Report is a hit and miss
Rutherglen SNP have branded the findings of the Smith Commission as being like a promising movie trailer which has been followed by a lacklustre feature.
The group said this week they were “disappointed” and “underwhelmed” by the report, which came out last week.
James Kelly MSP, however, praised the commission, and said it was time for politicians to “roll their sleeves up,” and tackle inequality.
The Smith Commission was set up in the aftermath of the referendum to come up with a package of new powers for the Scottish Parliament.
Its findings, which were published last week, include devolving the power to set income tax band rates and Air Passenger Duty.
Other key recommendations include allowing Holyrood to extend the voting franchise to 16- and 17-year-olds, handing powers to create new benefits in devolved areas and giving the Scottish Government a “formal consultative role” in reviewing the BBC charter.
The findings will form the basis of legislation on more Scottish powers.
But Rutherglen Central and North councillor, Gordon Clark, said he and fellow SNP members were disappointed with the offer, saying none of the potential new powers would help a Scottish Government stimulate the economy.
He said: “In many ways the build up to the release of this document was like waiting on the release of a new movie. The trailer looks good but when you see the full length feature you are left wondering what all the fuss was about.
“We have learned over last weekend that a lot of interesting stuff was left on the cutting room floor at the behest of the Westminster parties who decided that while Scots could have a say on road signs, we could have no say on Universal Credit.
“While any new powers are welcome the report in no way reflects the promises that were made by the unionist parties prereferendum.
“It remains to be seen how things develop as these recommendations pass through both Parliament and the Lords but I suspect that even more will be chipped away before any new bill is given assent.”
However, Rutherglen’s Labour MSP, James Kelly welcomed the report, saying the new powers would make Holyrood a “powerhouse parliament,” and that Scotland would be in control of 60 per cent of its spending.
He added: “The question now is how do we use these powers? I want to see cuts to inequality, not public services. I want to use these new powers to pursue a radical agenda which will build a fairer country and grow our economy.
“The promise of more powers has been delivered. It is now time for politicians to roll up their sleeves and talk about what we’ll actually do to make this country healthier, wealthier and happier.”
Liberal Democrat councillor, Robert Brown, said the findings of the Smith Commission amounted to “home rule” within the UK.
He added: “The new powers will enable Scotland’s government, whatever its political complexion, to pursue and be accountable for, its own vision and policies – on employment, on many aspects of social security and on the levers that support its current powers.
“The era of sniping at Westminster will come to an end.”
Labour James Kelly MSP
Councillor Robert Brown