SCOTLAND could still win control of its own income tax even if voters say no to independence, David Cameron has said.
The Tory PM sought to up the ante on Labour’s devolution promises yesterday with talk of a Westminster “consensus” as his allies in Scotland recommended a range of concessions should the country stay with Britain.
The proposals, from the Conservative Strathclyde Commission on the Future Governance of Scotland, suggest giving Holyrood full control over income tax, in contract to Labour’s proposal to devolve three-quarters of the basic rate.
Other policies pitched include transfer of all Exchequer cash raised through VAT in Scotland, the power to supplement benefits within its own budgets and greater powers to set welfare policy.
Tax experts have previously questioned devolved taxation powers, warning the move could create “regional tax havens.”
But Mr Cameron said yesterday he agreed with the recommendations.
“All the mainstream pro-UK parties believe in further devolution, so whilst we would want to build consensus for a set of measures and legislation, there is no reason why these changes shouldn’t happen early in the next Parliament,” he said.
But the Scottish Greens’ MSP Patrick Harvie said the pronouncement was, at best, a gamble.
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