had explained his change of heart at a private meeting.

'I got the impression that we are pushing at an open door [on borrowing powers],' said Steel. ? don't think it will be unrestricted, but something will happen.'

The Labour Party in Scotland has recently joined the other main parties in supporting the extension of borrowing powers, but Brown has hitherto been opposed. The issue is currently being discussed by the Caiman Commission into Holyrood s powers.

David Heald, professor of accountancy at the University of Aberdeen Business School, suggested that the Westminster government was concerned that borrowing was seen simply as a way of spending more. …

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