Friday, 28 November 2014

Lord Smith reports 3 - Economy and social justice

On to section 2 of the Smith Commission report - Economy and Social Justice.

Really we can sum this up in one sentence - almost everything is reserved to Westminster, other than a few minor powers,  So, more tinkering at the edges then.  More window-dressing.  I also note that for most of the minor powers that have been devolved, the cost of these is to be met by the Scottish Government.  Whether this will cost us more that it currently does remains to be seen.

There was one new power that was interesting in this and that was paragraph 65, which says:
The power will be devolved to the Scottish Government to allow public operators to bid for rail franchises funded and specified by Scottish Ministers.
 But, of course, the franchise has just been awarded to Abiello, so it'll be at least five years before we could possibly benefit from this, maybe even 10.  That's a very long time in politics.

There are possibly plans to devolve powers over abortion limits and new reproductive technologies, but apparently this needs to be further discussed.  Not sure why.  Maybe they're afraid we'll be genetically engineering the new independence-minded Scottish race?  I can see how that might be scary to the Westminster elite.

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