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Gerald Holtham gives evidence on devolution to Lords Committee

13 October 2015

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee continued its inquiry into the devolution of public finances in the UK with evidence from Gerald Holtham, Economist and Chair of the Holtham Commission.

The Holtham Commission was appointed by the Welsh Assembly Government to look at the pros and cons of the Barnett Formula and identify alternative funding mechanisms (including tax raising powers) for the Welsh Assembly. The Commission reported in 2009 and 2010.

The Committee also took evidence from representatives of INEOS Group, who own Grangemouth oil refinery, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.


The session took place on Tuesday 13 October in Committee Room 3, Palace of Westminster.

At 3.45pm:

  • Tom Crotty, Director, INEOS Group
  • Charlotte Barbour, Director of Taxation, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
  • Professor Gerald Holtham, Cardiff Business School, Chair of the Holtham Commission

Likely topics

Areas the session covered included:

  • The public awareness and understanding of the proposals for devolution
  • Whether the Barnett Formula is still the right way to determine annual increases in the block grant to different parts of the UK
  • If the Barnett Formula is to be replaced by a needs based assessment how can and should needs be assessed?
  • Are the taxes that are proposed for devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland the right ones?
  • Is there any evidence that devolution of taxation has a positive effect on economic growth?
  • The extent of Scotland's fiscal autonomy following the implementation of the proposals in the Scotland Bill and whether full fiscal autonomy is feasible.

Further information

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