PLMR’s Week Ahead in Westminster: 24th October

What powers does Scotland want devolved and will the Smith Commission bring them?

Just a few days before the Scottish referendum was held, leaders of the main UK parties promised voters that Holyrood would receive more powers in the very near future.

Cameron, Clegg, Miliband and co. haven’t held back. They have tasked Lord Smith with asking politicians and the public what they want as part of ‘devo-max’.

With the public consultation closing on 31st October, Rob Comba spoke to Senior Manager of PLMR Scotland, Lynn McMath and James Sloan, a political consultant at Dods, to find out what people and the parties are asking for.

Before joining PLMR, Lynn worked on the United by Labour campaign during the referendum. What powers does she think Scotland needs?
Lynn says that Scotland does already have considerable devolved powers, though she’s expecting more control over income tax and receipts and the permanent entrenchment of Scottish Parliament. This would mean no ruling made in Holyrood could be overturned by Westminster.

Will the five parties involved in the Smith Commission reach a compromise?
Lynn doesn’t think everyone will get what they want, although there are a few (surprising) areas of agreement

James worked on Dods’ referendum research, does he think there will be any areas of agreement?
He thinks everyone will have their gripes. The SNP in particular won’t be happy, which will make it tricky for them to govern the country.

Does devo-max mean independence for Scotland in the long term?
James says the SNP won’t be stopping their drive for independence because of the Smith Commission. Whether there will be further calls for a referendum will become clearer when we know what powers will be devolved to Scotland


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