The Barnett Formula - Select Committee on the Barnett Formula Contents

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 78 - 79)


Professor Iain McLean

  Q78  Chairman: Thank you very much for coming; we are very grateful to you. You know broadly what the scope of this inquiry is. We have been asked to look at the Barnett Formula to see how it is working and to see whether there should be a different type of formula, both in terms of what the basis of the formula is about and the way in which it is done. I do not know whether you would like to make an opening statement or whether you would like us to launch questions at you.

  Professor McLean: The only opening statement I would like to make is that, as you and your colleagues will know, I have written quite a lot about this subject, alone and with colleagues, so most of what I have to say is summarised in various publications which I believe you have had: most recently a pamphlet which I published with Guy Lodge and Katie Schmuecker of IPPR; before that a book, The Fiscal Crisis of the United Kingdom I would be astonished if it sold more than a handful of copies but gives my views and researches up to the date of publication: Thirdly, let me mention, as your clerks may already have told you, I am a member of the Independent Expert Group on Finance which is reporting to the Calman Commission and an exchange of emails among the members of that expert committee seems to be heading towards the view that the simplest thing is for the entire interim report or first evidence from that Committee to be submitted to you. That is not in my hands but in the hands of Anton Muscatelli, the chair.

  Q79  Chairman: We have had that.

  Professor McLean: In that case, because I have written so much, I do not want to make an opening statement but am happy to go straight to questions.

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