The Bill completed its Parliamentary stages this evening and Lindsay Hoyle, Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, later announced that it had received Royal Assent from Her Majesty the Queen. The Scotland Act 2016 fulfils the commitments made by the UK Government to devolve substantial powers to the Scottish Parliament.
These will include the ability to set income tax rates and thresholds, control over a significant part of the welfare system and a wide range of other measures which will transform the Parliament at Holyrood into one of the most powerful devolved administrations in the world.
Hailing this important moment, Prime Minister David Cameron said:
The Scotland Bill will deliver a powerhouse parliament for Scotland and enable us to meet our commitment to make Holyrood one of the most powerful devolved parliaments in the world.
We can now move on from questions about process and May’s Scottish Parliamentary elections can be fought on the issues which really matter: how the Scottish Government should best use its extensive new powers for the benefit of the people of Scotland.
David Mundell, the Secretary of State for Scotland said:
This is a hugely significant moment in the political life of our country. The Scottish Parliament has now come of age.
It will have power over and responsibility for income tax rates and thresholds. Its spending decisions will become more transparent and taxpayers in Scotland will be able to hold it to account for them.
Ministers will be able to design a welfare system they believe best fits the needs of people in Scotland and will be able to put in place the measures needed to pay for it.
But most of all, Scotland will have a mature Parliament suited to the needs of our country in the 21st Century.
This is what the people of Scotland called for; this is what the UK Government committed to deliver.
We have been true to our word. It is now for those elected to the Scottish Parliament to use those powers for the good of Scotland. I know they will do their utmost to do just that and I look forward to working with them so together, the UK and Scottish Governments can help Scotland fulfil its true potential.