Economics of Independence ScotRef Westminster Mismanagement

The worst of both worlds – BfS Responds to Smith Commission command paper

The UK Government hopes that today’s command paper, detailing which watered-down parts of the watered-down Smith Commission recommendations might actually make it into law, will draw a line under constitutional change – it won’t.  A devo-light solution that sits half way between what the Scottish people want and what the Scottish economy needs is nothing more than a constitutional fudge – the worst of both worlds.

Cameron and Sturgeon

Cameron and Sturgeon

Business for Scotland’s key goal has always been to ensure that the Scottish Government had the powers necessary to grow our economy and to create a new national prosperity that was shared more equally. The driving force behind that goal was always the realisation that the economic policies that work for London and the South East don’t necessarily work for the other regions of the UK and, in particular, Scotland.

Regardless of the powers our Parliament has, we have to try to create a more prosperous, successful, confident, greener, more equal and fairer Scotland.  The more powers over economic, business and taxation policy the Scottish Government has, the more quickly we will be able to grow our economy and improve business productivity.  Although we welcome the progress on issues that we championed, such as votes in the next Scottish parliamentary elections for 16 and 17 year olds and the transfer of APD, we feel that corporation tax is a major omission especially when you take into account that Northern Ireland has the power devolved. And contributions from the Scottish VAT income is not the same as control over VAT rates which could be used to boost Scotland tourism industry.

Read our Smith Commission submission here

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About the author

David Bell


  • Allowing 16 and 17 year old kids to vote is a big mistake. At that age a very small percentage will actually have their own minds and their vote will reflect parental ideologies. It is also a fact that teens usually go for looks rather than issues and their vote will reflect this rather than actual issues and policies that a party holds. People of this age should not be able to vote.

    • The toughest questions I faced at any debate during the campaign was when Iain Gray and myself spoke at Dalkeith High School. they were tough on all the speakers and really knew their stuff. I think that young people are getting involved in politics or at least becoming politically aware will save democracy from the terminal tail SPIN into tribalism, dishonesty and corruption that Westminster has presided over.

    • And those in old age should equally not be allowed to vote as they do not have the mental capacity to change their voting instincts even when the party they always vote for has changed all of their policies. Old people also pay less tax like 16-17 yr olds, another reason to exclude them!

      • Not a stance I can agree with – older people have paid taxes all their lives the onus is for politicians bot to target them as a constituency that is more easily frightened and mislead due to reliance on old media and the natural fear of being able to pay bills when you are not earning.

  • I’ve never heard and read so much ill-informed guff from the main media.The deputy leader of UKIP on Question Time personifies the complicity in Westminster in spouting jingoist Nationalist lies .Thankfully those with half a brain will vote SNP after hearing such guff on national tv.

    • That particular show where the BBC lined up a question allowing all the panellists to attack the SNP without right to reply was atrocious bias and many of the things said could be deemed as racist to Scots. Which is strange as we are not a race but a collection of people of al creeds and ethnicity that are coming together to form a modern forward thinking nation. They just don’t under stand what is happening here.

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