The fact that a cross-party group of MPs has been able to coalesce around the reforms in our report … (underlines) the broad consensus that the time has come for the UK Government to take a serious look at the relationship between the UK and Scottish Governments.’
‘How the Scottish government plans to fund the £180 million policy remains to be seen. But after years of cuts to UK social security, it is a pleasant change to see significant new efforts to reduce child poverty’.
MSPs on finance committee debate the Scottish Budget: ‘Coming in the midst of the parliament’s 20th anniversary celebrations, this was not a good advert for parliamentary effectiveness in holding the government to account’.
‘All in all, great care needs to be applied when making judgments comparing national productivity levels. As a result, choosing a shift in international rankings as a government policy target is probably unwise.’
‘If voters filter their responsibility judgements through the lenses of partisanship and national identity, incumbents may end up being rewarded or punished by the electorate in a way that is unrelated to policy outcomes.’
‘Scotland’s current “justifiable assault” defence therefore contravenes children’s human rights. Quite frankly the law must be changed to ensure compliance, both in Scotland but also across the UK.’
‘This plan would pay £10,400 a year for a family of four, boost the incomes of the poorest households, cut poverty sharply, narrow the inequality gap, strengthen universalism and reduce dependency on means testing.’
‘ Based on patterns of investment, Scotland is closer to the approach taken in Serbia than Sweden.’ ‘But free higher education has to be well-funded higher education for it to mean anything.’
‘GM will provide another test of intergovernmental relations within the UK. A key challenge will be how far the UK government is prepared to defend Scotland’s commercial interests through its ban on GM in the US-UK trade negotiations.’
‘If national and local government and umbrella bodies do not feel that is their role, then they should not be recommending or providing support for particular practical advice to those on the front line, and even less requiring compliance with it.’