Thu 14 May, 2015

Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian and a member of Holyrood's Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, today (14 May) agreed with the committee's findings that some of the legislation proposed by the UK Government falls short of the package of powers outlined by the Smith Commission.

Scottish Green Party co-conveners Patrick Harvie MSP and Councillor Maggie Chapman took part in the cross-party negotiations last autumn, securing agreement on proposals including devolution of fracking licenses, energy company obligations and the power to bring railways back into public ownership.

Today's report from the Devolution Committee highlights that despite the Smith recommendations there is no power for the Scottish Parliament to top up reserved benefits, and there is serious concern about duplication rather than devolution of the Crown Estate.

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

"In light of the general election result the range of further devolution proposed by Smith clearly deserves to be revisited. During our inquiry the committee found shortcomings in the UK Government's proposed legislative clauses, and the new UK Government would be wise to reflect on that.

"More broadly it is important that as Scotland continues to debate which powers should be transferred from Westminster that we make a real effort to involve wider society. The responsibilities of Holyrood should not be decided by party political horse-trading but should instead reflect the aspirations of our people and our communities."

 

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