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GMB Scotland Welcome Smith Commission Report

Monday, December 1, 2014

GMB Scotland Welcome New Powers For The Scottish Parliament In Smith Commission Report       

In the end it will be how both existing and new powers are used, for what purpose and in whose interests and that is the test we will apply says GMB Scotland.

GMB Scotland Regional Committee met on Friday 28th November and agreed to issue a statement on the Smith Commission Report.

Harry Donaldson, Secretary GMB Scotland, said, “There is much in the Smith Commission Report to welcome from the entrenchment of the Scottish Parliament itself to the right for Scotland’s railways to be back in public ownership.

Significant elements of the welfare state are also being devolved from Winter Fuel Payments, Attendance Allowance, Carers Allowance, Disability Living Allowance and Housing Benefit. Add to this the power to create new benefits and top up benefits and its clear to see that there is a real shift in responsibility if these powers are enacted.

Whilst we welcome the possibility of the public ownership of our railways we would have liked to see a general power to initiate public and co-operative ownership. Similarly if income tax is to be devolved it should be on all income, including unearned income not just wages and salaries. That said we have yet to be won round to the full devolution of income tax. The continued operation of the Barnett Formula and extended borrowing powers will give greater job creating potential to this or any future Scottish Parliament and Government.

GMB did not support the devolution of the state pension, corporation tax, employment legislation nor a separate Scottish minimum wage. This is not for ideological reasons but because we do not believe such a move would benefit working people in Scotland, but rather the opposite.

In the end it will be how both existing and new powers are used, for what purpose and in whose interests. That is the test GMB will apply.”


Contact: Harry Donaldson, GMB Scotland Regional Secretary on 07885 456726 or Richard Leonard, GMB Scotland Political Officer on 07703 465447 or GMB Press Office: 07921 289880 or 07974 251823.


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