The recent difficult negotiations over the Scottish fiscal framework illustrate the growing complexity of the UK's financial constitution. Significant tax and borrowing powers are being devolved to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Business rates are being decentralised in England. And there is increasing debate over whether cities such as London should gain extra fiscal powers.
Making this changing settlement work poses a series of challenges to government and raises questions about whether current arrangements for fiscal governance are fit for purpose. There is pressure for greater transparency and independent scrutiny. The Barnett Formula remains contentious. And HM Treasury will have to work together more closely with devolved governments than in the past.
In the run-up to the devolved elections of May 2016, the Institute for Government hosted an expert panel discussion of these important issues.
The panel explored how devolved governments across the UK are funded, what is now changing, and what reforms are needed to ensure effective fiscal governance as the devolution process continues.
- David Heald, Professor of Public Sector Accounting, Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow
- Tony Travers, Director of LSE London and former chair of the London Finance Commission established by the Mayor of London
- Ed Gareth Poole, Wales Governance Centre, Cardiff University
- Julia Goldsworthy, Former Special Adviser to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, IfG Associate and PWC Devolution Driver
- Akash Paun (Chair), Fellow of the Institute for Government