Politics, Unit 1, Types of Devolution

Some cards on different aspects of devolution and how they have been applied in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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Administrative Devolution

Devolution is divided into three levels; Administrative, Financial and Legislative. This card is on Administrative Devolution.

This is the transfer of limited powers to devolved administrations, such as:

  • Control over the allocation of public funds
  • Nature of administration
  • Passage of secondary legislation

Secondary legislation irefers to rules and regulations that can be imposed under powers granted by Parliament in Westminster.

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Financial Devolution

This means the devolved administration has the power to raise (or lower!) it's own taxes.

Most funds available to devolved administrations are in the form of government grants. This allows little financial independence.

Taxation powers, however, allow greater autonomy.

For example, the Scottish parliament can set tax levels at 3% higher or lower than Westminster levels.

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Legislative Devolution

This is the transfer of power to make primary legislation. This is why the Scottish Parliament is a parliament and not an assembly. This is also why, until recently, the the Welsh representative body was an assembly and not a parliament.

So which country has the most devolution and autonomy?

Country       Administrative?       Financial?       Legislative?

Wales                 Yes                       No                   Yes               

Scotland             Yes                       Yes                  Yes            

N.Ireland             Yes                       No                    Yes                 

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