A rare outbreak of consensus has appeared on the Scottish political scene. At least among the pundits, from various perspectives. Quite a few of us are a bit alarmed at the government's haste to get the Calman Commission proposals on to the statute book. We now have the chance to get something more radical than the extra powers proposed, so please can someone tell the government?
ConDemNation are determined to play nice as far as Scotland is concerned, giving us back our share of the fossil fuel levy (maybe) allowing Scottish ministers to lead European talks that mainly concern us, and most significantly of all, shying away from plans to change Scotland’s funding formula to deliver a double cut in our budget.
So while they are still listening, let’s press for a funding formula that would please many more people north and south of the border. Fiscal responsibility is the way forward. That is, the power not just to gather tax raised in
The Liberals have always been warm towards fiscal responsibility and their former chief executive Andy Myles spoke in favour of it last week. There are Tories who find it appealing as well, as do the SNP. There are individuals within Labour who know it will benefit
In my column today I urge the UK government to take a step back and give us something better.
James Mitchell, the Professor of Politics at Strathclyde University also backs this move, and, like myself, believes it is important to achieve a cross party consensus on it.
Kenny Farquharson also backs a more radical solution and points out that the presence of Gordon Brown's old schoolfriend Murray Elder on Calman was designed to reign it in from anything too radical.
All of us urge a more cross party push for more fiscal power - this is a rare opportunity for Scotland, and we need to get a plan in place before the Holyrood election next year .
For more detail on how a Scottish Exchequer might benefit us read the Fiscal Powers paper by James Aitken and Graeme Blackett published by Reform Scotland
For the dangers/shortcomings of Calman read this paper by the economists Andrew Hughes Hallett and Drew Scott . These two emminent professors have also produced their own alternative to Calman that they argue would boost economic growth in Scotland