Magazine article Public Finance

Devolution Faces 'Toughest Test'

Magazine article Public Finance

Devolution Faces 'Toughest Test'

Article excerpt

Stringent public spending cuts present the devolution settlement in the UK with its toughest test to date, according to a think-tank.

A major study by the Institute for Public Policy Research, published on May 28, argues that the prevailing economic climate poses a significant challenge to devolution. It said the administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland cannot be protected from spending cuts if England is to be treated fairly.

The report, Devolution in practice 2010, also noted that the devolved nations face a major political challenge in working with the new UK government because the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition lacks a strong mandate in both Scotland and Wales.

Guy Lodge, associate director of the IPPR, said: 'The new prime minister has gone out of his way in his early days in office to give a reassuring message to the people of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland through his "respect" agenda. …

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