Key points: Smith Commission powers to Scottish Parliament

Picture: TSPL
Picture: TSPL
Share this article
Have your say

A breakdown of the powers proposed by the Smith Commission for the Scottish Parliament.

The Smith Commission report says the changes, when adopted, will be “the biggest transfer of powerto the Scottish Parliament since its establishment”.

• The Scottish Government will receive all Income Tax paid by Scottish taxpayers on

their non-savings and non-dividend income with a corresponding adjustment in the

block grant received from the UK Government

• Scotland will be given power over air passenger duty (APD)

• The Parliament will be given share of VAT revenues

• Westminster’s right to dissolve Scottish Parliament to be removed

• MSPs to have control over elections paving way for votes for 16/17 year-olds in Scottish Parliament and local government elections

The Barnett Formula, which will be adapted to take in the Parliament’s additional tax-raising powers, will continue to be used to determine the remaining block grant

• Smith Commission Agreement calls for the current inter-governmental machinery between the Scottish and UK Governments, including the Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC)

structures, to be reformed as a matter of urgency and scaled up significantly

to reflect the scope of the agreement arrived at by the parties

• Scottish Ministers should be fully involved in agreeing the UK position in EU negotiations relating to devolved policy matters

• Responsibility for the management of the Crown Estate’s economic assets in

Scotland, and the revenue generated from these assets, will be transferred to

the Scottish Parliament.

• Following this transfer, responsibility for the management of those assets will be

further devolved to local authority areas such as Orkney, Shetland, Na h-Eilean Siar

or other areas who seek such responsibilities.

• There will be a formal consultative role for the Scottish Government and the

Scottish Parliament in the process of reviewing the BBC’s Charter. The BBC will lay

its annual report and accounts before the Scottish Parliament and submit reports

to, and appear before, committees of the Scottish Parliament in relation to matters

relating to Scotland in the same way as it does in the UK Parliament.

• The Scottish Government will be given the administrative power to change the

frequency of Universal Credit (UC) payments, vary the existing plans for single household payments, and pay landlords direct for housing costs in Scotland.

• The Scottish Parliament will have new powers to create new benefits in areas of

devolved responsibility

The Scottish Parliament will also have new powers to make discretionary payments

in any area of welfare without the need to obtain prior permission from DWP.

• The licensing of onshore oil and gas extraction underlying Scotland will be devolved

to the Scottish Parliament. The licensing of offshore oil and gas extraction will

remain reserved.

• The receipts raised in Scotland by the first 10 percentage points of the standard

rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) will be assigned to the Scottish Government’s budget.