Reform Scotland has today called for Scotland to be more financially accountable, by appointing its own Exchequer, in a move that could lead to a more independent Scotland.
The independent think tank says an Edinburgh based ‘Chancellor of Exchequer’ would allow Scotland far greater control of its finances, including full control of its oil revenue, by allowing it to raise all the money it spends. In essence, it means Scotland would raise its own tax revenue as opposed to receiving grants from Westminster.
Currently the majority of the Scottish Parliament’s revenue comes in block grants from Westminster, under the Barnett Formula ruling. The think tank states this formula should be scrapped, to allow a ‘re-balancing of the constitution’.
Ben Thomson, Chairman of Reform Scotland, claims the government suffers from limited accountability as a result of its reliance on the block grants. Because of the security provided by the Barnett formula, he claims the block grant “provides no incentive for politicians in Scotland to come up with innovative ideas to boost economic growth or improve public services”.
Economist Graeme Blackett echoes those sentiments: “We recommend that a Scottish Exchequer – and that would require a Scottish chancellor – is established as part of a new financial settlement.”