Page last updated at 22:06 GMT, Monday, 14 March 2011

Scotland Bill part two

If the Scottish government wants to use new powers to change the level of income tax in Scotland, it should first be obliged to to consult "those it considered appropriate", Labour has argued.

As MPs considered the Scotland Bill at committee stage on 14 March 2011, shadow Scotland secretary Ann McKechin said this would be "in line with existing practice here by the Treasury".

But Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke rejected the call.

"I believe this is inappropriate as it interferes with the accountability of the Scottish Parliament to the people of Scotland," he said.

"It should not be a matter for the UK Parliament to tell the Scottish Parliament or Scottish ministers how they should go about deciding how to set the rate of tax.

"It is for them to decide and ultimately be accountable for that decision to the Scottish people through the ballot box."

The bill implements recommendations of the Calman Commission to hand control of some taxes from Westminster to the Scottish Parliament.

The Commission's final review of Scottish Devolution in 2009 called for Holyrood to take charge of half the income tax raised in Scotland. The new powers would be combined with a cut in the block grant which Scotland gets from the UK government - currently about £32bn.

MSPs would also gain control over stamp duty and landfill tax under the plans.

Watch part one of the debate here.


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