Magazine article Public Finance

Calman Plans Are 'Messy Fudge', Claims Scottish Government

Magazine article Public Finance

Calman Plans Are 'Messy Fudge', Claims Scottish Government

Article excerpt

Plans by an independent commission to give Scotland more power over finance and taxation are flawed and a 'messy fudge', the Holyrood government has claimed.

The Scottish National Party administration was responding to the recommendations of the Caiman Commission in a paper published on November 9. It said that far from improving the financial framework for the devolved Parliament, the Caiman plans would lead to 'less transparency, less accountability and expose the Scottish Government budget to significant risks'.

It stated: 'The messy "fudge" of the commission's proposals and their arbitrary nature are subject to a number of significant flaws, which make them demonstrably inferior to the fiscal levels available to an independent country.'

The commission, headed by Sir Kenneth Caiman, a former chief medical officer in both Scotland and England, published its recommendations earlier this year.

It called for Scotland to have a new power to set its own rate of income tax. The UK rate levied in Scotland would be cut by 10p in the pound.

According to the Scottish Government, the income tax proposals would expose the Scottish budget to a 'significant degree of volatility, without appropriate policy levers or administrative procedures to mitigate these effects'. …

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