Baker’s Bulletin - More Powers for the Scottish Parliament

Politics and the media are being dominated by the independence referendum at the moment and it is now clear that the decision you are being asked to make on September 18 will bring change with either outcome.

Voting no is not voting for the status quo and there is a political consensus among those parties who support Scotland staying in the UK for more powers for the Scottish Parliament, strengthening its position.

It is guaranteed that if the we vote to remain in the United Kingdom, that there will be more powers delivered to the Scottish Parliament after Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg each signed the declaration made earlier in the year by Johann Lamont, Ruth Davidson and Willie Rennie .

This clear commitment from the three party leaders to delivering further powers to the Scottish Parliament is one which I welcome.

Of course, there are more powers being delivered to the parliament already with the recommendations of the Calman Commission being delivered by the Scotland Act 2012.

But this guarantee will deliver even more powers including further areas of fiscal responsibility and social security.

The Scottish Parliament already has significant powers, with its responsibilities including justice, education, local government, health, transport, housing and enterprise. 

From the some of the debate in the referendum you might be lead to believe that these significant powers are not already the responsibility of Holyrood, but they are. 

There has been great debate over the future of the NHS – which is already entirely in the hands of Holyrood.

So we do already have, in fact, a Scottish parliament which already has significant powers, but after a No vote in the referendum there will be more to come.

I believe that Scotland has the best of both worlds with a Scottish Parliament making decisions here in Scotland backed up by the security of the United Kingdom.

With the delivery of further powers now guaranteed it is clear that Scotland can look forward to a future where it both benefit from the pooling and sharing of resources across the United Kingdom with an even stronger Scottish Parliament too – the best of both worlds.