Scotland politics

John Swinney: Scotland 'may need a chancellor'

John Swinney Image copyright PA

Scotland may need a dedicated tax minister when further revenue-raising powers are devolved to Holyrood, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has said.

As finance secretary, Mr Swinney's role encompasses the constitution and government strategy.

He also monitors the economy, fiscal policy, the Scottish budget, spending, taxation and public pay.

He said there was "undoubtedly an argument" for a chancellor-type role in Scotland.

'Interesting prospect'

Speaking at a Scottish Parliamentary Journalists' Association event in Edinburgh, Mr Swinney said: "There is an argument for there purely being a ministerial role that looks solely at the issues of tax and public expenditure control.

"There are other responsibilities of course. The responsibilities in this respect will be growing very dramatically in the course of the next few years."

He added: "What has changed, and what I thought was quite evident in the Budget process in the last couple of years, was the growing proportion of time and Budget preparation that is now taken on tax-related issues.

"It opens up a very significant new set of issues and the deployment of responsibilities within government must be considered within that backdrop into the bargain."

He said a Scottish chancellor was "an interesting prospect worthy of further consideration given the nature of how our responsibilities are changing".

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