Scotland politics

Fiscal framework: Swinney vows Holyrood scrutiny of key papers

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Media captionDoubts are expressed about whether there will be a deal before Valentine's Day on the fiscal framework

The Scottish finance secretary has said that key documents used to agree any new funding deal for Scotland will be published for scrutiny.

The Scottish and UK governments are working on a "fiscal framework" - to ensure any new powers for Scotland do not impact negatively on funding.

John Swinney has said any deal reached by the 14 February deadline would be opened up for Holyrood to examine.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Secretary has said he believes a deal is in reach.

Monday meeting

The Scotland Bill, currently making its way through Westminster, will set out major new tax and welfare powers for Holyrood.

But The Smith Commission, on transferring power to Scotland, said the final agreement should not put Scotland at a disadvantage.

Further discussions will take place in Edinburgh on Monday, involving Chief Secretary to the Treasury Greg Hands and Mr Swinney.

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Image caption New financial powers, including on tax and borrowing, are due to be handed to Holyrood

And Mr Swinney has indicated the Scottish government will publish key papers on the fiscal framework before the end of the parliamentary term.

He said: "Once this process has run its course, Scotland's Parliament and people have a right to see all the key documents.

"That's why I can give a commitment that I will publish these documents in time for Scottish parliamentary scrutiny and before the Scottish Parliament dissolves."

Holyrood 'shielded'

The Scottish finance secretary said he wanted to see a framework that is fair to Scottish and to UK taxpayers.

And Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said there had been significant movement from the UK Government in an attempt to find agreement.

He added: "Ministers at Holyrood will be shielded from a significant amount of risk - while still keeping all the money they take in income tax from Scottish taxpayers.

"And we will review the framework after a few years to make absolutely sure it is delivering for Scotland and the rest of the UK."

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