Devolution and public spending : arguments and evidence

Midwinter, Arthur and Ashcroft, Brian (2000) Devolution and public spending : arguments and evidence. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 25 (4). pp. 38-48. ISSN 0306-7866

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The financial arrangements for devolved government in Scotland have been regarded as problematic since the publication of the White Paper in 1997. Scotland's Parliament inherited the block and formula system for determining Scotland's share of annual changes in departmental expenditure from the Scottish Office, supplemented by a modest tax-varying power. These provisions have been criticised for creating a relationship with the UK government of fiscal dependency, with limited autonomy and accountability, and a potential for creating a constitutional conflict over spending.