Expert witnesses announced by Scotland Bill Committee

12/09/2011

A series of eight meetings to hear a range of expert opinions on increased powers for the Scottish Parliament was announced today by Holyrood’s Scotland Bill Committee.

Scheduled across September, October and November, the evidence gathering sessions will assist the parliamentary committee to reach a view on matters including new borrowing powers for Holyrood, devolution of corporation tax, income tax and control over the Crown Estates by Scottish Ministers.

Announcing the expert witnesses to appear before the committee, convener Linda Fabiani MSP said:
“Our committee has been tasked with scrutinising proposals from both the UK and Scottish Government for increased powers for the Scottish Parliament.

“To help us in our deliberations we have called in expert opinion from across Scottish life – from industry, academia, the legal establishment and beyond.

“We are working to a tight deadline, which will see us make recommendations no later than December, ahead of the Bill reaching its final stages in the UK Parliament.”

Witness schedule and work programme

The committee’s witness schedule and forward work programme, as it currently stands is set out below.

Further representatives will be added following confirmation of attendance.

The Parliament’s Business Bulletin will confirm attendees each week – all names are correct at the time of publication

Thursday 8 September (UK ministers)

  • Rt. Hon Michael Moore MP, Secretary of State for Scotland, Scotland Office
  • Rt. Hon David Mundell MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland, Scotland Office

Tuesday 13 September (Calman, Income Tax + Borrowing) (2.30pm start)

  • Sir Kenneth Calman

Panel – Income tax and borrowing

  • Derek Allan, Tax Director, Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland
  • Raymond Kelly, Secretary of the Scottish branch of the Chartered Institute of Taxation
  • Jim and Margaret Cuthbert
  • Professor Chris Heady, University of Kent

Tuesday 20 September (Crown Estate) (2.30pm start)

Panel

  • David Whitehead, Director, British Ports Authority
  • Councillor Michael Foxley, Leader, Highland Council
  • Andy Wightman
  • Representatives of Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • Lorne MacLeod, Community Land Scotland
  • Representatives of the Crown Estate
  • Representative of Scrabster Harbour Trust

Thursday 22 September - Informal event, business community engagement event, 6.00-8.00pm, CR6

Circa. 10-15 external delegates from businesses, trade associations, trades unions etc to discuss provisions of the Scotland Bill.

Tuesday 27 September

Morning session (corporation tax, air passenger duty/ aggregates tax/ other taxes and excise duties) (9.00am start)

Panel – corporation tax

  • Ben Thomson, Chairman, Reform Scotland
  • Garry Clark, Head of Policy, Scottish Chambers of Commerce
  • Martin Togneri, former chief executive of Scottish Development International

Panel – Other taxes

  • Amanda McMillan, Managing Director, Glasgow Airport
  • Robert Durward, Director, British Aggregates Association

Panel - Devolution of excise duties (alcohol)

  • Campbell Evans, Scotch Whisky Association
  • Dr Evelyn Gillan, Chief Executive, Alcohol Focus Scotland
  • Patrick Browne, Scottish Beer and Pubs Association

Afternoon session (creating a competitive business environment and also HM Treasury) (2.30pm start)

Panel

  • Jim McColl, Clyde Blowers
  • Professor Andrew Hughes Hallett
  • Norman Springford, Chief Executive, APEX Hotels

(then separately)

  • David Gauke MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, HM Treasury

Tuesday 4 October (welfare and benefits) (2.30pm start)

  • all witnesses still subject to confirmation.

Tuesday 25 October (broadcasting, mop up session on legal issues etc) (2.30pm start)

Panel

  • Blair Jenkins, chairman of the former Scottish Broadcasting Commission
  • Jane Muirhead, Scottish representative on the Producers' Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT) and Raise the Roof Productions
  • Representative from Ofcom

Panel

  • Michael Clancy and Christine O’Neill, Law Society of Scotland
  • Richard Keen QC, Faculty of Advocates

Tuesday 1 November (remainder of the legal panel) (2.30pm start)

  • Lord McCluskey
  • Sir Gerald Gordon
  • Sheriff Charles Stoddart
  • Frank Mulholland QC, The Lord Advocate
  • Lord Wallace QC, Advocate General for Scotland, Scotland Office
  • Paul McBride QC

Tuesday 8 November (EU issues) (2.30pm start)

Panel 1 – academics and general

  • Dr Alex Wright, University of Dundee
  • Professor Drew Scott, University of Edinburgh

Panel 2 – sectoral interests

  • Nigel Miller, NFU Scotland President
  • Duncan Botting, Executive Chairman, Scottish European Green Energy Centre

Videoconference / oral evidence (fiscal autonomy in other states / regions)

  • Graham Gudgin, Northern Ireland Economic Reform Group
  • Professor Rosa Greaves, University of Glasgow
  • Others tbc

Thursday 17 November (UK and Scottish Ministers) – date and timing subject to confirmation, but provisionally

  • Rt. Hon Michael Moore MP, Secretary of State for Scotland
  • Rt. Hon David Mundell MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland

(separately)

  • Scottish Ministers (tbc)

22 November, 29 November and 6 December (afternoon)

Finalise and publish report.

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