DAVID Cameron has backed tax cuts for Scots and called on the SNP regime at Holyrood to “get on and govern” after this week’s historic deal to ensure sweeping new powers are devolved.
The Prime Minister made the call for tax cuts when he was challened on the issue by the SNP’s Angus Robertson in the House of Commons yesterday during Prime Minister Questions.
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson will have the final say on tax cuts, he said, describing her as the “only proper opposition leader” in Scotland.
“If you’re worried in Scotland about having a bit of a one-party state, a lack of accountability and if you think the Labour party in Scotland has lost its way there’s only one choice - and that is Ruth,” he said.
“I’ll say this. I think there are opportunities to cut taxes, there are opportunities to sharpen incentives, there are opportunities to attract businesses and people into Scotland and I’m sure that Ruth will be making those arguments.
“And as she does, whatever she decides, she’ll have my full and unequivocal support.”
Mr Cameron also hailed the deal struck this week on the funding framework for the Scotland Bill which will see sweeping new powers over tax and welfare handed to the Scottish Parliament in line with the pledges made during the independence referendum.
“It is an excellent deal for Scotland but it is also an excellent deal for the United Kingdom,” Mr Cameron said.
“For those of us who want to keep the United Kingdom together what we’ve just demonstrated is that you can have full-on devolution - a powerhouse Parliament with a fair fiscal settlement inside the United Kingdom.”
He added: “No more grievance, no more fussing about process, no more arguments about the arrangements. Now it’s time to get on and govern.”
Finance Secretary John Swinney yesterday played down claims that many of the new powers will be in place this year.
He told MSPs that new controls over income tax rates and bands will be come into force in April next year along with new borrowing powers, with Air Passenger Duty the following year.
The new welfare powers still require “further work on when that can practically be undertaken,” he said during an appearance at Holyrood’s finance committee.