Letter: Scottish taxes

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IT WAS Alan Watkins himself who was not quite accurate ("Anger in the valleys over bully Blair's behaviour", 21 February) in referring to Tony Blair's statement during the 1997 general election about the powers of the then proposed Scottish Parliament. There was a big argument in Scotland at the time as to whether or not our new parliament should have tax-raising powers. The point being made by Mr Blair was simply that if a parish council had powers to raise at least a portion of its finances, then why shouldn't the Scottish Parliament have its own tax-raising powers rather than having to depend entirely on a block grant from Westminster.

The Scottish electorate endorsed the question of tax-raising powers in the referendum held in September 1997 by a substantial majority and it remains to be seen whether or not they will be used. But is there any reason why the Welsh people should not, in time, be making a claim for similar devolved powers if their new assembly is made to work successfully?

TOM FULTON

Dalrymple, Ayr

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