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Alex Salmond to attend talks at Stormont

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First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond

First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond

PA

First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond

Alex Salmond is set to attend talks on an improved 'devolution deal' for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland at Stormont today.

The outgoing Scottish First Minister and his Welsh counterpart Carwyn Jones are due to attend the meeting, which comes in the aftermath of the referendum in Scotland in which a majority voted to stay in the UK.

Since then, there has been much speculation over increased powers for the regions. A recent paper by the Government warned that devolving part of the UK-wide welfare system – an issue over which the DUP and Sinn Fein are bitterly split – could mean spending tens of millions of pounds to develop separate IT systems.

First Minister Peter Robinson has questioned the wisdom of giving extra powers to the Executive when it is bogged down in disagreement over the responsibilities it already has.

By contrast, the SNP wants power over all taxes and benefits – 'devo max'. This would leave Westminster with powers over parts of the constitution, monetary policy and currency, citizenship, defence and elements of foreign affairs.

Belfast Telegraph