By a Newsnet reporter

As SNP delegates arrive for the start of SNP conference, a new YouGov poll has found that a clear majority of Scots want all tax, spend and welfare decisions to be made by the Scottish Government.

The poll found that 52% of respondents thought that the Scottish Government should be responsible for all tax and spending decisions in Scotland – including oil and gas tax revenue, with 35% supporting Westminster control.

A separate question found 53% thought that the Scottish Government would be best at deciding welfare and pensions policy for Scotland, with 34% backing UK Government control. The poll of 1015 Scottish adults was carried out between 20th and 22nd March.

The results come as a boost to the independence campaign – and a blow to the anti-independence campaign, who have repeatedly scaremongered on pensions and on oil revenues.

The challenge for the Yes campaign is to persuade voters that Scottish control of welfare, pensions and tax and spending can only come about through independence. The anti-independence parties have repeatedly refused to spell out what further powers would be devolved to the Scottish parliament in the event of a No vote, and refused to consider asking voters an additional question about ‘devo-max’ in the independence referendum.

Many Yes campaigners fear that if Scotland votes No on 18 September 2014, Westminster politicians will kick the issue of further devolution into the long grass, and no progress will be made. The Conservatives have already ruled out any devolution of welfare issues. The failure of the 1979 home rule referendum to surpass the artificial hurdle imposed at the behest of certain Labour MPs resulted in devolution being ignored by Westminster for the best part of 2 decades.

Fieldwork on the YouGov poll was carried out more recently than a second poll by the No campaign, due to be released late on Friday night. The SNP have already dismissed this other poll as being based upon leading questions, which the party claims makes the Better Together findings unreliable and untrustworthy.

Welcoming the YouGov poll, Finance Secretary John Swinney SNP said:

“These are hugely encouraging results and show that the positive arguments put forward by the independence campaign are winning the support of the people of Scotland. There is a clear majority support for the key decisions about Scotland to be taken right here in Scotland.

“This is a big blow to the No campaign.

“Scotland is in a stronger financial position than the UK as a whole – to the tune of £4.4 billion, or £824 per person

“And we know that Scotland spends proportionately less of its budget on welfare and pensions than the rest of the UK.

“Only a Yes vote on 18th September 2014 will enable us to invest our abundant resources in building the fairer and more prosperous Scotland that we all want to see.”


2013-03-23 01:12

If you exclude the Don’t Knows on the questions then the percentages on where power should lie become
Tax (inc oil & gas) – 60% Scotland, 40% UK
Welfare & Benefits – 61% Scotland, 39% UK

In 2010 the ScotCen figures on slightly different questions AFAIK were
Tax (inc oil & gas) – 61% Scotland, 39% UK
Welfare & Benefits – 71% Scotland, 29% UK

call me dave
2013-03-23 09:34

Well they keep saying that the Scots are a canny lot. I hope they really do know where their bread is buttered come the referendum.

Good luck and good progress at the conference to those who are going. Perhaps we will see a bit on the tv at some point.

N Sturgeon did well on the Bateman programme this morning even if Mr Bateman asked her, tongue in cheek I think, if the SNP were responsible for no third question on the ballot. “It’s not democratic” he said forcing folk to make a choice between two things that they don’t want.

She pointed him correctly to the coalition’s red line stance re: no question on Devo — whatever!

Aye right.

2013-03-23 10:03

“52% want the Scottish Government to have control of all tax and spending decisions”
– Good News. What I can’t get my head around is the 35% supporting Westminster control. Dah!
What is wrong with these people? Given the chance to have COMPLETE control over deciding what is best for your country who in their right mind wouldn’t take it but instead give it to another country hundreds of miles away who doesn’t give a toss about you, who’s only interest is what they can take from you. Sigh!

I do so admire and congratulate the people of Catalonia for having the guts to fight for the chance to control their own affairs. I wish them well in their struggle for freedom. If only my fellow Scots had the same guts.

Nay Labour
2013-03-23 11:52

The word you are looking for is Feckless….!

We (some of us at least) are Feckless! We want it all, but are not willing to put the effort into getting it, and more importantly, don’t want to take the responsibility – and that the bit that riles me most! This…utter laziness!

‘If we can’t be given it on a plate without the hassle of having to take responsibility for ourselves through independence…th ey its just too much bother’!

I despair, I really do! If we vote no then we deserve nothing….and we will get less than that from Westminster.!

Yes…I’m angry!

Adrian B
2013-03-23 14:38

I think that the 35% supporting Westminster control are either happy to roll over and get their belly tickled by Westminster or utterly believe that we canny do it ourselves.

The important ones are the ones in the middle that are prepared to look at the possibilities of being Independent.

We need to keep working on the die-hard ‘no’ voters as well, however tiring it is, a few will see the light over time.


Thee Forsaken One
2013-03-23 11:04

I actually took part in that poll yesterday. I naturally chose that everything should be under the control of the Scottish Government.

The poll also asked about voting intentions, it will be interesting to see how that turns out.

2013-03-23 11:16

Yes, the poll is good news – but I still can’t help feeling a little disappointed. I though those wanting ‘more powers’ or ‘devo-something’ was up around the 70% mark ?

Suddenly we add oil into the equation of more powers and the figure plummets. Why ?

Papa Ernie
2013-03-23 16:58

I took part in this YouGov poll, as I do in others on a regular basis.

I am glad to see support for more powers being devolved to Holyrood is now through the 60% mark.

Anyone who has known me in the past 65 years know that my ultimate ambition is to see an Independent Scotland.

However I regret that what Mr Salmond offers is not Independence. All that is on offer is the transfer of sovereignty over Scotland from Westminster to Brussels and Strasbourg.

We should be seeking the authority to govern ourselves, set our own taxes, carry out our own laws, not have this imposed on us by the bureaucrats of The United States of Europe.

2013-03-23 22:43

Does Westminster give all UK taxes to Brussels and then wait for a handout in return ?
Does Westminster allow Brussels to decide which wars they will fight, illegal or not ?
Does Westminster allow Brussels decide if the UK should have Nuclear Weapons and where they should be placed ?
Does Westminster allow Brussels to decide Tax rates and economic policy ?

Of course Westminster doesn’t, yet these are a few of the issues Westminster decide for us here in Scotland.

Now tell me again how Brussels and the EU is the same as Westminster and the UK ?


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