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Campaign group calls for powers over poverty

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Poverty Alliance says social justice and poverty should be at forefront of Smith Commission

The Poverty Alliance has submitted its response to the Smith Commission, calling for full devolution of income tax, control over inheritance tax and a call for Scotland to receive a fairer share of oil and gas revenues.

Employment law, health and safety, trade union law and the minimum wage should also be devolved to the Scottish Parliament, the submission states.

The group said it remained “critical of the process” but was making its submission in good faith.

During the referendum the Poverty Alliance argued social justice should be at the heart of the debate about Scotland’s future.

Any powers devolved must come with the relevant policy and fiscal powers

It says if further powers to Scotland are to be made, it remains crucial that tackling poverty and social justice must be central to identifying and using new powers.

Peter Kelly, head of Poverty Alliance in Scotland, said: “We welcome the opportunity to feed into the Smith Commission on further devolution to the Scottish Parliament.

“The focus of our submission has been powers to tackle poverty.

“We believe that any powers devolved must come with the relevant policy and fiscal powers. Without these, it is not real devolution at all.

“The Poverty Alliance has tried to strike a balance between reflecting the result of the referendum and the desire to pool and share resources, and the overwhelming support for the devolution of more powers to the Scottish Parliament.

“We believe that by devolving the powers recommended, the Scottish Parliament can make meaningful change in the fight against poverty.”