Last modified on April 3, 2008, at 20:45

Scottish Parliament

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Scottish Parliament is a devolved institution. It was established by the Scotland Act, 1998. The Scottish Parliament can pass laws concerning Scotland on a number of issues like education, health and housing and can raise or lower the basic rate of income tax by up to three pence in the pound. of the Devolution was developed in such a way that the Parliament of the United Kingdom at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster could make laws that override the acts passed by the Scottish Parliament. Such an event would lead to a serious political crisis.

The Scottish Parliament is made up of 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs). One of the 129 MSPs is elected by the others to serve as the Presiding Officer. Two MSPs are elected as Deputy Presiding Officers. The first elections to the Scottish Parliament took place on May 6, 1999.

MSPs can also hold a seat in either the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the European Parliament or represent a ward in their local council. This situation is called dual mandate.

While education, health and housing are the most crucial devolved matters, according to the "How the Scottish Parliament Works"[1] leaflet on official website of the Scottish Parliament the list includes: agriculture, forestry and fishing; education and training; environment; Gaelic; health; housing; law and home affairs; local government; natural and built heritage; planning; police and fire services; social work; sport and the arts; statistics and public records; tourism and economic development; transport.

External Links

The Scottish Parliament