The aims of redistribution at a UK level and having devolved governments are not incompatible, but there are tensions in seeking to increase the economic powers of the Scottish Parliament on the one hand and have a UK parliament that can re-distribute wealth across all the nations and regions. Our proposals therefore seek to balance these two legitimate sources of democratic pressure by enhancing economic and political democracy across the UK and Scotland.
This would be built on:
- support for full national parliaments and, for England, devolved institutions as democratically determined by people in England together with an overall federal parliament that would have charge of the monetary system, macro-economic policy, foreign affairs and defence
- the Barnett formula, or some form of needs-based redistribution
- the principle of raising income tax based on an adjustment to the block grant in order to allow the Scottish Parliament more flexibility to create a fair tax system both nationally and locally that improves public services and the pay and conditions of public servants
- the capacity to borrow for capital and revenue purposes well beyond the limits set out in the Scotland Bill to allow the Scottish Parliament to end its dependence on Public Private Partnership/Private Finance Initiative (PPP/PFI) and Non-Profit Distributing (NPD) projects
- the demand of the ‘Claim of Right’, that the Scottish Parliament should have powers to take land, property and enterprises into public control and ownership without qualification
- the power of the Scottish parliament to form enterprises that are publicly owned with a view to rebuilding Scotland’s industrial base on green technology, renewable, and high value manufacturing thereby addressing unemployment black spots and creating a prosperous future for the people, especially the young people, of Scotland.
These measures would require a challenge to EU law and changes in UK Company law. However, with political will and a united Labour Movement this kind of devolved settlement is achievable and is what the left should be fighting for.