A report said that globalization and technological change was affecting the nature of jobs available in United Kingdom cities, although there were differences between cities and those in the north were particularly at risk of the growth of low-paid jobs. It called on cities to ensure that they used an appropriate mix of supply side and demand side interventions to respond to the needs of the local labour market, called on the national government to give cities more flexibility over funding, and called for the Low Pay Commission to work with cities where they had a strong case for a city-region wide minimum wage.
Source: Naomi Clayton, Maire Williams, and Anthony Howell, Unequal Opportunity: How jobs are changing in cities, Centre for Cities
A report examined issues of social justice in the context of the debates around Scottish independence and the forthcoming referendum in September 2014. The report drew together arguments regarding: a post-independence Scottish currency; economic development; the empowerment and security of wealth producers; fiscal powers to redistribute income; public services; and issues of democracy, human rights, and equalities. It concluded that key parties to the referendum debates had not been willing to challenge consistently the orthodoxies that had created the prevailing conditions of inequality, and offered critiques of the independence debates.
Source: A Just Scotland 3, Scottish Trades Union Congress
A report said that over-centralized decision-making in the United Kingdom restricted economic growth, and that there should be a significant devolution of finance away from central government to city-regions. The report said that this was not yet possible for all cities, as some were not ready to take on the associated responsibilities and risks, but supported devolution to the 'top 15' metros. The report described devolution as a 'process', and recommended that decision-making on readiness should be overseen by an independent city-region devolution committee. The report discussed the conditions that were necessary for successful fiscal devolution and made a range of recommendations.
Source: Powers to Grow: City finance and governance, City Growth Commission
A journal issue published a range of articles on the topic of small country independence, including a number of articles on Scotland.
Source: Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Volume 30 Number 2
Links: Table of contents
Notes: Articles included:
David Comerford and David Eiser, 'Constitutional change and inequality in Scotland'
David Bell, Allan Findlay, David McCollum, and Robert Wright, 'Labour migration policy and constitutional change in Scotland'
Angus Armstrong and Monique Ebell, 'Assets and liabilities and Scottish independence'>
A report by a committee of MPs said that, in the event of Scottish independence, a currency union would be neither feasible nor desirable for either Scotland or the rest of the United Kingdom. The report said that there would be far-reaching consequences, particularly for the financial services industry in Scotland.
Source: The Referendum on Separation for Scotland: No doubt ï¿½ no currency union, Third Report (Session 201415), HC 499, House of Commons Scottish Affairs Select Committee, TSO
A report provided the response of the Welsh Government to the reports from the Commission on Public Service Governance and Delivery and the Silk Commission (on devolution in Wales), and discussed the future of the devolution settlement in Wales. The report was published alongside a consultation on the future of local government.
Source: Improving Public Services for People in Wales, Welsh Government
The Welsh Government began consultation on the future of local government in Wales. The white paper included a response to the local government aspects of the report of the Commission on Public Service Governance and Delivery which, inter alia, had recommended the merger of some local authorities, raised issues regarding the scrutiny and governance of fire and rescue authorities, and recommended boundary changes. A further paper was published alongside the consultation that provided a deeper response to the reports from the Commission on Public Service Governance and Delivery and the Silk Commission (on devolution in Wales), and discussed the future of the devolution settlement in Wales. The consultation would close on 1 October 2014.
Source: Reforming Local Government, Welsh Government
A report examined the costs and transition processes involved in establishing independence in Scotland. The report said that there would be immediate set-up costs of up to £200 million in creating new administrative structures that duplicated those of United Kingdom institutions, but that the new administration could also streamline many public bodies. It considered the possibility of sharing back office support systems with London for functions such as taxation, benefits systems, and defence, and said that, although Scotland would need to create its own information technology infrastructure, with associated costs, this would have the technical benefits of a modern system and some costs could be offset by policy savings. The report said that the nature of negotiations between Scotland and the rest of the UK government would influence the level of costs, and that some existing uncertainties arose from the currently low level of engagement in transition planning.
Source: Patrick Dunleavy, with Sean Kippin and Joel Suss, Transitioning to a New Scottish State: Immediate set-up costs, how the handover would work, and the long-run viability of Scottish government, Democratic Audit/LSE Politics and Policy
The United Kingdom Government published its final report in the Scotland analysis programme, outlining its case for Scotland to remain part of the UK.
Source: United Kingdom, United Future: Conclusions of the Scotland analysis programme, Cm 8869, HM Treasury, TSO
A report examined how Scottish devolution should change if the referendum in September 2014 did not lead to Scottish independence.
Source: Commission on the Future Governance of Scotland, Scottish Conservatives
A special issue of a journal examined a range of issues relating to the Scottish referendum on independence that was due to take place in September 2014.
Source: Scottish Affairs, Volume 23 Issue 3
Links: Table of contents
Notes: Articles included:
Keith Shaw, '"Our friends in the north": responses to the independence debate in the North East and Cumbria'
Meryl Kenny, 'Engendering the independence debate'
Daniel Kenealy, 'Much ado about (Scotland in) Europe'
A report examined predicted demographic trends in Scotland and the potential implications for Scottish independence. It said that by 2037 the working age population was expected to reduce by 3.5 per cent, and that Scotland would need to support longer working lives and address disability-free life expectancy levels for males in Scotland, which were four years shorter than the United Kingdom as a whole. The report said that the dependency ratio (the ratio of non-working age people to working age) would rise by 40 per cent in Scotland (compared with 30 per cent in the UK) at the same time as oil and gas revenues were anticipated to fall, and that this was likely to place pressures on government spending and taxation.
Source: Ben Franklin, Scottish Independence: Charting the implications of demographic change, International Longevity Centre – UK
A paper examined the Scottish Government's view of university research in an independent Scotland. It said that Scotland's world-class higher education sector would benefit from independence through such means as strategic investment, independent research funding policy, ongoing opportunity for international collaboration, and the realization of research impact.
Source: Scotland's Future: Higher education research in an independent Scotland, Scottish Government
A paper examined the outlook for Scotland's public finances and the financial implications of Scottish independence. It said that the public finances of Scotland would be substantially stronger if the country remained as part of the United Kingdom. The paper said that lower taxes and sustained public services as part of the United Kingdom would be worth around £1400 per person per year over the twenty years following 2016-17. The Scottish Government, on the same day, published a report that examined fiscal forecasts for an independent Scotland, and said that the powers of independence could be used to grow the economy, such that revenues could increase by £5 billion per year by 2029-30.
Source: Scotland Analysis: Fiscal policy and sustainability, Cm 8854, HM Treasury, TSO
Links: Report | HMT/Scotland Office press release | Chief Secretary's speech | Scottish Government report | Scottish Government press release | SNP press release | SNP press release | LSE blog | BBC report | BBC report | BBC report | Guardian report | Telegraph report
A report examined recent trends in Scotland's public finances and the fiscal position of Scotland in coming years. It said that Scotland would have a sustainable fiscal position in 2016-17, with key fiscal aggregates similar to, or stronger than, both the United Kingdom and the G7 group of industrialized countries as a whole. The report examined a range of economic projections and said that, by using powers of independence to grow the economy, Scotland's revenues could increase by £5 billion per year by 2029-30. The United Kingdom Government published, on the same day, a Treasury paper that examined fiscal policy and sustainability in an independent Scotland, and said that Scotland's public finances would be stronger if the country remained as part of the UK.
Source: Outlook for Scotland's Public Finances and the Opportunities of Independence, Scottish Government
Links: Report | Scottish Government press release | UK Treasury report | HM Treasury/Scotland Office press release | SNP press release | SNP press release | LSE blog | BBC report | BBC report | BBC report | Guardian report | Telegraph report
A paper examined the implications of Scottish independence for social security – including state, private and public sector pensions – and supporting people into work. It said that Scotland saw current benefits from some areas of devolved policy, but there was mutual benefit for people and employers from United Kingdom-wide aspects such as uniformity of benefits, a single job market, pooling of risks, and an established social security infrastructure that would be costly to reproduce and run in Scotland. It said that expenditure on pensioners would rise more over the next 20 years in Scotland compared with the UK as a whole, and outlined the potential consequences for spending, taxation, and benefits levels.
Source: Scotland Analysis: Work and pensions, Cm 8849, Department for Work and Pensions, TSO
A report examined the potential impact of Scottish independence on energy markets and energy bills.
Source: Scotland Analysis: Energy, Cm 8826, Department for Energy and Climate Change, TSO
A report examined the implications of Scottish independence for businesses. It set out a number of benefits, costs and risks for Scottish businesses in four areas: funding costs; corporation tax; trade; and private pensions. It concluded that, although an independent Scottish economy could thrive, and the overall impact would vary by sector and size of business, there would be one off and ongoing costs and uncertainties and fewer, more uncertain, benefits.
Source: The Potential Implications of Independence for Businesses in Scotland, Oxford Economics
A report by a committee of MPs provided pre-legislative scrutiny for the draft Wales Bill. The Bill would: enable the Welsh Assembly to legislate on devolved taxation and provide for a referendum in Wales on whether an element of income tax should be devolved; allow the Assembly to set a Welsh rate of income tax; extend, and create new, borrowing powers; extend Assembly terms to five years; and amend rules governing candidates in Assembly elections and Welsh Assembly members.
Source: Pre-legislative Scrutiny of the Draft Wales Bill, Fourth Report (Session 201314), HC 962, House of Commons Welsh Affairs Select Committee, TSO
A themed section of a journal examined the economic consequences of Scottish independence from the United Kingdom.
Source: National Institute Economic Review Number 227
Notes: Articles included:
Michael Keating and Malcolm Harvey, 'The political economy of small European states: and lessons for Scotland'
Katerina Lisenkova and Marcel Merette, 'Can an ageing Scotland afford independence?'
David Bell, David Comerford, and David Eiser, 'Funding pensions in Scotland: would independence matter?'