Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Tory-LibDem coalition agreement: impact on Scotland

12 May 2010

The new UK Government formed by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats has published its coalition agreement this afternoon. This is a brief summary of the impact it will have on Scotland. A more detailed P&I Briefing will follow.

Direct impact on Scotland
  • Emergency budget – further £6bn of cuts. Barnett consequentials not clear although NHS funding (in England) to increase in ‘real’ terms.
  • Establishing an independent commission to review the long term affordability of public sector pensions, while protecting accrued rights.
  • Annual limit on non-EU economic migrants. Ending detention of children for immigration purposes.
  • Commission to consider the ‘West Lothian’ question.
  • Implementation of the Calman commission proposals.
  • Working to limit the application of the Working Time Directive
  • A partial fudge on nuclear power stations. The Liberal Democrats will abstain on Tory plans to build them, so the parliamentary arithmetic means they will proceed. Still need planning consent in Scotland.

Broader UK proposals that apply to Scotland
  • Vague phrase on arrangements to protect those on low incomes from the effect of public sector pay constraint, but no definition of what that constraint will be.
  • Trident will be renewed.
  • Unspecified increase in the personal allowance from April 2011 with a long term policy objective of increasing the allowance to £10k.
  • Tax allowances for married couples. The Lib-Dems will abstain but that simply means they go ahead.
  • Vague commitment to tackle tax avoidance.
  • 5 year fixed parliament and a referendum on the Alternative Vote. Establishing a committee to reform of the Lords based on wholly or mainly elected by PR.
  • State pension age to rise to 66, not sooner than 2016 for men and 2020 for women.
  • A range of civil liberties legislation including scrapping ID cards.
  • Programme of measures to promote a low carbon economy including smart metering and feed-in tariffs. Air flight duty and no new runways at London airports.

Full text is available at:

See also Dave Watson's comment at his blog:

No comments:

Post a Comment