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Published on 13 August 2015

Scotland: Implementing the Smith Agreement – The UK Government’s Scotland Bill

LITRG has submitted a joint response with the Chartered Institute of Taxation to the call for evidence issued by the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee of the Scottish Parliament. The response emphasises the need to take a holistic view of the tax and welfare systems. In particular, the taxpayer and claimant need to be kept in mind when devolving further powers.

It should be straightforward for taxpayers and claimants to negotiate the tax and benefits systems. We point out likely areas of complexity for low income unrepresented taxpayers, for example with the introduction of the Scottish rate of income tax from 6 April 2016.

With regards to welfare, we note that devolution of welfare powers can be helpful, as it can be easier to meet individual needs at a local level. Unfortunately, however, disparate local systems can lead to confusion when people move from one area to another. Localisation can also make it difficult to understand the impact of national changes on individuals at a local level.

We use the response to call for close joint-working between the Scottish and UK Governments, the Scottish Government and Scottish councils, and also between government departments such as HMRC, Revenue Scotland and the DWP.

The call for evidence is available on the Scottish Parliament website.

The LITRG response can be found here.

Joanne Walker

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