We write to voice our concern that such an important feature of devolution needs mature and open consideration before decisions are taken. In particular, we hope that the various options can be properly scrutinised and that our politicians should seek consensus on the best way forward.
Such a consensus needs to extend beyond political parties and governments to include wider civil society and the people of Scotland. Many non-governmental bodies played a pivotal role in winning the argument for a Scottish Parliament – it would be sadly ironic if tax-raising proposals were now to be agreed by a working group in Westminster on a parliamentary timetable which does not allow for wider debate.
Taking a participative approach to the development of policy and legislation is one of the founding principles of our parliament. We urge both the Scottish and UK governments to adopt this principle in addressing the issue of tax-raising powers.
Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations
Church of Scotland Church and Society Council
Institute of Directors