Lough Derg: the spirit of a holy place

IMAGE Wednesday, 04 April 2012
A small island in a lake called Lough Derg is one of the most famous of Ireland's places of pilgrimage. About 35,000 pilgrims come to it each year intent on doing penance for their sins or seeking divine intervention in their lives. Read More...

Nantes-Brest Canal, Brittany's popular leisure waterway

IMAGE Friday, 07 October 2011
The Nantes-Brest Canal is a 364 km long waterway connecting the city of Brest, on the west of Brittany, to the city of Nantes in the south east. Read More...

The shrine of the Cailleach at Glen Lyon

IMAGE Wednesday, 07 September 2011
Each year, in one of the most remote areas of Scotland, a family of stones are brought out of the house in the spring and returned to the house for the winter. The tradition stretches back thousands of years and the site is believed to be the only surviving shrine to the Celtic goddess Cailleach. Read More...

Newport Celtic Festival and Highland Games, Oregon

IMAGE Tuesday, 17 May 2011
A cultural celebration of the seven Celtic nations, the new festival on the Oregon coast features Celtic music, dance, food, drink, crafts, vendors, kids events, family histories and Highland Games. Read More...

World's largest tidal power project

IMAGE Thursday, 07 April 2011
The world's largest tidal stream energy array will be built in the Sound of Islay on Scotland's west coast. Read More...

Wales' new devolution settlement

IMAGE Thursday, 03 March 2011
Following the 'Yes' victory in the 3 March 2011 Referendum, Wales will now be able to pass its own laws in twenty policy fields. Read More...

The Giant's Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

IMAGE Thursday, 03 March 2011
The Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland has an unparalleled display of polygonal columns of basalt rock resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago. Read More...

'Scotland Bill' approved by the UK Parliament

Scotland to receive major transfer of devolved powers by 2015.

Scotland to receive major transfer of devolved powers by 2015.

The legislation, passed on June 21st, will allow the Scottish government to set some taxes and control national speed limits, drink-driving laws and airgun legislation.

With the new powers, the Scottish Parliament will take charge of half the income tax raised in Scotland. Landfill tax and Stamp Duty will also be devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

On the other hand, London will cut the block grant which Scotland gets from the United Kingdom.

At present, the Scottish Government's budget depends almost entirely on a UK grant and does not make any tax decisions of its own.

With the new financial arrangement, the Scottish Parliament will become a taxing body with the ability to raise cash and make decisions which will have an impact on the performance of the Scottish economy.

The Scotland Bill is based on the recommendations of the Calman Commission, a Commission on Scottish Devolution initiated by the Unionist parties at a time when the Scottish Government was promoting plans for an independence referendum in 2007.

The Scottish Government said the Scotland Bill does not go far enough and called for full fiscal autonomy to give Scotland the economic tools it needs to boost growth.

The UK's Scotland Office expects the new powers to be transferred to the Scottish Parliament by 2015.

Official page of the Scotland Bill on the UK Parliament website

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Celtic Countries is the online magazine for people who enjoy the Celtic nations, their natural splendour, culture, and lifestyles.

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