The constitutional power under the Scotland Act has not lapsed. What has lapsed is the fee to HMRC for collecting it.
£12m was paid by the Scottish Government in 1999 to set up the HMRC collection system.
The £50,000 per annum fee was for collection of tax.
No tax has been implemented
No tax has been raised
No party has proposed raising tax by the SVR.
The first time the Scottish government received the new demand for £7m to set up a new system by HMRC was in July 2010.
A meeting was immediately requested with HMRC by the Scottish Government to discuss this has been ignored by HMRC and no meeting has yet been offered.
The ability to raise the SVR tax has not lapsed: no constitutional power has been lost.
The Scottish Government simply declined to pay an excessive fee to HMRC for their services on a tax that no one intended to use.
There has never been a practical ability to use the SVR at short notice – it takes about 10 months to put the system in motion from the passage of the budget bill to HMRC actually being able to levy the tax.
The maintenance contract with HMRC came to an end in 2007, and not until July of 2010 was the matter raised again by HMRC , in the form of a sudden demand for £7m to update the system.
Why should the Scottish Government spends large sums of money, vital to Scotland in the face of the draconian cuts to its budget by the UK government, to finance a system that neither they nor the Opposition Parties in Holyrood intended to use?
That sum of money plays a vital part in essential services to the Scottish People. To pay it to HMRC, for a service that never has been used and never will be used (it is being replaced by new legislation) by the Scottish Government, or any other party, would be fiscal lunacy, and a dereliction of their duty to the Scottish people.