John Swinney and David Mundell quizzed over fiscal framework progress
Finance Secretary John Swinney and the UK Government’s Scottish Secretary David Mundell will appear before MSPs today to explain why Scotland’s funding arrangements haven’t yet been agreed.
Both are appearing before the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee this morning.
Scotland’s new fiscal framework is to complement new powers being devolved to Holyrood.
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An agreement was due by Valentine’s day to give the Scottish parliament adequate time to scrutinise the arrangements, but both sides have claimed the other will not compromise.
Treasury minister Greg Hands, who has been involved in the negotiations, was called before committee tomorrow, but has declined the invitation.
SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson said it showed “gross disrespect” to the Scottish Parliament.
“The Tories need to understand that scrutiny by the Scottish Parliament isn’t an optional extra – it’s an absolutely essential part of ensuring that any proposed deal on the fiscal framework is up to scratch,” he said.
Hands said it was “entirely untrue” to suggest he had pulled out.
“I was only shown this date on 16th Feb, and it is clearly a parliamentary sitting day in Westminster,” he said on Twitter. I will come in due course,” he said.
Green MSP Patrick Harvie said: "The situation is getting beyond absurd, and it's time for both the UK and Scottish Governments to come clean and let the rest of the country know what the state of their negotiation is. Whether they have reached a deal or not, it's unacceptable for Greg Hands to play these bizarre games of brinkmanship."