Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for South Scotland, today hailed the cross-party agreement on Home Rule powers for Holyrood as the biggest transfer of power within the UK since the creation of the Scottish Parliament.
Lord Smith of Kelvin announced this morning that consensus had been reached on plans that will see the creation of a Scottish welfare system and billions of pounds in tax raising powers transferred to Holyrood.
When implemented, the Smith Commission deal will see the Scottish Parliament raise the majority of the money that it spends.
Mr Hume said: “This historic cross-party deal will mark the biggest transfer of powers within the UK since the creation of the Scottish Parliament.
“These powers create a Scottish welfare system and give the Scottish Parliament the financial muscle it needs. With £20billion in tax powers and £2.5billion new welfare powers this is a home rule deal for Scotland that will deliver for communities across South Scotland.
“Scottish Ministers will get new powers to help create jobs and build a stronger economy; to change benefits and create a fairer society; to give 16 and 17 year olds the vote; to change taxes that affect businesses and take control over the crown estate.
“On tax and welfare we will have the flexibility to do things differently in Scotland if we choose, without losing the real positives we share as part of the UK. Liberal Democrats argued for these powers - and we won the case inside the Smith Commission.”