56 SNP MPs will be demanding early action on the devolution of more powers to Scotland. They will be pressing on an open door, as the three main Westminster parties as they call them will want to honour their promises and to get this business out of the way promptly.
I hope the new government will be generous to Scotland in the powers it gives, and will want to add substantial fiscal devolution to the agreed list. The aim should be to let Scotland decide how more of her taxes are fixed and collected, and to spend that money in Scotland. This would all then be removed from the bloc grant from the UK.
To match this the new Parliament must also offer the same opportunities to England. Wales and Northern Ireland could choose how far they wish to go down the Scottish path to fiscal devolution, and how much they wish to stay with the bloc grant and common tax pool approach they currently use. The SNP MPs should see the fairness of England enjoying comparable devolution to Scotland’s, though England will exercise her greater self government through the votes of English MPs sitting at Westminster. The business of England and the business of Scotland are two sides of the same devolution coin, and need to be tackled urgently and together.
The new Parliament should also be invited to complete the unfinished business from the last Parliament to establish fairer boundaries with fewer seats for the next election.