SPICe Briefings on Europe

The Scottish Parliament Information Centre produce an excellent selection of research briefings available to view on EU and International Affairs.  You can view more about the history of the EU, the Institutions involved and the impact of EU membership in Scotland.

The Scottish Parliament offers a free eBulletin newsletter with information about future debates and events. This is issued each week, normally on Friday afternoon and SPICe include information on their briefings in this publication. Registration is required.

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Results from UK Government Consultation on Scottish Independence

In January this year the UK Government published a consultation document to gather public opinion on the proposal by the Scottish National Party (SNP) to hold a referendum on Scottish independence. The consultation was open until Friday 9th March and gathered views from all members of the UK public.

On the 4th of April the UK Government published a command paper (Cm. 8326) summarising the 2,857 responses to the consultation. This document is available on-line from the Scotland Office by clicking the following link:-

Scotland’s Constitutional Future: Responses to the Consultation

Some notable results from the UK Government consultation are as follows:-

  • 75% of respondents agreed with the position of the UK Government that there should be a single question on Scotland’s constitutional status
  • 70% of respondents agreed with the UK Government that the referendum should take place sooner rather than later
  • 44% of respondents were in favour of the Scottish Government proposal that 16-17 year-olds be allowed to vote in the referendum, with 47% against

The ongoing Scottish Government consultation on the question of Scottish independence will run until Friday 11th May and can found at the following link:-

Your Scotland, Your Referendum

Budget 2012

Budget boxThe Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne MP, presented his Budget to Parliament today, 21 March 2012. This is the third Budget of the Coalition Government. In his Budget speech the Chancellor outlined how the Government plans to raise and spend money in the coming year. Some key points of the Budget include:-

  • From April 2013, the 50p top rate of tax will be cut to 45p
  • Automatic review of state pension age to ensure it keeps pace with increasing lifespans
  • Personal income tax allowance raised to £9,205 from April 2013

You can find all of the Budget documents online on the HM Treasury website.

The House of Commons Library has produced a briefing paper on the Background to the 2012 Budget, and a Research Paper on economic indicators.

The full text of the Chancellor’s statement is available from the HM Treasury website.