Press release

David Mundell calls for Scottish Government clarity on new powers

The Secretary of State for Scotland calls on the Scottish Government to lay out plans for new tax and welfare powers being devolved.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell
David Mundell

Speaking to the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations in Edinburgh, Mr Mundell said that welfare and tax would become a ‘shared space’ and that in order to deliver the best outcomes for individuals the Scottish Government needed to start setting out their plans.

The Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said:

A collaborative approach to this is essential given we are creating a far more shared space than has ever been the case. The provisions in the Bill will see historic powers transfer to the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government. But also, with it will transfer responsibility and accountability.

Together with tax and welfare powers, the Scottish Government will have responsibility for taking some of the most emotive and important decisions affecting Scotland – and they will be made in the Scottish Parliament, paid for by revenue raised by the Scottish Parliament. I am sure organisations in this room will want to know what the plans for the future are, and how they can get involved in the debate.

The people of Scotland deserve to know what their two Governments deliver for them, how the devolution settlement is strengthening their position in the United Kingdom, but also, who is accountable for the decisions which affect their lives and pockets.

That is why we are getting on with the work of introducing these important changes; both to prepare for the transfer of powers but also to ensure the Scottish Government has the knowledge and skills to implement their new responsibilities.

That is what sharing space requires and the UK Government is absolutely committed to making that work in practice. Of course we need to understand what the Scottish Government intends to do with the new powers.

The new powers being devolved to the Scottish Parliament through the Scotland Bill include:

  • The power to legislate to change a number of benefits such as Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, and Carer’s Allowance. The Scottish Parliament will have flexibility to design and implement new benefits in these areas, as it chooses.

  • The Scottish Parliament will have the power to make its own provisions on Winter Fuel Payments, Cold Weather Payments, Sure Start Maternity Grants and Funeral Payments.

  • The Scottish Parliament will have the power to decide exactly how support is provided to carers.

  • Holyrood will be able to top up payments to people in Scotland who are entitled to a reserved benefit. These payments will be in addition to the reserved benefits and will allow the Scottish Government to provide extra money to people on reserved benefits where they consider it necessary.

  • The Scottish Parliament will be given unprecedented flexibilities on income tax allowing them to set income tax rates and thresholds for earnings income, including the ability to introduce new bands. This represents around £11 billion of income tax revenues.

Published 23 September 2015