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Fiscal Framework debate

Published: 7 Oct 2015 06:00

Swinney calls for fair fiscal framework.

The new funding settlement for Scotland must be fair and flexible, John Swinney will tell Parliament later today.

Speaking ahead of a debate on Scotland's Fiscal Framework, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

"Before the Scottish Parliament receives any new powers, we need a revised funding settlement for Scotland that is fair, workable and gives Ministers the flexibility and autonomy to use new powers to create a fairer and more prosperous Scotland.

"Devolution takes time and resources to implement properly. Discussions with the UK Government continue to ensure the fiscal framework is correct for Scotland and we are seeking agreement on a number of points.

"In line with the Smith recommendations, the full cost of administering and delivering the new powers must be met by the UK Government.

"We are seeking additional borrowing facilities to allow us to manage tax volatility and Scottish economic shocks. In the face of significant cuts to our capital budgets, and to keep infrastructure investment at the heart of our economic growth plans, we also need additional capital borrowing flexibility.

"The Secretary of State says Scotland could have new tax powers in 2017. I welcome that commitment to devolve powers quickly and, while there is no doubt that this date can be achieved, we still need workable assurance, audit and accountability arrangements.

"Without a framework that is fair to Scotland we will not recommend that Parliament approves the Scotland Bill. The UK Government needs to take the steps now to provide that reassurance."