New powers to improve people’s lives

Monday 26th January 2015


Following the Independence Referendum, the Smith Commission which included all the political parties was set up to begin to deliver change for Scotland.

Last week, we moved a step closer to making this change a reality, as the UK government published draft legislation to deliver the findings of the commission.

The announcement generated much activity in and around Parliament as the Prime Minister David Cameron came to Edinburgh to discuss the draft legislation with Nicola Sturgeon.

Under the plans the Scottish Parliament will be given new responsibilities over welfare, borrowing and taxation with more of the money the Scottish Government spends being raised here in Scotland.

With new powers on the way, the work is now shifting as to how we use these powers in order to improve the lives of people here in Inverclyde and around Scotland, whether it’s ending in-work poverty or delivering affordable childcare.

To this end, the Scottish Parliament’s Devolution (further) powers committee, which I have joined as deputy convener, has been engaging with organisations across the country including those from the voluntary sector and the business community.

While there are certainly differences about how the new powers can be used to best affect, there is a consensus that we have the potential to build a stronger economy and a fairer society.

I hope that all the political parties will unite in the coming weeks and months to work together and ensure that change is delivered for the people of Scotland.