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22/01/15 00:01

Smith recommendations must be delivered in full

Swinney – “people of Scotland will decide if proposals go far enough”

The UK Government’s proposals for more powers for Scotland which will be published today (Thursday, January 22) must deliver the recommendations of the Smith Commission in full, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has said.

Prime Minister David Cameron is expected in Scotland as his Government publishes its plan for taking forward the Smith proposals, which were published last November.

Previewing the publication, Mr Swinney said:

“The proposals which Mr Cameron publishes today must live up to the word and spirit of the Smith Commission. Scotland should not – and will not – accept anything less.

“While the Smith Commission recommendations did not go as far as we wanted, and do not live up to the ‘Vow’ made before the independence referendum, we welcome them, and they must now be delivered in full.

Ahead of speaking at the commemorative conference for the late Professor Ailsa McKay at Glasgow Caledonian University, Mr Swinney added:

“There is a long way to go before these proposals are put into law. What we have today is the start of the process to develop a Westminster Bill which has widespread support for introduction shortly after this year’s general election.

“We will be working closely with stakeholders to ensure these proposals are right for Scotland and that they reflect the views of ordinary people. The Scottish Government is focused on securing economic growth, tackling inequality and protecting our public services, and the new powers being delivered must help deliver those goals.

“We will carefully examine today’s paper, because anything which backtracks, waters down or falls short of what Lord Smith recommended would be unacceptable – and ultimately it is the people of Scotland who will determine if these proposals go far enough.”

Notes to editors

For the Scottish Government reaction on the Smith Commission recommendations please visit: http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Smith-Commission-proposals-published-12bb.aspx