I purposely haven't posted on Jim Murphy's announcement, made earlier this week, of 'new powers' for Scotland, because I saw no need. It was a move to achieve headlines, nothing more and nothing less. It is not going to happen because labour will not win the election and the Scots won't be so blatantly bribed.
'Scotland will be given greater tax-raising powers under the biggest shake-up in the nation's finances for 30 years' reported Reuters and the MSM splurged similar headlines over their front pages. Sounds too good to be true that Jim Murphy would agree to implement the recommendations of the Calman Commission doesn't it? Of course it is.
Firstly there is consensus in the Scottish Parliament that Scotland should have control over its speed limits, drink driving laws and air gun law, but Westminster refuse to hand over any powers until after the general election. The Scottish government has made it clear that it is ready to legislate where agreement exists and has now laid out a timetable but it is the UK government which is stalling the process.
Commenting on the UK government's proposals to transfer certain tax raising and borrowing power, Pete Wishart MP stated: "The Calman Commission's own experts have described these flawed tax proposals as 'worse than undesirable, they are unworkable'.
"The SNP government is seeking full fiscal autonomy and with that full responsibility for Scotland's finances. Anything less risks being a messy fudge which will damage the Scottish economy in the long term."
The catch? None of the terms of the announcement will be implemented until after the general election. What if labour lose the general election? There's the catch. In that case will the Tories implement the Calman recommendations? No. David Cameron has already stated he would not consider constitutional change in the next parliament and that would mean until 2015 at the earliest.
Scotland doesn't need flawed tax raising powers which will tie it to England even more. We need full fiscal control. What other country is unable to raise and spend its own taxes and have full fiscal control?