Osborne in bid to ban SNP from key budget votes

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne answers questions in front of the Treasury Select Committee

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne answers questions in front of the Treasury Select Committee

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SCOTTISH MPs will have to be banned from some Budget votes, the Chancellor has said, as the Conservatives challenge Labour to rule out a SNP coalition.

George Osborne has said draft devolution powers will be published on Thursday setting out increased tax and spending powers for Scotland.

As a result though, Scottish MPs should to accept they cannot vote on English-only tax plans in future budgets, a move which would potentially

In a message aimed at Ed Balls, who could find himself in No 11 Downing Street after the election as part of a Labour government relying on the support of smaller parties such as the SNP, Mr Osborne also said the chancellor after the next election should not be “beholden on Scottish nationalist votes”.

Once powers to set income tax have been devolved, Scotland would have to “live with the consequences” of its decisions - including if wealthy individuals flee across the border to escape “punitive” rates, Mr Osborne told the Treasury Select Committee.

Mr Osborne said proposals for “English votes for English laws” would be published before the general election, but he insisted that it must be the case that Scottish MPs should have their ability to vote on aspects of future Budgets curbed if powers have been devolved.

The cross-party Smith Commission on devolution said the Scottish MPs should continue to vote on the UK’s Budget, including income tax.

Mr Balls however insisted decisions over income tax should be made by MPs from all across the UK.

He said the Smith Commission, which proposes devolving control over much of income tax in Scotland to Holyrood, “makes absolutely clear that tax matters that are reserved to the UK are a matter for all MPs to vote on”.

The shadow chancellor accused Mr Osborne of adopting “short-term, divisive petty politics”.

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