FMQs: Powers package ‘disappointing’ says Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon said that the powers package meant 'continued Westminster rule'. Picture: Andrew Cowan
Nicola Sturgeon said that the powers package meant 'continued Westminster rule'. Picture: Andrew Cowan
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THE package of powers promised by the commission chaired by Lord Smith on enhanced devolution is “disappointing” and means “continued Westminster rule” Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs today.

Ms Sturgeon suggested the plan, that includes handing Holyrood the power to set income tax rates and bands, fell short of “The Vow” the main Unionist parties made during the independence referendum on additional devolution if Scots voted No.

Smith Commission announces new Parliament powers

The SNP leader, speaking at First Minister’s questions, said the recommendations from the Smith commission would leave Westminster in charge of the bulk of taxes affecting Scotland.

Ms Sturgeon also suggested that the delivery of the powers set out by Smith “may not be as smooth” due to the plan from the Conservatives to ban Scottish MPs from voting on English only issues in the Commons.

The First Minister accused the UK government of “sabre rattling” over the plan.

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However, Scottish Labour interim leader Jackie Baillie said the Smith plan gave Holyrood the “opportunity to change lives”.