British parties offer Scotland new tax powers in bid to mute separatist sentiment

Associated Press

Britain's main political parties have agreed to grant Scotland new tax and spending powers to fulfill a promise of greater autonomy made before a recent independence referendum.

In the Sept. 18 ballot, 55 percent of Scottish voters opted to remain in the United Kingdom, while 45 percent voted to leave.

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Since then a commission of politicians from Scotland and the rest of Britain has been thrashing out proposals.

A plan published Thursday would give the Edinburgh-based Scottish parliament the power to set income tax rates and keep the revenue. Scotland would also gain new control over welfare spending.

The proposals open a constitutional can of worms, with some saying other British regions, and even major cities, should also get tax-raising powers.

The proposals will be introduced in Parliament in January.