Bute MP ‘confident’ over new powers for Scotland

Argyll and Bute MP Alan Reid says he has "no doubt" that significant new powers will be devolved to the Scottish Parliament within the timetable promised by the leaders of the three main UK parties.
Argyll and Bute MP Alan Reid says he has "no doubt" that significant new powers will be devolved to the Scottish Parliament within the timetable promised by the leaders of the three main UK parties.

Argyll and Bute MP Alan Reid says he’s confident that “significant new powers” will be delivered to the Scottish Parliament within the timescale promised by the three main UK party leaders.

In his speech in Wednesday’s post-referendum debate in the House of Commons, Mr Reid called for the powers of the Crown Estate, with its control over the foreshore and seabed, to be devolved not just to the Scottish Parliament but to a local level beyond Holyrood.

Mr Reid said: “The referendum saw levels of engagement and enthusiasm for politics never seen before. Now that the will of the Scottish people is known, everybody should accept the outcome and harness all that energy and enthusiasm to work together to build a strong, democratic Scotland within the United Kingdom.

“We want to harness that enthusiasm so that we can see much more participation in our democracy and much more consultation with people, working with them and devolving powers to a local level.

“Following the decisive vote in the referendum to stay within the United Kingdom, the Government moved quickly to set up the Smith Commission, to convene cross-party talks and an engagement process across Scotland. It is vital that that process delivers significant new powers to the Scottish Parliament within the promised time scale, and I am confident that it will.

“Significant tax-varying powers are necessary so that in future we can have a proper democratic debate on how much to raise through taxes and how much to spend on public services. The Scottish Parliament must be given tax levers enabling it to raise the greater part of its own spending. Taxes on income, wealth and property can suitably be devolved. As well as raising money to spend on public services, these are powerful tools to address inequality in Scotland.

“Representing a coastal and island constituency, I believe that devolving the Crown Estate, with its control over the foreshore and seabed, is of vital importance. That is one of many areas where devolution must not stop at Holyrood; it must be devolved to a local level within Scotland.”