Scotland will have tax raising powers by 2015, says minister
By David Scott in Edinburgh
28 July 2010
Scotland will be given more powers over finance and taxation within five years, UK Treasury minister David Gauke has stated.
Speaking at a meeting of the Calman implementation group on July 26, he said that the UK coalition government was committed to introducing the changes in a Scotland Bill in the autumn, with full implementation by 2015.
Sir Kenneth Calman’s Commission on Scottish Devolution proposed last year that Scotland should be given increased powers, including control over a proportion of income tax.
Under the proposals, the UK Treasury would deduct 10p from income tax rates in Scotland and the Holyrood Parliament would have the power to ask Scottish taxpayers to make up the difference or pay a higher or lower rate.
This week’s Calman meeting, which included tax experts and business leaders, marked the first stage of the implementation process and was described as an ‘important symbolic moment’ by Scottish Secretary Michael Moore.
The talks covered various practical questions, including the collection of the tax and who would pay it.
Gauke said that it was possible that UK Revenue & Customs would collect the tax. Before the general election, doubts had been raised about whether R&C would be prepared to undertake the additional work involved in the collection.
It has been agreed that the tax would apply to people ‘deemed’ to be Scottish taxpayers. Gauke said the talks had focused in part on this definition – who Scottish taxpayers were and where they lived. ‘We’ve not made decisions on that,’ he said. ‘It’s one of the first questions we need to answer.’
Moore said: ‘We’re looking at the moment as to whether that is based on residency or where people work and that is one of the major considerations that the [Calman implementation] group… and others will be looking at over the next few weeks.’
He added that giving the Scottish Parliament the power to raise its own taxes would make it more accountable to voters and stimulate debate about the tax rates.