Talks held to accelerate Smith Commission proposal

Labour want the Work Program proposal to be devolved before the election. Picture: Alex Hewitt
Labour want the Work Program proposal to be devolved before the election. Picture: Alex Hewitt
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HIGH level discussions have taken place between the Scotland Office and Labour to accelerate parts of the Smith Commission proposals on further devolution to Holyrood.

The meeting came about after Labour’s shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran presented evidence that the Work Program to help create jobs and control of shale gas exploration could both be devolved before the election.

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Ms Curran said that problems in delivering the Work Program in Dundee, Edinburgh and Aberdeen had highlighted the need to bring forward the proposals agreed by her party, the Tories, Lib Dems, Scottish Greens and SNP.

She also said that an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill currently in parliament could see control of shale gas exploration devolved before May.

Labour also called for the Scottish Grand Committee made up of MPs representing Scottish seats to be reconvened after 14 years in Scotland to help bring forward other proposals.

Following her meeting with Lib Dem Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael, Ms Curran described the talks as “very useful”.

She said the Scotland Office “agreed to look at the issues and come back to us.”

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