Government and Institutions

Smith proposals don’t go far enough


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The Smith proposals are a dangerous half-way-house

Commenting on the recommendations of the Smith Commission, Professor Philip Booth, Editorial and Programme Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs said:

“The Smith proposals are a dangerous half-way-house, failing to bring about the benefits that much fuller devolution would have brought to Scotland.

“Scotland should be given full responsibility for all forms of welfare spending and all significant aspects of tax policy. That way, there will be clear accountability and the Scottish government will have the genuine freedom to experiment with welfare reform appropriate to the particular problems and opportunities it faces.

“Under the Smith proposals, different levels of government will be able to continue to blame each other for economic and social problems within Scotland. Many of the proposals involve powers to allow the Scottish government to regulate and intervene in the Scottish economy to an even greater extent than the UK government currently does. This is an asymmetric set of measures – likely to lead to more government spending, regulation and higher taxes.”

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Notes to editors:

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.



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