MSPs set to approve Scotland Bill

MSPs are expected to give their backing to the Scotland Bill in a vote at Holyrood.

The legislation debated in Westminster would hand more control over Income Tax, VAT and welfare to the Scottish Parliament. Picture: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

The Westminster legislation will hand greater control over areas including income tax, VAT and welfare to the Scottish Parliament.

But it requires Holyrood’s consent before it can become law.

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A vote in favour of the Legislative Consent Motion will allow the Bill to continue its passage through Westminster, with the new powers expected to come into force next year.

The Scottish Parliament’s Devolution Committee, which has been scrutinising details of the legislation, last week recommended that MSPs give it their backing.

Committee convener Bruce Crawford said the move would mark a “significant milestone in a remarkable political process”.

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The Bill will see powers to set the rates and bands of income tax devolved to Holyrood, alongside control over certain benefits such as support for carers and those with disabilities.

A share of VAT receipts in Scotland will be assigned to the Scottish Government’s budget.

Other powers include control over Air Passenger Duty, abortion law and the management of the Crown Estate relating to Scotland.

The Bill also recognises the permanence of the Scottish Parliament, with a referendum needed in order to abolish it.

The funding deal to accompany the transfer of the powers was agreed by the Scottish and UK governments last month.