Scotland Bill committee to hear views of experts

Image caption Plans are in the pipeline to deliver more powers to Holyrood

Experts have been called before Holyrood's Scotland Bill Committee, which is looking at plans to devolve further powers from Westminster.

Business people, academics, legal experts and politicians will answer questions on a whole range of issues.

There will be a number of evidence-giving sessions taking place over the next three months.

The UK government is planning a major transfer of new powers to the Scottish Parliament under a new Scotland Bill.

Described by the UK government as the "biggest transfer of fiscal power to Scotland since the creation of the United Kingdom", the legislation will hand control of some taxes and other powers from Westminster to the Scottish Parliament.

Announcing the expert witnesses' sessions, Scotland Bill Committee convener Linda Fabiani, an SNP MSP, said: "Our committee has been tasked with scrutinising proposals from both the UK and Scottish government for increased powers for the Scottish Parliament.

"To help us in our deliberations we have called in expert opinion from across Scottish life - from industry, academia, the legal establishment and beyond.

"We are working to a tight deadline, which will see us make recommendations no later than December, ahead of the bill reaching its final stages in the UK Parliament."

The matters to be discussed include new borrowing powers for Holyrood, devolution of corporation tax, income tax and control over the Crown Estates by Scottish ministers.

Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, have already appeared before the committee, which hopes to report its findings on 6 December.

The other sessions planned include;

Tuesday 13 September

Sir Kenneth Calman

Derek Allan, Tax Director, Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland

Raymond Kelly, Secretary of the Scottish branch of the Chartered Institute of Taxation

Jim and Margaret Cuthbert

Professor Chris Heady, University of Kent

Tuesday 20 September

David Whitehead, Director, British Ports Authority

Councillor Michael Foxley, Leader, Highland Council

Andy Wightman, campaigner

Lorne MacLeod, Community Land Scotland

Representatives of the Crown Estate

Representative of Scrabster Harbour Trust

Thursday 22 September

External delegates from businesses, trade associations, trades unions to discuss provisions of the Scotland Bill.

Tuesday 27 September

Ben Thomson, Chairman, Reform Scotland

Garry Clark, Head of Policy, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Martin Togneri, former chief executive of Scottish Development International

Amanda McMillan, Managing Director, Glasgow Airport

Robert Durward, Director, British Aggregates Association

Campbell Evans, Scotch Whisky Association

Dr Evelyn Gillan, Chief Executive, Alcohol Focus Scotland

Patrick Browne, Scottish Beer and Pubs Association

Jim McColl, Clyde Blowers

Professor Andrew Hughes Hallett

Norman Springford, Chief Executive, APEX Hotels

David Gauke MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, HM Treasury

Tuesday 4 October

All witnesses still subject to confirmation.

Tuesday 25 October

Blair Jenkins, chairman of the former Scottish Broadcasting Commission

Jane Muirhead, Scottish representative on the Producers' Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT) and Raise the Roof Productions

Representative from Ofcom

Michael Clancy and Christine O'Neill, Law Society of Scotland

Richard Keen QC, Faculty of Advocates

Tuesday 1 November

Lord McCluskey

Sir Gerald Gordon

Sheriff Charles Stoddart

Frank Mulholland QC, The Lord Advocate

Lord Wallace QC, Advocate General for Scotland, Scotland Office

Paul McBride QC

Tuesday 8 November

Dr Alex Wright, University of Dundee

Professor Drew Scott, University of Edinburgh

Nigel Miller, NFU Scotland President

Duncan Botting, Executive Chairman, Scottish European Green Energy Centre

Graham Gudgin, Northern Ireland Economic Reform Group

Professor Rosa Greaves, University of Glasgow

Thursday 17 November

Michael Moore MP, Secretary of State for Scotland

David Mundell MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland

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