JOHN Swinney has said there is case for creating a "Scottish chancellor" following the devolution of new tax powers to Holyrood.

Since 1999, Scotland's finance ministers have had a much more wide-ranging role than UK chancellors.

As Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and the Economy, Mr Swinney's responsibilities include not just the Scottish budget but public service reform, government targets and improving broadband connections.

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Where George Osborne concentrates solely on macro-economic policy, tax and allocating resources to other Whitehall departments, Mr Swinney's range from the constitution to reform of public services.

He is also ultimately responsible for business, energy and tourism, although a junior minister, Fergus Ewing, takes day to day charge of policies.

Traditionally, UK chancellors have not been responsible for spending large sums of money, as they have to share it out between competing departments.

Addressing an event in Edinburgh organised by the Scottish Parliamentary Journalists' Association, Mr Swinney said: "There is an argument for there purely being a minister that looks solely at the issues of tax and public expenditure control with no other responsibilities.

"The responsibilities in this respect will be growing and growing really very dramatically in the course of the next few years also I think there is undoubtedly an argument for the suggestion."

He added: "What has changed and what I thought was quite evident in the budget process in the last couple of years was the growing proportion of the time in budget preparation that is now being taken on tax-related issues.

"The design of LBTT and landfill tax and the arguments on the Scottish rate of income tax.

"It opens up a very significant new set of issues and the deployment of responsibilities within government must be considered with that backdrop into the bargain."

He said creating a Scottish chancellor was "an interesting concept worthy of further consideration given the nature of how the responsibilities are changing".

It was a matter for the first minister, he said, but merited her consideration.

Mr Swinney introduced the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), replacing stamp duty, following the transfer of powers under the 2012 Scotland Act.

A new landfill tax was introduced at the same time.

In his budget for the financial year starting in April, he set a Scottish rate of income tax for the first time.

From 2017, under powers devolved by the new Scotland Bill, MSPs will become responsible for setting all income tax rates and bands.

Air passenger duty, the tax on flights, and an aggregates levy will also be devolved.

Future Scottish budgets will also be shaped by the amount of VAT raised in Scotland.

When all are in place, from 2018, Holyrood will be responsible for raising 48 per cent of the money it spends, according to a recent think tank report.