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Lords scrutinise academics on devolution of public finances in UK

20 July 2015

On Tuesday 21 July the Economic Affairs Committee took evidence from academic witnesses on its new inquiry into the devolution of public finances in the United Kingdom. This was the first evidence session of this inquiry.


Tuesday 21 July, Committee Room 1, Palace of Westminster

At 3.35pm

  • Professor David Heald, Professor of Accountancy, University of Aberdeen Business School
  • Professor Alan Trench, Professor of Politics, University of Ulster
  • Professor Jim Gallagher, Visiting Professor of Government, University of Glasgow
  • Dr Angus Armstrong, Director of Macroeconomics, National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR).

Possible questions

 The session covered the following topics:

  • Is there any evidence from other countries that devolution of taxation has a positive effect on economic growth?
  • If the current proposals in the Scotland Bill are implemented, how will the Scottish Government compare in terms of fiscal autonomy to devolved governments in other countries?
  • What is the rationale behind the choice of taxes proposed to be devolved to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?
  • If the Barnett formula is replaced by a needs-based assessment, how should those needs be assessed?
  • How should the calculation of the block grant reflect devolved powers of taxation to Scotland?
  • Will the 'no detriment' principle be impossible to achieve in practice?
  • How feasible is full fiscal autonomy for Scotland?

Further information

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