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University of Stirling economist to advise House of Lords

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Professor David Bell
Professor David Bell

University of Stirling Professor David Bell has been appointed as the specialist advisor to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee.

Professor Bell, from the Stirling Management School, will advise the committee with their inquiry into possible models for the devolution of public finances in the UK.

A Professor of Economics at the University since 1990, Professor Bell is an expert in UK public finances and has made significant contributions to the devolved parliaments.

He was Budget Adviser to the Finance Committee at the Scottish Parliament from 2007 to 2013 and has also made appearances and contributions to the National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland Executive. He has also undertaken leading research into youth unemployment and the labour market in Scotland, across the UK and Europe.

Professor Bell said: "This inquiry will investigate whether there are sufficiently robust institutions to make the new fiscal arrangements for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland work effectively.

"It will also look at how these new arrangements can sit alongside the Barnett Formula. And in a week when government borrowing has been the main item of news across Europe, it will look at what arrangements for borrowing by the devolved parliaments should be put in place.

"Another issue that it will consider is whether tax competition between different parts of the UK is likely and whether it should be encouraged or discouraged. It will also consider what are the implications of going beyond the Scotland Bill 2015 proposals to full fiscal autonomy."

Since the General Election, the government has introduced the Scotland Bill to bring in the recommendations of the Smith Commission on the devolution of further powers to the Scottish Parliament. The Corporation Tax (Northern Ireland) Act 2015 and the Wales Act 2014 also contain provisions to devolve some financial powers.

The Committee will investigate what impact these will have on the distribution of public finances in the UK. Calls for evidence and written submissions are requested by 21 August, 2015.

Find out more about the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee inquiry.


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