The Smith Commission has revealed its recommendations for further powers for the Scottish Parliament. This includes setting and retaining income tax, creating new benefits and the power to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in Scottish elections.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the three main Westminster parties had fully delivered on promises made during the referendum campaign.
"We have not only delivered on our vow, we have actually over-delivered on it now. Call it 'vow-max' if you like, 'vow-plus-plus'," the Lib Dem leader said on his weekly LBC radio phone-in.
"It shows what can happen when politicians get together and agree across parties to set their differences aside. I think that contrasts quite starkly with the politics of confrontation which you get from the SNP, which wouldn't deliver any of this at all."
Another largely cloudy and rather murky day for most, with outbreaks of light rain or drizzle, especially over the hills, and widespread hill fog.
However, the odd brighter spell may develop across western areas at times. Maximum Temperature 9C.
Witnesses are being asked to come forward after a car drove along a pavement in Dumfries towards a group of 14-year-olds.
The incident happened around 1.35pm on 26th November on Rosevale Street. Police say that seven 14-year-old pupils from St Josephs College were walking on the pavement when a small, dark blue coloured car, in the style of a Toyota Auris, drove along the pavement towards them, before pulling off and driving off at speed.
It follows an earlier incident which took place outside the Spar shop on Rosevale Street where the driver of this vehicle had spoke with the boys.
The driver is described as:
- Being between 5’9” and 6’ tall
- Skinny build
- Between 50/60 years of age
- Short grey
- Untidy hair
- Local accent
- Wearing dark rimmed glasses, a mid length light coloured jacket and jeans.
On benefit, the Commission recommended that all aspects of the state pension should remain reserved to Westminster to ensure these remain the same across the UK.
The new Universal Credit should also remain a reserved benefit, to be administered and delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions, it added. Child benefit, statutory maternity pay and statutory sick pay would also remain under UK Government control.
But it suggested attendance allowance, carer's allowance, disability living allowance and the personal independence payment which will replace it should be devolved, along with industrial injuries disablement allowance, severe disablement allowance, cold weather payments, and winter fuel payments.
While the agreement states there should be "no restrictions on the thresholds or rates the Scottish Parliament can set" on income tax, it said all other aspects of the levy would remain reserved to Westminster, including the amount people can earn before they start to pay.
As income tax will still apply across the UK, it should continue to be collected and administered by HM Revenue and Customs, the Commission said.
The Barnett Formula, which sets out how much public cash different parts of the UK receive, will continue as part of the agreement. The Commission recommended that Holyrood be given additional borrowing powers.
It said this was necessary to "reflect the additional economic risks, including volatility of tax revenues, that the Scottish Government will have to manage when further financial responsibilities are devolved".
The Commission recommended that the management of the Crown Estates economic assets in Scotland and the revenue generated by these should be transferred to Holyrood.
It went on to propose that following this transfer, responsibility could then be given to local authority areas, such as Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles.
Westminster should remain in charge of licensing for all offshore oil and gas extraction, but Holyrood could get the power to determine onshore oil and gas extraction.
The parties involved in the Smith Commission are also "strongly of the view to recommend the devolution of abortion" as Holyrood already has power over health policy. The report said that "further serious consideration" should be given to this and a "process should be established immediately to consider the matter further".
The Prime Minister has welcomed the Smith report on Scottish devolution and pledged to bring forward proposals on English votes for English laws before Christmas.
A photograph has been released of James McGregor, who died in a car crash on the A75.
The 67-year-old, from Darlison Avenue in Dumfries, was travelling with four family members when his silver Ford Focus C-max crashed into trees west of Annan at 3.30pm on 25th November.
His family were treated for minor injuries in hospital but have since been released.
Police Scotland are appealing to witnesses to get in contact to help with the investigation into the circumstances of the crash.
The SNP has 'welcomed' the new powers as 'we support all progress for Scotland ' but has said the commission hasn't included job creating powers or welfare powers that it hoped for.
The Smith Commission has revealed its recommendations for further powers for the Scottish Parliament.
- The ability to set income tax rates and bands
- Scottish Parliament will retain all income tax raised in Scotland
- Powers to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in Scottish elections
- The ability to create new benefits and make discretionary welfare payments