Scotland Bill to come under scrutiny again in Lords



The House of Lords will resume its scrutiny of the Scotland Bill on powers to be devolved to Holyrood.

Currently at the committee stage, peers are due to make a closer examination of the bill.

However, they are not expected to look at the financial consequences of the proposals because the Scottish and UK governments have yet to agree on the so-called fiscal framework.

Previously some peers called for the bill to be delayed until this issue had been resolved but they relented after the UK government said details would be published before the bill was passed.

It is expected that discussions on the fiscal framework will conclude next month, giving the Scotland Bill time to become law before the Scottish Parliament elections in May.

The bill would make the Parliament permanent in law and devolve certain tax powers to Edinburgh, among them the Aggregates Levy, Air Passenger Duty and the power to set income tax bands.

It would also see some welfare policy powers devolved, including in relation to carer’s benefits, disability, and industrial injuries, and would give Holyrood power over abortion laws.

The SNP, which does not take any seats in the House of Lords on account of its opposition to the unelected second chamber, has threatened to veto the legislation in the Scottish Parliament if the fiscal framework is not “fair to the people of Scotland and consistent with the Smith Commission report”.