Today begins a government journey to give some justice to England. The minimum required is a guarantee that England will not have to pay a higher rate of Income Tax than Scotland based on Scottish votes at Westminster, that England’s MPs have a veto over laws the Union Parliament wishes to impose just on England, and that England has more power to decide how to spend the money we raise in taxes which is the equivalent of the Scottish bloc grant.
This was something I highlighted last summer during the Scottish referendum campaign:
August 10 2014 post
“On Tuesday I am giving the McWhirter Memorial lecture at 7.30pm on HMS President, moored on the Victoria Embankment in London.
I will use the opportunity to make the case for England. If we assume Scotland votes to stay in the Union, the three main Westminster parties have promised more powers including powers over parts of taxation will be passed to the Scottish Parliament. This will be the time to recognise that England too wants and deserves devolved government, enjoying the same powers of self determination of laws, spending and taxes as our Scottish neighbours and friends.
I will ask Who currently speaks for England? Why do the EU and many senior politicians in the UK want to break England up into regions that we do not seek or recognise? Why can’t English MPs at Westminster make the decisions for England, and speak for England, in the way the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh does for Scotland?
If we are revisiting Scotland’s settlement, we need to consider England’s at the same time. Many English people will not accept Scottish members of the Westminster Parliament voting through taxes on England that they do not have the power to impose on Scotland.”