The Scottish Parliament and law making
The Scottish Parliament and law making

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2.1 New and amended powers

The UK Coalition Government (conservative and liberal democrats) had committed to implementing the recommendations of the Calman Commission. This commitment resulted in The Scotland Act 2012 (passed by the UK Parliament) which made a number of changes to the devolution settlement for Scotland. It gave effect to many of the recommendations as set out in the Calman Commission’s final report. The Scottish Executive was formally renamed as the Scottish Government, Revenue Scotland was established to replace HMRC for devolved taxes and further powers were transferred (see Box 3 for more detail).

A screenshot of part of the Scotland Act 2012 Chapter 11
Figure 3 Scotland Act 2012 Chapter 11

Disagreement over the draft Bill which subsequently became the 2012 Scotland Act (the 2012 Act) had to be resolved before it was passed by the UK Parliament. The UK Government also required a legislative consent motion be passed by the Scottish Parliament before the 2012 Act was passed by the UK Parliament. Paragraph 8 of the explanatory notes to the 2012 Act state that the 2012 Act ‘contains provisions that trigger the Sewel Convention. As the Act changes the devolution settlement for Scotland, the Act contains provisions which alter the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament (for example, relating to air weapons) and provisions which alter the executive competence of the Scottish Ministers (for example, relating to the power to prescribe drink-driving limits). The Scottish Parliament gave its consent to the provisions in the Act that trigger the Sewel Convention on 18 April 2012.’

You will learn more about the Sewel convention and legislative consent motions in Section 4.

Box 3 New and amended Devolved Powers following the 2012 Scotland Act

Power Implementation
Air weaponsThe Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 asp 10 received Royal Assent on 4 August 2015.
Borrowing powersPower to borrow up to £2.2 billion (Capital) and £500m (Revenue) from 1 April 2016.
Drink-driving alcohol limitsRoad Traffic Act 1988 (Prescribed Limit) (Scotland) Regulations 2014. New drink-driving alcohol limits applied in Scotland from 5 December 2014.
Land and Buildings Transaction TaxLand and Buildings Transaction Tax replaced the Stamp Duty Land Tax from 1 April 2015.
Landfill TaxLandfill Tax (Scotland) Act 2014 asp 2 applied in Scotland from 1 April 2015.
Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT)UK Government deducts 10p in the £ from basic, higher and additional rates of income tax and the Scottish Parliament has the power to levy a Scottish rate across the three bands from 1 April 2016.
Based on information from the Scottish Parliament website (n.d).

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