17 Mar 2016 12:41 PM
Parliament consents to Scotland Bill bringing more powers to Scotland.
Ministers have welcomed the agreement of MSPs to extend the powers of the Scottish Parliament.
The Scotland Bill will devolve new powers over tax and welfare to the Scottish Parliament and is expected to conclude its passage at Westminster next week.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:
“The Scotland Bill reflects the efforts of many people, notably Lord Smith and everyone who served on the Smith Commission, to agree additional powers that can benefit the people of Scotland.
“The Scottish Government has already set out a number of proposals to use the powers to improve the lives of people in Scotland.
“We have extended the right to vote in May’s elections to 16 and 17 year olds.
“The new social security powers will be rooted in dignity and respect and we’ll abolish the bedroom tax and give greater support for carers.
“We are consulting on replacing and reducing air passenger duty to boost the economy and we’ll shortly set out how we plan to use income tax powers.
“The fiscal framework that underpins the Scotland Bill increases the Scottish Parliament’s financial responsibility, is consistent with the Smith principles of no detriment and is fair to Scotland.
“While the package does not go as far as I or many others would wish, we will use these new powers to build a stronger Scottish economy, tackle inequality and ensure all of our people have the opportunity to flourish. I believe that the more we exercise self-government here in Scotland, the more the benefits become clear and the stronger the argument for extending our powers becomes.”