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Parliament debates Scotland's Future

Published: 16 Sep 2015 00:01

Deputy First Minister calls for unity on Scotland Bill.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney will today invite Parliament to help put the Scotland Bill right and deliver meaningful new powers to Scotland.

Today's Parliamentary debate on Scotland's future comes a year after UK parties vowed to deliver further powers for the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Swinney said:

"Exactly a year ago today, people across Scotland were promised extensive new powers for this Parliament.

"Every party in this Parliament took part in the Smith Commission, yet the resulting Scotland Bill limits new powers and is a series of missed opportunities.

"The Bill takes every opportunity to constrain and limit new powers and utterly fails to deliver the spirit of the Smith Commission. It maintains vetoes over Universal Credit and energy schemes and waters down the Smith proposals on social security, employment support and the Crown Estate.

"Despite receiving detailed evidence from the Scottish Government, the cross-party Devolution (Further Powers) Committee and a broad range of civic Scotland, no amendments to the Bill were accepted at its committee stage in the House of Commons.

"Parliament can unite to urge the UK Government to amend the Bill to implement the Smith Commission recommendations supported by all parties in Holyrood. That is the absolute minimum the people of Scotland expect and deserve."

Notes to editors

The motion to be debated is:

*S4M-14252 John Swinney: Scotland's Future, Democracy and Devolution—That the Parliament notes the establishment of the all-party Smith Commission following the 2014 referendum on independence and the commitment of the UK Government to legislate to implement the recommendations of the commission in full; further notes the findings of the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee that the Scotland Bill in its current form does not deliver the recommendations of the commission in full; further notes that no amendments to the Bill were accepted at its committee stage in the House of Commons; urges the UK Government to bring forward amendments at the Bill's report stage to give effect to the Smith Commission recommendations and in particular to meet the standards set by the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, and recognises the need for a satisfactory and fair fiscal framework to allow the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government to make effective use of the powers in the Bill.