Holyrood is unlikely to gain any additional powers for at least six years after the Conservatives ruled out introducing constitutional change in the next parliament.2015 is a long way away. And if nothing is to happen until a needs-based analysis has replaced Barnett, the long grass is very deep.
David Cameron, whose party is widely expected to win next year’s general election, has decided a future Tory government would have more important priorities, such as rebuilding the UK economy and getting public finance in order, than re-opening the Scotland Act.
It means the recommendations of the Calman Commission, whose establishment was supported by Annabel Goldie, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, will be shelved until 2015 at the earliest.
Cameron is said to be unwilling to give MSPs greater power to cut taxes until the Barnett formula, which determines the level of public spending across the UK, is replaced with a needs-based system.
It is almost enough to make one feel sorry for Mr Gray and Ms Goldie.