The Implementation of the Smith Agreement - Scottish Affairs Contents


List of the draft clauses which the Scottish Government allege contain twelve vetoes and the UK Government's response.[88]

·  Clause 6-Elections (franchise and registration)

Regulations to make any changes to the digital service (individual electoral registration arrangements)

UK Government explanation: The draft clause gives powers to the Scottish Parliament over the franchise and registration arrangements for local government elections in Scotland and the Scottish Parliament elections. Scottish Ministers will have the power to create a system to facilitate registration for these elections. The UK Government has a digital electoral registration service which remains reserved. If Scottish Ministers want to use this reserved service for devolved Scottish Parliamentary local election registration, then they need the agreement of UK Ministers.

·  Clause 20-Universal Credit: costs of claimants who rent accommodation

Regulations to determine the liability of claimants in respect of accommodation costs

·  Clause 21-Universal Credit: persons to who, and time when, paid

Regulations relating to the person to who, or time when, Universal Credit is paid

UK Government explanation: Paragraph 43 of the Smith Commission Agreement is very clear that Universal Credit (UC) should remain a reserved benefit. All five parties to the Agreement signed up to that. The clauses devolve powers to Scottish Ministers to make alternative payment arrangements in relation to UC. Draft clauses 20 and 21 require consultation as to the practicability of proposed arrangements and agreement as to the date on which any changes brought in by the exercise of the new devolved powers come into effect, so that DWP (which will continue to administer UC) can make the necessary practical and IT changes. Consultation is reciprocal between UKG and the SG.

·  Clause 27-Road: traffic signs etc.

Power to give Ministerial direction about road signs

·  Clause 28- Road: speed limits

Power to make an order relating to speed limits

·  Clause 28- Road: speed limits

Power to give Ministerial directions on speed limits

·  Clause 29-Roads: procedure for regulations and interpretation

Regulations on speed limits for certain types of vehicles or temporary speed limits

UK Government explanation: In one single state with no internal border controls, it is common sense for both Scottish Ministers and the UK Government to consult each other on changes, and to communicate clearly with people moving across the border. Again, the consultation requirement is reciprocal.

·  Clause 38-Fuel poverty: support schemes

Regulations to make schemes relating to fuel poverty support

·  Clause 39-Energy company obligations (promotion of reductions in carbon emissions: gas suppliers)

Regulations to impose obligations on gas suppliers to reduce carbon emissions

·  Clause 39-Energy company obligations (promotion of reductions in home-heating costs: gas suppliers)

Orders to impose obligations on gas suppliers to reduce home heating costs.

·  Clause 39-promotion of reductions in carbon emission-electricity suppliers

Orders to impose obligations on electricity suppliers to reduce carbon emission

·  Clause 39-promotion of reductions in home heating costs-electricity suppliers

Orders to impose obligations on electricity suppliers to reduce home heating costs

UK Government explanation: The clauses require consultation and agreement to give full effect to the recommendation in the Smith Commission Agreement (para 68) which states that the proposal will be implemented in a way that is not to the detriment to the United Kingdom, or to the ability of the UK to meet its international obligations and commitments on energy efficiency and climate change. The reserved powers focus on the overall cost and scale of the obligations to ensure that the obligations continue to operate appropriately within the single GB market and prevent competitive distortions that could disadvantage some consumers. That disadvantage would occur if costs in Scotland were disproportionate (whether high or low) as those costs are spread across GB consumers.

88   Scottish Government Press Release, Demand for urgent re-think of twelve vetoes, 25 January 2015; Letter from Rt Hon Alistair Carmichael MP, Secretary of State for Scotland to the Chairman of the Committee, 12 February 2015 Back

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Prepared 10 March 2015