Tuesday, 25 May 2010



SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson MP has welcomed some of the measures outlined in the Queen’s Speech, including the proposed Scotland Bill, but stressed that the Scottish Parliament must gain the financial powers needed to ensure that Scotland’s economy prospered.

Commenting, Mr Robertson said:

“While the legislative programme was light on detail, some of the ideas contained within it have potential to deliver improved economic decision making for Scotland.

“The opportunity to devolve more powers to the Scottish Parliament is welcome – but these have to be the right powers. On areas such as air weapons, the drink drive limit, and responsibility for Holyrood elections, there is no disagreement, and these powers should be transferred as quickly as possible. Granting the Scottish Parliament control over drink driving and airgun legislation is clearly the right thing to do, and if the Labour Government hadn’t dragged its heels, these life saving measures would already be in place.

“On financial responsibilities, we need the powers to grow the Scottish economy and to give Scottish business a competitive advantage – decisions relating to Scotland’s finances should be taken in Scotland. This would settle the age-old disputes about funding, and allow both governments to focus on economic recovery.

“The SNP and many others have argued that the limited financial regime put forward by the Calman Commission is unworkable. However, there is real scope to devolve real financial powers which would enhance the Scottish economy. By giving the Scottish Parliament fiscal responsibility we can deliver prosperity for our people and give Scottish business a vital competitive advantage – and the SNP will urge the UK coalition government to work with the Scottish Government to make this happen.”

Commenting on the announcement that the UK Government will bring forward several referenda on voting reform, powers for the European Union and more powers for the Welsh Assembly, Mr Robertson added:

“It is nonsensical that Conservative and Liberal MPs back referenda on these issues but remain determined to deny the people of Scotland their say over their own constitutional future.

“SNP MPs will continue to champion Scotland’s interests at Westminster. In every piece of legislation brought forward, we will fight for the best deal for Scotland.”

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