Calman Commission – an enquiry into ten years of Scottish devolution –
reports today and is recommending that a number of tax raising powers
be devolved to the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish government
currently has the freedom to alter the rate of income tax by plus or
minus three pennies in the pound. Although it has never used that
freedom the Calman Commission recommends that it has the freedom to cut
income tax rates by up to 10p in the pound and that there should be no
limits on how high it can raise income tax.
The Commission established by Scotland's Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties
– and shunned by Alex Salmond's minority government – also recommends
devolution of stamp duty on house purchases, air passenger duty, a
landfill tax and a tax on mineral extraction (see report in The Herald).
Leader of Scotland's Conservatives, Annabel Goldie issued this statement:
is critical of the report, however. Accusing it of "focusing on
accounting changes to the Scotland Act rather than the transference of
actual economic levers at a time when Scotland needs them more than