Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian and a member of Holyrood's Devolution Committee, today (10 Nov) expressed disappointment at the "lack of coherence" in the Scotland Bill voted through the Commons last night.
Ms Johnstone highlighted Westminster’s failure to vote on amendments to challenge austerity and create good quality jobs, such as powers over the minimum wage, trade unions and employment support.
Amendments to the Bill welcomed by the Scottish Greens included devolution of abortion, which was voted through, and control over tax credits and giving Holyrood the power to call another referendum, which were both defeated.
Other amendments not voted on mirrored the range of powers Scottish Greens called for in their submission to the Smith Commission. These included full welfare powers, trade union laws, the national minimum wage, broadcasting, modifications to the Human Rights Act, full Crown Estate devolution and railways.
Alison Johnstone MSP said:
"The debate and the vote on the Scotland Bill in the Commons last night highlighted the lack of coherence in this package of powers. It continues to tie the Scottish Parliament's hand when it comes to opposing austerity, and it was galling to see Labour MPs defeating a chance to take tax credits out of George Osborne's hands.
"Scottish Greens argued in our submission to the Smith Commission for a wide range of meaningful powers and many of these were reflected in amendments to the Bill but sadly not voted on. The Bill needs the approval not just of the Commons and the Lords but of the Scottish Parliament too, and as a member of the Devolution Committee my overriding view is that this whole process has failed to involve the public."