Swinney warns that Westminster retains ‘right to veto’ Scottish energy and fuel-poverty options

 

John Swinney, Scotland's Deputy First Minister
John Swinney, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister

With the ink barely dry on the UK Government’s draft Scotland Bill – unwrapped by prime minister David Cameron last week at Holyrood – Scotland’s deputy first minister last night called for fresh amendments to ‘remove the Westminster right to veto’ Scottish Government policies, including those relating to energy and fuel-poverty.

John Swinney said that while aspects of the draft Scotland Bill represented progress, proposals in areas such as welfare, employment support and capital borrowing were a “significant watering down” of what was promised by the Smith Commission.

He said: “There are a total of 12 instances across key areas such as welfare, universal credit and fuel poverty, where we will have to consult UK Ministers before acting and in eight of these ‘permission’ from the Secretary of State must be sought: a veto <such as>: –

UK Government clauses that demand consultation or permission from the Scottish Secretary of State for Scottish Government proposals:

  • Clause 38 – Fuel poverty: support schemes :Regulations to make schemes relating to fuel poverty support
  • Clause 39 – Energy company obligations (promotion of reductions in carbon emissions: gas suppliers): Regulations to impose obligations on gas suppliers to reduce carbon emissions
  • Clause 39 – Energy company obligations (promotion of reductions in home-heating costs: gas suppliers): Orders to impose obligations on gas suppliers to reduce home heating costs.
  • Clause 39 – promotion of reductions in carbon emission – electricity suppliers: Orders to impose obligations on electricity suppliers to reduce carbon emission
  • Clause 39 – promotion of reductions in home heating costs – electricity suppliers: Orders to impose obligations on electricity suppliers to reduce home heating costs

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