Giving Parly Power to Raise Taxes Would Undoubtedly Be Detrimental to the Country IAN DAVIDSON MP; Labour Split over Spending Plan
Byline: EXCLUSIVE TORCUIL CRICHTON firstname.lastname@example.org
SCOTTISH public spending would suffer a cash squeeze under Johann Lamont's plans to devolve all tax-raising powers to Holyrood, a leading Labour MP has warned. Glasgow MP Ian Davidson said the Barnett formula that gives Scotland a bigger share of UK government spending would be lost if the party go for full tax powers for the Scottish Parliament.
The Labour chairman of the influential Commons Scottish affairs committee said it "would undoubtedly be to Scotland's detriment".
The plan from Labour's devolution commission is threatening to cause a major row within the Scottish Labour party.
Most Holyrood MSPs, led by Lamont, think the policy is needed to offer undecided voters an alternative to independence in the September referendum.
But many Labour MPs think the Barnett formula would be lost and that Scotland's role at Westminster would shrink.
Davidson said: "I have major reservations about what the impact of transferring tax-raising powers would be. A substantial number of Scottish MPs have reservations for various reasons."
Party managers are working to defuse the dispute before it becomes a showdown at Scottish Labour's conference in Perth next month.
Davidson's intervention came as Ken Macintosh MSP, former Scottish Labour finance spokesman, said plans to devolve income tax entirely to Holyrood would be "independence by default". …