20 Sep 2011

Evidence submitted to the Scotland Bill from a wide range of organisations has backed calls for the Scottish Parliament to take on greater responsibility and raised concerns over the tax raising powers planned by the UK government.

Organisations ranging from the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations to Highland Council, the SFHA and Scottish Rugby Union have called for amendments to the bill in evidence published today.

The evidence also reveals concerns over the impact of the Lib Dem/Tory tax plans for Scotland, the failure of the UK Government to respond to previous questions from civic society and the ability of HMRC to implement the income tax system with the Low Income Tax Reform Group warning that “the fiscal proposals of the Scotland Bill are likely to bear most heavily upon Scottish taxpayers on a low income who are unable to afford professional advice.”

Welcoming the submissions ahead of the committee meeting to discuss the Crown Estate later today, SNP MSP for Glasgow Shettleston and Scotland Bill committee member John Mason said:

“Across the board it is clear the Scotland Bill does not live up to the ambitions of the people of Scotland.

“The evidence submitted to the committee shows a demand for more and greater powers to be included in the Scotland Bill so we can support capital projects, support those in need in our society, promote jobs, protect consumers and grow our off shore renewables industry with control of the Crown Estate Commission.

“Well respected voices across civic Scotland are calling for this bill to be improved and extended. It is time for Michael Moore to listen.

“There is also real concern about the impact of the UK Government’s plans for income tax and the lack of thought that the UK Government has put into how they will affect the low paid.

“The Tory-Lib Dem cuts agenda has exposed the very real problems of running a social support system for people in Scotland that is not joined up with the jobs, housing or needs of Scotland. There has been no thought of the impact of these plans.

“Instead of asking questions on independence the UK Government must answer key questions around the Scotland Bill. Michael Moore and Danny Alexander must set out clearly how this tax will work, what impact it will have on the low paid, what plans they have to collect it and what it will cost Scotland.”