Devolution – the Respect Agenda

 The Devolved leaders’ statements from Scotland

Alex Salmond, Carwyn Jones, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuiness set their stall for next week’s Joint Ministerial Committee meeting.

There’s a bit of tension between Salmond and Jones on the next steps. To use one of those terrible business phrases it’s important to be on the same page….maybe I’m reading too much into it but unlike the FM and dFM Jones didn’t thank Salmond for his hospitality.

Anyway – again from the BBC here’s Brian’s blog on the meeting. On lowering Corporation tax:
“……Now, naturally, the NI ministers at today’s talks in Bute House will be too polite to put the matter bluntly to their host. All best wishes, they will say. Thanks for your hospitable welcome.
But, privately, they are thought to wish that Mr Salmond might tone down the rhetoric just a tad on corporation tax right now.
Their underlying fear is that the Treasury – always sceptical on conceding tax powers – might take fright altogether if Scotland demands immediate parity….”
So what did they actually agree?. Here, with a preamble, is the statement.
“.Among the measures currently under discussion………….
…… are financial reforms including fair funding, corporation tax, income tax, excise duty, borrowing powers and arrangements for end of year financial flexibility. Each administration will decide on which powers it will be appropriate for them to pursue” (My emphasis). That’s stating the obvious but why state it at all today – a week before negotiaitions begin?