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

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.