Independence

Independence

To be in the driving seat of our own destiny and to shape our own future is a natural desire. It is what we all hope for ourselves and it is what the SNP believes is right for Scotland. We will achieve independence only when a majority of our fellow citizens are persuaded that it offers the best future for our country. Our success will depend on the strength of our arguments and the clarity of our vision. Sign up and help us to persuade a majority of the Scottish people that independence is the best future for our country.

Explainer

What are the powers of the Scottish Parliament?

Since the Scottish Parliament reconvened in 1999, decision making power is now split between MPs in London and MSPs in Edinburgh. Issues decided at Westminster are said to be ‘reserved’ while issues decided by the Scottish Parliament are ‘devolved’.

A limited level of further devolution has taken place since 1999, following the Scotland Acts 2012 and 2016. This has given Scotland some limited powers over taxation, social security, elections in Scotland and some employment services. We will use these new powers to better serve the interests of all of Scotland: expanding our economy and lifting people out of poverty.

The following table outlines devolved and reserved powers:

Devolved Reserved
Agriculture, forestry and fisheries Benefits and social security (amounting to around 85 per cent of the Scottish benefit bill)
Education and training Taxes (amounting to around 70 per cent of the total raised in Scotland)
Environment Pensions
Health and social services Immigration
Housing Defence
Income Tax Foreign policy
Law and order Employment
Local government Broadcasting and telecommunications (including broadband)
Sport and the arts Trade and industry
Tourism and economic development Nuclear energy, oil, coal, gas and electricity
Many aspects of transport Consumer rights
Air Passenger Duty, Land and Buildings Transaction Tax and Landfill Tax Data protection
Some aspects of social security, including: disability benefits, Carer’s Allowance and Winter Fuel Allowance. The Constitution