The Scottish Parliament is to be given full powers over income tax, under a new deal struck by the so-called Smith Commission.The commission has been looking at ways of enhancing the powers of Holyrood in line with a pre-referendum promise by pro-Union parties.

Scotland To Get Full Income Tax Powers

It will also recommend new powers for the Scottish Parliament over some welfare benefits and for the voting age in Scotland to be lowered to 16.

Lord Smith is due to publish his commission’s report on Thursday.

Politicians from Scotland’s main political parties have been finalising its content and Sky News has learned some of its key points.

Lord Smith is due to recommend:

:: Powers over income tax being handed to the Scottish Parliament, so that it sets bands and rates on earned income.

:: But tax on unearned income will remain controlled by Westminster, as does personal allowance.

The change in tax arrangements will mean that Scotland raises more of the money it spends and will have a knock-on effect for the amount of Westminster block grant it receives under the Barnett Formula.

:: On welfare, Holyrood will take control of some individual benefits, like attendance and carer’s allowance, cold weather payments and winter fuel allowance.

:: Pensions and child benefit will remain the responsibility of the UK government.

Holyrood will take control of its own elections. There will be a call for this particular legislation to be fast-tracked so that 16 and 17-year-olds might be able to vote at the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections, in the same way as they did at the referendum.

The Smith Commission was set up after pro-Union party leaders vowed to increase the powers of the Scottish Parliament just days before September’s referendum.

The move was seen as a key factor in Scots voting against independence.

The commission’s recommendations will now be passed to Westminster, where the Government will draft legislation with a view to it becoming law after the next Westminster election in May 2015.

Comments