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16 October 2014

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What is devolution?

Devolution refers to a transfer of power. It is when one parliament gives up some of its power to another organisation like a regional parliament or a local government. In 1997, the UK Parliament transferred some power to the Parliament in Scotland; this means that Scotland has some self-government.

The Westminster Parliament retains the power to make laws about certain things such as defence and foreign affairs, otherwise known as reserved powers, whereas the Scottish Parliament has power over devolved matters such as health and education.


Areas of responsibility of the Scottish Parliament (devolved powers):
Health National Health Service in Scotland
Education and Training Nursery, primary and secondary school
Further and higher education
Training policy and lifelong learning
Local Government Funding
Elections
Social work and housing
Economic Development Promotion of tourism
Inward investment
Transport Passenger and road transport
Law Criminal law and procedures, excluding drugs and firearms
Civil Law
Courts and Procurator Fiscal (crown prosecutor)
Police, prisons and fire services
Environment Environmental protection
Flood prevention and coastal protection
Agriculture, forestry and fishing
Sports and the arts
Tax The Scottish Parliament can raise or lower the basic rate of tax by three pence in the pound


Areas of responsibility of the Westminster Parliament (reserved powers):

Defence

Foreign affairs

Central economic policies

Social security

Constitutional matters

Energy

Immigration

Drug and firearms control

Medical Ethics

Equal Opportunities


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