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Friday, 2 January 2015

The SNP demand Smith Commission powers are delivered by Westminster parties in 2015

The SNP is saying that the Westminster parties "must deliver" at least the powers set out by the Smith Commission in 2015 – or "they will pay a heavy price at the ballot box." While expressing disappointment that the Smith Commission did not go far enough, the SNP has welcomed the additional powers it set out for Scotland – and is calling for these powers to be implemented as swiftly as possible.

Some of the powers set out by the Smith Commission – including powers over Air Passenger Duty and the Work Programme – do not require legislation to be devolved, and the SNP is calling for these powers to be transferred to Scotland as early as possible.

Commenting, SNP Deputy Leader Stewart Hosie said: “It’s clear that the Smith Commission didn’t go far enough – leaving far too many powers over the economy and welfare in the hands of the Westminster establishment, which is likely to disappoint many people who voted No as well as those who voted Yes. Under the proposals the Westminster Government will still control around 70% of tax raising powers and around 85% of welfare powers."

Continuing Mr Hosie commented: "That isn't Home Rule. But there was much to welcome in the agreement – and Westminster must guarantee at least the delivery of the powers outlined in the Smith Commission’s report. While some of the new powers agreed will require legislation – many of them can be transferred right now if Westminster has the political will. Powers over areas such as the Work Programme, Air Passenger Duty and pay day loans should be passed to Scotland as soon as possible – there is simply no excuse for Westminster to delay."

“Westminster must now resolve to ensure that the New Year means new powers for Scotland. And a strong team of SNP MPs elected in May will mean we can hold the Westminster parties to account on their promises and deliver the powers we need to make Scotland a fairer, more prosperous place for everyone who lives here." Stewart Hosie added.