A Fiscal Commission or Council for Northern Ireland : Lessons Learned from elsewhere in the UK and Ireland

Spowage, Mairi (2021) A Fiscal Commission or Council for Northern Ireland : Lessons Learned from elsewhere in the UK and Ireland. [Report]

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Abstract

In 2020, the New Decade New Approach (NDNA) agreement restored power sharing in Northern Ireland. It was designed to represent a fair and balanced basis upon which to restore the institutions that had been created by the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement. The period since power sharing collapsed has seen significant powers transferred to the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments, following comprehensive reviews of the devolution settlements for each country. No such comprehensive review has been carried out for Northern Ireland, where the purpose is to increase the financial accountability of the parliament. The Commissions in Scotland and Wales are discussed in this document, with the lessons learned from these processes drawn out in detail. This includes a discussion of what devolution has meant in practice, what the wider infrastructure implications are, and what the impact has been on the budgets of devolved governments when these new powers were exercised.