Scotland Act 2016 receives Royal Assent
The Scotland Act 2016 has received Royal Assent and is now law.
The bill completed its parliamentary stages yesterday evening and Lindsay Hoyle, deputy speaker of the House of Commons, later announced that it had received Royal Assent from Her Majesty the Queen.
The Scotland Act 2016 is seen by some to fulfil the commitments made by the UK government to devolve substantial powers to the Scottish Parliament.
These will include the ability to set income tax rates and thresholds, control over more of the welfare system and a range of other measures.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “The Scotland Act will deliver a powerhouse parliament for Scotland and enable us to meet our commitment to make Holyrood one of the most powerful devolved parliaments in the world. I am delighted that it has now received Royal Assent.
“We can now move on from questions about process and May’s Scottish Parliamentary elections can be fought on the issues which really matter: how the Scottish government should best use its extensive new powers for the benefit of the people of Scotland.”
David Mundell, the Secretary of State for Scotland added: “This is a hugely significant moment in the political life of our country. The Scottish Parliament has now come of age.
“It will have power over and responsibility for income tax rates and thresholds. Its spending decisions will become more transparent and taxpayers in Scotland will be able to hold it to account for them.
“We have been true to our word. It is now for those elected to the Scottish Parliament to use those powers for the good of Scotland.”However, the landmark act was received less enthusiastically by SNP MPs.
Angus MacNeil, who represents Na h-Eileanan an Iar, said: “Isn’t it time that we moved away from the devolution that is effectively crumbs from the table from Westminster and moved to a model that Copenhagen shares with the Faroe Islands and Greenland: The larder is open, you choose your own powers.
“No longer should we be given crumbs from the table at Westminster but the Scottish government takes the powers the Scottish government wants from Westminster when it wants.”