Scottish Secretary 'open to suggestions' on transfer of tax-raising powers to Holyrood

The Scottish Secretary has promised that further suggestions from Holyrood will be considered as part of a radical transfer of tax-raising powers from Westminster.

Michael Moore told MSPs it would be a "poor process" if recommendations in the Scotland Bill were not reviewed. He made the pledge during the opening day of a probe by the Scotland Bill Committee at Holyrood into the plans, which would see MSPs handed new powers, including the ability to set a Scottish income tax and borrow 2.7 billion.

The Lib Dem minister said: "I think it would be a poor process if we didn't reflect on the decisions taken by this committee and parliament. I look forward to reading its findings and discussing that with colleagues."

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The Scottish Secretary appeared alongside Tory Scottish Office minister David Mundell and Lib Dem former deputy first minister Lord Wallace as part of a UK government delegation to yesterday's hearing.

However, Tory MP and Exchequer secretary David Gauke, who was part of the delegation, clashed with SNP committee member Brian Adam, the deputy convener of the committee who questioned if there are any taxes intended to specifically grow the economy of Scotland.

Mr Adam said: "Ultimately, it's going to control what will be borrowed; permission needs to be sought from the Treasury on this, that and the other thing. Isn't the truth that the Treasury had to be dragged kicking and screaming to grant any devolution of these powers?"

But Mr Gauke rejected the claim and said: "What we're trying to do is ensure Scotland is not faced with undue volatility."

Meanwhile, Mr Moore said the debate in Scotland about devolution "will never finish" and claimed the coalition government had struck the "right balance" over increased powers for Holyrood.