Election victory fuels parliamentary tensions

SINCE the SNP’s return to power with an overwhelming majority in May, tensions between Holyrood and Westminster have been ratcheted up.

One of the main areas of conflict has been the SNP government’s demand that it be given greater control over the country’s finances. This has included the handing over of the right to set corporation tax, currently a reserved power for Westminster, and the transfer of £2 billion of borrowing powers to the Scottish Government.

There have been similar demands for control over the Crown Estate to be devolved, the assets of which, the SNP administration claims, would allow more money to be invested within Scotland and would allow the country to make the most of offshore renewable energy opportunities.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Plans to charge students from the rest of the UK full tuition fee costs have been challenged by the House of Lords.

The current administration has also stated it will oppose the tax-raising powers proposal made in the new Scotland Bill.

Tensions have also developed over the wording and form of any referendum. Scottish Secretary Michael Moore clashed with the SNP administration over whether there would be need for one or two ballots.

Mr Moore argued that an initial vote would be needed to give the Scottish Government the authority to negotiate any separation, followed by a second to ratify the settlement.

The First Minister rejected the claim, insisting a one-vote referendum would be enough.