Yesterday, Muckle Media was privileged to be involved in the first stakeholder engagement workshop about the draft legislation for the new Scotland Bill – or as Danny Alexander put it – we were there to ‘help create history’.
Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Alistair Carmichael, Secretary of State for Scotland headed up the two hour session which brought together representatives from the business community, councils and the third sector. We were all there to give our views on the draft clauses, agreed by all five main political parties at the Smith Commission, set up after the momentous Scottish referendum of 2014. The clauses will form part of the new Scotland Bill which will be taken through Parliament by the next elected UK government in May this year, irrespective of which party wins the general election.
It is amazing to think that following the Scotland Bill, Scotland will have the third most powerful devolved parliament in the world. New powers will be given in the following areas:
The Scottish Parliament will be given the power to reduce the voting age to 16 for Scottish Parliament and Scottish local government elections
The Scottish Parliament will be responsible its assets and the revenue generated
The Scottish Parliament will have the power to set thresholds and rates on income tax and will benefit from additional tax raised from VAT, Air Passenger Duty and the Aggregates Levy.
The Scottish Parliament will be able to legislate for discretionary payments to people in any area of welfare and set rules about a wide range of benefits affecting carers and the disabled. It will have power to create employment schemes and to vary the frequency of universal Credit payments.
Muckle Media was at the heart of the buzz in Scotland in the lead-up to the Scottish referendum, supporting Sir Tom Hunter’s campaign, ScotlandSeptember18.com, to provide neutral unbiased information to Scotland’s undecided voters. It is great to be part of the next phase of Scotland’s history in what has been a momentous few months. It was also an interesting experience being a stakeholder instead of a facilitator at a stakeholder engagement workshop.
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