Laying the ground

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Dave Watson’s article regarding Devo Plus made interesting reading (Perspective, 21 December). I was grateful for his kind words regarding my commitment to devolution and the sincere work that the Devo Plus group has done to make the case for further devolution as the best way forward for Scotland.

However, the thrust of his argument that the case is weaker because we haven’t spelt out what new powers should be used for slightly misses the point. Our work is to show why it is necessary to have a stronger Scottish Parliament within the UK, why further devolution of some welfare will mean more efficient delivery of services, and why a new union is a permanent relationship with the rest of the UK. It is for political parties, and others, to make their cases for the policies on how to use the powers.

Before the Scottish Parliament was established, some observers argued that powers shouldn’t be devolved because they didn’t know what was going to be done with them. This was 
especially the case over the devolution of tax powers. There were some remnants of that in Mr Watson’s article.

We are working hard to persuade the parties to come together to agree the areas of common ground and outline the process of further reform should the people of Scotland vote No to independence. It is for trades unions, parties and others to make their own case to the people as to the future policy direction for Scotland. We are assisting them by giving them the tools to do so, not by limiting their options before any reforms are made.

Jeremy Purvis

Leader, Devo Plus