Thursday, 1 April 2010

And there's more

Where was I? Oh yes, additional responsibilities and powers from 2002 back to 1999:

Agency arrangements for Kyoto responsibilities;
Agency arrangements for responsibilities under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (information gathering on the import, acquisition, release or marketing of genetically modified organisms, maintaining the public register, and commercial confidentiality exclusions); receiving and processing applications for the release and the marketing of GMOs; Air Quality Limit Values regs; and Control of Ozone-Depleting Substances;
Promotion and construction of railways:
Financial assistance for shipping;
Funding rail travel franchises;
Regulation of social landlords;
Electricity and Utilities;
Agency arrangements for controlling ozone-depleting substances;
Agency arrangements for CJD surveillance; control of medicines; and seven different parts of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981;
Transfer of staff, property, rights and liabilities from the National Audit Office to Audit Scotland;
Temporary speed limits; Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors boards; child care regs for tax credit purposes;
Agency arrangements for air quality standards; ozone monitoring; the sulphur content of liquid fuels; and "The function of taking steps preparatory to the implementation of Directive 96/62/EC of 27th September 1996 on ambient air quality assessment and management and the legislation provided for in Article 4 thereof";
Financial assistance to post offices; strategies for rail services; provision and regulation of rail services; strategies for air services; and a wee bit on pesticides;
Wireless telegraphy for crime fighting purposes; intrusive surveillance; compulsory purchase and compensation for gas supply pipes; partial regulation of electricity generators; and poisons;

That's back to the beginning of 2000 (I might have missed something). The transfers in 1999 will have been, by and large, part of the starting of devolution so shouldn't be regarded as being additionals, I think. The links are here if you want to look at them:
this one is a modification of the reservation schedules:

I haven't even looked at the stuff sent to me by other people yet, so there may be more. There is the obvious caveat that some of the orders will have replaced others and some of the movements are relatively small administrative changes. I think, though, that the increase in responsibilities of the Scottish administration from 1999 onwards is clearly enormous. Most of these transfers appear to me to include expense and some would leave the Scottish Government incurring substantial additional expense. Many of them have transferred functions but not powers (particularly the agency arrangements), placing burdens on Scotland without us having the ability to alter those burdens.

Having considered the increase in expenditure which these burdens would create I find myself thinking that the siren cry of Labour politicians of "there's twice as much money coming to Scotland now as there was in 1999" a rather hollow jibe. Indeed, looking at it I can only surmise that double the money isn't nearly enough, it should be doubled again. Scotland is being short-changed by the Labour Government in London and it's time it stopped! I suppose it would be a good thing if someone quantified that, and I'll applaud anyone who does - or we could just have fiscal autonomy just now and be satisfied.

Mind how you go.

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