Oral Question: Scotland Fiscal Framework

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David Mundell: I am absolutely committed to delivering the powers set out in the Scotland Bill when it becomes an Act as quickly as possible. We want that Act on the statute book ahead of the Scottish Parliament elections so that it can shape those elections, and so that the parties can set out what they intend to do with the powers. I would like the tax powers in place by April 2017.

John Stevenson (Carlisle) (Con): The success of the fiscal framework is vital to the future success of the tax powers that have been devolved. Confidence in the framework is vital for individuals and businesses, particularly in the border region. Does the Secretary of State believe that the Scottish Government are approaching the discussions in good faith, which will be fair to people on both sides of the border?

David Mundell: I absolutely do, because, from the discussions that Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, has had with the Prime Minister, and from the discussions I have had with the Deputy First Minister—we have to remember that they are determining what will be agreed in relation to the fiscal framework—their view is clear. I take it as sincere that they want to achieve a fiscal framework agreement in the near future. We can then move forward with enacting the Bill and transferring those powers, which could make such a difference to the people of Scotland.

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