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.
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.
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?