Scotland Bill "a missed opportunity"

SNP MSP John Mason has today described the Scotland Bill as a “missed opportunity” following the agreement reached between the UK and Scottish Governments on changes to the legislation.
Mr Mason, MSP for Glasgow Shettleston and a member of the Scotland Bill Committee, said:

“The Scotland Bill can now move forward – but the fact is it is a missed opportunity to deliver the kind of powers and responsibilities Scotland needs to create jobs and boost economic growth for all our communities.

“It falls far short of what is required, and has been completely overtaken by events, with all Parties seeking to go much further than the limited new powers offered by the Bill

“This Bill is a belated reaction from the anti-independence parties to the SNP’s 2007 election win – but it goes nowhere near meeting the aspirations of the people of Scotland expressed so resoundingly in last May’s Holyrood election.

“The Lib Dems are also left looking silly as Michael Moore - a Lib Dem Scottish Secretary – has ended up refusing to back his own party’s policies on devolving powers they previously supported such as the Crown Estate, European representation, corporation tax and excise duty. How can anyone trust a word they now say on Scotland’s economic and constitutional future?

“Under these provisions, Scotland will still only be responsible for raising a fraction of our own taxes, when what is needed if full financial responsibility and independence.

“Thankfully, the people of Scotland will now get the chance to choose those real job-creating powers in the independence referendum in autumn 2014.”

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