Devolved taxes: a policy framework - consultation analysis

Analysis of responses to the 'Devolved taxes: a policy framework' consultation which ran from March to June 2019.

5. Other points raised

Some respondents raised important points which are not covered by the two broad categories of questions. Some of these are addressed here.

5.1 Human Rights Based Approach to Taxation

In its submission, the SHRC advocates for a human rights based approach to taxation, requiring fiscal policymakers to take into account international human rights obligations and treaties. It draws out three important human rights based principals that are relevant to the consultation, and to taxation more widely:

  • the right to participation and principle of transparency;
  • the right to equality and non-discrimination; and
  • the principle of accountability.

The SHRC welcomed the commitment from the Scottish Government to being more open and accessible. In doing so, they noted that:

"The principles of transparency, participation, empowerment and accountability alongside equality and non-discrimination are the corner stones of a human rights based approach, and they are integral to the development of a devolved taxes policy framework that is shaped by Scotland's existing international human rights obligations."

5.2 National Performance Framework

Scotland's National Performance Framework (NPF) supports the delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals by seeking to articulate more clearly the link between performance information and fiscal decisions.[9]

Audit Scotland highlight that changes to devolved taxation can affect multiple National Performance Framework outcomes, and suggested that the impacts of policy on outcomes should be set out as part of the Devolved Taxes Policy Framework. They also highlight that it should be documented where priorities are balanced, for example:

"[R]ecent developments in Air Departure Tax have highlighted that while reducing the tax may help boost tourism and help economic outcomes, increased air traffic could work against environmental ones."

The SCVO mentioned the importance of linking taxation to the NPF and highlighted their current project 'Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Scotland: Taxation and the Scottish National Performance Framework'.[10] In partnership with Covi, they will explore the voluntary sector's ideas and approach to devolved tax and how that can be aligned to the NPF and the delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.



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