William Eichler 07 October 2016

Holyrood should create ‘clear’ taxation framework

The Scottish government should create a ‘clear framework’ that would govern its approach to taxation and make local authorities more accountable, financial body says.

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has argued a new framework would provide a clear definition of Holyrood’s approach to taxation by linking it to the overall aims of the government’s programme.

A clearly laid out framework should contain a comprehensive set of principles to support the assessment of taxation policies and demonstrate the aims and objectives of tax policy being implemented, CIPFA said.

‘While the Scottish Government has outlined four principles underpinning its approach, we believe that an expanded and comprehensive set of principles is required to support the assessment of tax policies,’ said the head of CIPFA Scotland, Don Peebles.

‘The Scottish Government should outline this within a concise framework approach to taxation in order to support transparency and accountability for the emerging system of tax in Scotland.’

The accountancy body also recommended local tax be set and raised locally and that local authorities should be given discretionary tax powers to enable them to support local services.

This, they argued, would make Scottish councils more accountable.

‘CIPFA also supports the view that implementation of new devolved powers requires consideration of the tools needed to manage greater fiscal devolution,’ Mr Peebles continued.

‘This is critical to ensuring good public financial management and financially sustainable services in the long-term.’

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