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Devolution - Essay Example

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Regional or local governments who get the power of home rule may also get some legal powers to have their own legislative framework and legal rules which they can apply to their region exclusively. In the United Kingdom, a case of devolution in seen in the 1997 referenda in Wales and Scotland when a devolved or regional government was created and this was followed by the establishment of Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales, Northern Ireland Assembly and Greater London Assembly in 1999 (see O'Neill 2004; Trench 2004). The proposals for a devolved state in Wales and Scotland were made in 1979 although the actual implementation of such a proposal could only be made two decades later.
However there have been no devolved governments or devolution within England as the Labour government faced defeat in their proposals for a devolved regional government in North East England in 2004. Since then there have been no successful plans of devolution or formation of local and regional governments within England and all are failed plans.
Apart from Wales and Scotland, there has been a system of home rule in the US as District of Columbia represents a regional and devolved government and is under the sole control of the United States Congress and the district government was created by statute. ...
Fothergill discusses three government reports to argue that the new directions set by the Labour government do not take account of the accumulated knowledge or even the long history and background of the UK regional policy, Thus the regional policies which are already existing have serious lessons to impart which the new approach of Labour government seems to be overlooking or ignoring. The paper further states that, 'The new approach (of Labour) also prioritizes the devolution of decision-making over positive discrimination from the centre in favour of less prosperous areas'. Thus devolution has become not just a means of constitutional settlement but a dynamic process of change with possible uncertain consequences.

In the later part of the analysis we will consider the process of devolution using case studies, examples and research reports.

Implications of Devolution

Even following devolution, there are many issues and concerns that are applicable to devolved governments. Elliott et al (2005) write that public sector pay is of critical concerns to governments of Westminster and Edinburgh. Public sector pay accounts for the major part of the government's expenditure and when not controlled by the central government, may have to be controlled according to budget in case of regional or devolved governments. The quality and range of services provided by the public sector is largely dependent on this pay controlled by the government. Within the UK, there is a national rate of pay that may not be sensitive to labour market conditions. However many recent changes have been made and consequently in Scotland there have been pay scale revisions and "public sector ...Show more


Devolution is considered as home rule in which the central government grants powers to the regional or local governments. The powers that are granted to the local or regional governments are temporary although they ultimately are controlled by the central governments and devolved assemblies can be repealed by the central government (O'Neill, 2004).
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