Scottish Government spending on health is being cut in real terms. But the key political issue is what kind of health service we want in Scotland and whether – and how – we’re ready to fund it.
Archives for February 2016
Nicola Sturgeon will still be first minister on May 6. Kezia Dugdale and Ruth Davidson are vying for the role of opposition leader in the next Holyrood term but both are really positioning themselves for the 2021 poll. Here we examine the prospects for the Scottish Conservative leader.
The national poets of Scotland and Jamaica, Burns and Marley, shared a passionate concern for the oppressed – and a host of other attributes as well as children born to many mothers. We pay tribute here to the work of the two Roberts – and their common genius.
The Land Reform Bill is making its (contentious) way through Holyrood. One thing it ignores is a nice little trade in offering souvenir plots of Scotland but this comes with no ownership rights. Time for a change?
The row over a 1p rise in income tax or SRIT has for once put the SNP and Scottish Government on the back foot. And that’s before increases in tax allowances kick in. This leaves local services painfully exposed – with worse to come. Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney need to revise their sums.
How do students and other young people plan to vote on May 5? In the first of a series the author considers the case for Scottish Labour getting his crucial second vote but opts instead for the Greens to counter-balance a constituency vote for the SNP.
Scotland used to fight fiercely for foreign direct investment to set up here and create hundreds or thousands of jobs as well as a domestic supply chain. But those once-golden days are over. Scottish industry should raise its game and consider overseas investment instead as the route to growth.
Scottish policy debate has moved into a new and noisier phase as the parties seek to differentiate themselves on tax. This greater fiscal candour is to be welcomed, even if it rips up the established ground rules of electoral politics. But this ain’t the whole story: control over benefits remains an outstanding issue.
The oil price shows no sign of recovery any time soon; thousands of jobs are being lost; the big producers have left the North Sea and the smaller ones are following suit. Scotland needs to start real planning for the post-oil – and post-carbon – economy.
The Scottish Government has dismissed pressure from Labour to offset cuts in spending on local services with a 1p on the Scottish Rate of Income Tax. It rejects pressure from the Treasury to agree a fiscal framework it say will cost Scots billions. No detriment, it says: but at another’s expense?