Where they stand – Devolution

For the first time, the general election could result in different parties, each with competing visions, leading each government in the devolved nations.

For the first time, the general election could result in different parties, each with competing visions, leading each government in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Westminster. With the nationalist parties in Scotland and Wales feeling emboldened by the prospect of a hung Parliament, how the next Government addresses devolution could determine the fate of the Union.

Left Foot Forward outlines the manifesto commitments to devolution from the three main parties.


• Will implement the recommendations of the Calman Commission, including greater tax varying powers for the Scottish Parliament. Labour would seek to take such proposals forward on the basis of consensus with Scotland’s main political parties.

• Following the successful vote in the Assembly, Labour would work closely with the Assembly and Welsh Government to oversee a referendum on greater law making powers for the body.

• In light of Gerald Holtham’s warning that Wales could be loosing out to the tune of £300 million under the existing Barnett formula, Labour has committed to “ensure that Wales is not disproportionately disadvantaged by the application of the central government funding formula.”

• Continue to provide the investment needed to support Unionists and Republicans in Northern Ireland to work together, in peace, for the good of the people.


• Speak of being proud to support the Union, and its electoral pact with the Ulster Unionist Party, rebutted in full in Tuesday’s posting on Left Foot Forward.

• Will publish a White Paper on future powers for Holyrood, including greater responsibility for raising its own revenue by May 2011. This is despite Labour having already published a White Paper based on the Conservative supported Calman Commission.

The Prime Minister and other Government Ministers will subject themselves to scrutiny at Holyrood on a “regular basis”.

• Will not stand in the way of a referendum on greater law making powers for Cardiff Bay, but concludes, “our priority remains getting people back into work and strengthening the Welsh economy.”

• Will end the practice of “double jobbing” where someone can sit in more than one Parliament or Assembly at a time.

• In an effort to attract greater investment to Northern Ireland, the Conservatives pledge to publish a paper on changing the corporation tax rate in Northern Ireland.

• In an attempt the address the West Lothian question, a Cameron led Government would introduce the principle of Scottish MPs being excluded from voting on legislation only affecting England. The constitutional expert, Professor Vernon Bogdanor has dubbed such a policy, “profoundly dangerous to the future of the United Kingdom.” (Page 35)

Liberal Democrats

• Will grant new powers and responsibilities to Holyrood by implementing in full the recommendations of the Calman Commission.

• Support giving the National Assembly for Wales full, primary law making powers as is the case in Scotland.

• Establish a new “Finance Commission of the Nation” to come up with a new, needs based funding formula for the devolved nations to replace the Barnett Formula.

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9 Responses to “Where they stand – Devolution”

  1. Les Crompton

    RT @leftfootfwd: Where they stand – Devolution: http://bit.ly/aMPdi0

  2. Gareth Young

    RT @leftfootfwd: Where they stand – Devolution: http://bit.ly/aMPdi0

  3. Fiale

    Seems the parties favour English citizens being 2nd class citizens. You get democracy just not entitled to as much as other parts of the UK.

  4. Mr Jingles

    @Fiale The post is about what the “3 Main political parties” thoughts on Devolution, but you couldn’t help yourself to try and hijack the post to whine about “English citizens being 2nd class citizens”, if the Calman Commission recommendations go through, Scotland will be the most taxed part of the UK, and before you say Scotland gets more money per head, it is true outside Greater London as Greater London and Scotland get the same amount per head, Scotland does give close to a third of total GDP, so I don’t think it gets the same amount or more of the money back Scotland raises. So the argument about Scotland getting an unfair amount of money is total bull crap, BTW while researching your outlandish claims, take in mind that a lot of tax raised in Scotland is counted as English raised tax, i.e. Crown Estates money raised in Scotland is just counted as Crown Estates (Wind farm in Scottish waters for example), Income tax raised in Scotland by a English based company is counted as Income tax and also the tax raised through Scottish oil doesn’t start and end on the tax taken on a barrel of oil, it is also the revenue raised for searching for it, drilling for it, transporting it to shore and then the tax for refining it, so some of the argument that Scottish oil is keeping the UK afloat has a lot of truth in it.

    Look it up, it might shock you to the amount of truths that it kept from you, how they make Scotland out to be the bad guy, in Scotland, to keep any thoughts of home rule away, and Anti-Scottish resentment in the rest of the UK, so that fact that the London masters have being mistreating the whole of the UK.

    Everyone needs a common enemy, in the whole of the UK it is Scotland.

  5. After the UK

    Left Foot Forward – Where they stand – Devolution http://bit.ly/d0ov6V

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