Wednesday, 25 November 2009

2 Questions on Calman...

1) Why are New Labour prevaracating about transferring, for example controls on airguns, Drink drive limits and speeding limits? These powers could easily be transferred quickly, leaving the more complex (and not necessarily that good) proposals on fiscal autonomy

2) When are these powers going to be transferred? New Labour say they will transfer these powers after the election should they win. The Tories, currently the most likely victor of that election, have refused to comment or to commit to a time frame, which leaves the Lib Dems as the only cheerleader of the non national conversation.

No wonder these proposals look fairly radical, I'd be surprised if any of them happen this side of the election after next.


Anonymous said...

Simple answer... I don't know. It would seem pretty much the ones you mention could be done at the stroke of a pen in Westminster, rather like the stuff that comes from Brussels and goes through on a nod.

On the matter of taxation, I'm with you. I'm not sure that some tax powers is a good thing. Taxation has a wide range of levers for controlling the economy. Being able to vary income tax by 3p in the pound hasn't been used by any government here because its a blunt stick, unless you have many other forms of taxation with which to balance it. You can put up income tax and bring down sales tax, or the other way around. You can use tax to help people, or sectors in need.

If you have limited tax powers, as we have at present, no one will use them. Unless they can be balanced somewhere else in the economy they are worse than useless.

subrosa said...

The tax issue isn't Calman, it's semi-Calman and quite nasty too. Maybe you heard Mike Russell explaining it on Newnicht.

Anonymous said...

Good questions and I think most voters will be asking the same.

As you say, Air gun control, drink drive limit could be pushed through now.

Murphy needs something to fight the election with in Scotland but as you say, the Tories are looking good to win the next election so its just pie in the sky.

Allan said...


The issue I have with the taxation proposals is that if you are going to go down that road, you might as well go all the way down the road. If that means collecting all income, corporation, window and all the various oil taxes then so be it.

The proposals are quite laberynthine, and rather like the current 3p powers, act as more of a disincentive to use them than would outherwise be the case.

Allan said...


Well it all smacks of a little trick the local New Labour party tried here in the run up to the council elections. They claimed to have £50 million in the pot to regenerate Paisley. Since they were ousted from Cotton Street, there is next to no mention of this money.

Stuart Winton said...

Maybe Labour has now realised that endorsing different speed and drink driving limits north and south of the border would look a bit daft.