This page relates to policy After a No Vote.
|FOR THE UNION||FOR INDEPENDENCE|
Labour proposed in March 2014 further devolution after a No Vote as outlined in a report from its Devolution Commission.
Gordon Brown's list of powers
In a restatement of Labour's proposals on 8 September Gordon Brown, after outlining a timetable for action on further devolution which the other unionist parties agreed to support, he listed 12 powers which Labour would propose be devolved:
2. Transport: devolution of railway powers to facilitate a “not for profit” option for the ScotRail franchise.
4 Land use: full devolution to local councils of the Crown Estate’s responsibility for the seabed and foreshore
5. Social care: Attendance Allowance for severely disabled people or those aged 65 or over who need help to be devolved. Over 140,000 people receive Attendance Allowance in Scotland.
6. Housing benefits: Over 400,000 households in Scotland get Housing Benefit, 12.3% of DWP benefits expenditure in Scotland.
7. Employment: responsibility for administration of employment tribunals, including charging arrangements.
8. Health and safety: a Scottish Health & Safety Executive to set enforcement priorities, goals and objectives.
9. Equality: Enforcement of equalities legislation.
10. Constitution: confirming the Scottish Parliament as an irreversible part of our constitution.
11. Elections Administration and order-making. The UK Parliament would remain responsible for UK General Elections and European Elections.
12. Income tax. Further devolution of tax powers, particularly in the sphere of income tax. The biggest transfer of fiscal power in the history of the UK
Gordon Brown, when he spoke later the same day, made no mention of Ed Balls' proposals for "a further and big transfer of financial powers from the Treasury".
Gordon Brown's list of powers
Comments on an Independence-supporting websiteincluded these:
3. New borrowing powers for economic and social investment are happening anyway.
4. New powers over land use: the Scottish Government asked for devolution of Crown Estates back in 2011. It was refused. So this would appear to depend on the election of a Labour UK government
6. New powers over housing benefits: there’s no realistic chance of housing benefit actually being extricated from Universal Credit in just one part of the UK.
7. New Employment rights: there is little/no difference between employment law in England and Wales and Scotland”.
8. New Health and safety powers: the devolution document stated that “full devolution of health & safety on the Northern Irish model would not be appropriate for Scotland” so the new “executive” would be a talking shop.
9. New equality powers: no explanation of why such powers would need to be devolved.
10. New Constitutional powers: no government can bind the hands of its successors.
11. New powers for elections: We don’t have that already?
12. More tax powers: the “increased devolution” will instead make the Scottish Government responsible for collecting its own income taxes. The Office of Budget Responsibility has explained how “the block grant from the UK government to Scotland will then be reduced to reflect the fiscal impact of the devolution of these tax-raising powers."
On the original Labour tax proposals, Reform Scotland said the new income tax and housing benefit powers equal only 26% of total spending, "only marginally more" than the 22.5% already in place for 2016 under the Scotland Act 2012