PRIME Minister David Cameron ran into a storm of protest from other parties yesterday after he revealed a plan to put “English votes for English laws” in place within the first 100 days of a Conservative government.
Mr Cameron pledged an “English rate of income tax” in the first Budget of a Conservative government — although it could apply in Wales and Northern Ireland — once more powers are devolved to Scotland.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon slammed the announcement as “a direct breach of the Smith Commission proposals.”
The SNP leader said: “The problem is there’s a lot of issues characterised as English-only issues that are anything but — matters relating to the English health service for example, decisions taken on that have a direct impact on Scotland’s budget.”
Labour’s policy is for the issue to be considered along with other other potential changes by a constitutional convention after the election.
Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy said: “Scotland seems threatened with a pincer movement between the Tories and the SNP — David Cameron and the Tories want to shut Scotland out with an England-only income tax system and the SNP want to cut us off from taxes from the rest of the UK with their policy of full fiscal autonomy.”
The Liberal Democrats want a grand committee of English MPs, with the right to veto legislation applying only to England.
Communist Party of Britain general secretary Rob Griffiths said: “English nationalism is a strange way of trying to preserve the union between England and Scotland.
“What is needed is working-class unity in a federal Britain — with substantial powers for the Scottish and Welsh parliaments and English regional assemblies, to challenge the interests of big business.”