As the independence referendum draws near, the three pro-Union parties have published a joint statement in support of further devolution in the event of a no vote on 18 September. This follows the publication of separate proposals by the three parties over recent months. The joint statement highlighted the areas of crossover between the three parties and promises to “strengthen further the powers of the Scottish Parliament, in particular in the areas of fiscal responsibility and social security” in the event of a no vote. The parties agree on the general direction of future devolution: all believe that Scotland should raise more of what it spends and propose transfer of tax raising powers to Holyrood; all agree to some devolution of welfare policy and spending. However, there remain significant differences in what the parties are offering, which means that the shape of any new devolution settlement would depend upon negotiation after the referendum. The Liberal Democrats’ Campbell II report and the Scottish Conservatives Strathclyde Commission would give the Scottish Government full control over both the rates and bands of income tax, whereas Scottish Labour’s Devolution Commission proposes a more limited power for Holyrood to vary the rate of income tax. […]

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