Something will have to give if Nicola Sturgeon is to finance her admirable policy wish-list for the next five years. After the UK Budget we can only see a shortfall that will have to be made good by – what? The SG’s tax-and-spend options are unclear.
It’s now some seven years since the notorious ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ sign appeared. Owen Hatherley’s The Ministry of Nostalgia is a witty, exasperated and ferociously well-read exploration of the ‘Austerity Nostalgia’ phenomenon and its politicisation, with parties of both left and right drawing upon competing mythologies of wartime Britain to support their respective positions towards today’s austerity.
The Scottish Conservatives talked up their Holyrood election prospects at their recent conference at Murrayfield. But their past record and the wider economic and political context suggest they would be wise to err on the side of caution.
The SNP still calls its proposed Council Tax ‘reforms’ radical. But one of Scotland’s leading experts on local government finance disagrees profoundly. This is really about ruffling as few feathers as possible.
The Scottish Government emerged from the tortuous talks with the Treasury on the fiscal framework with a relatively generous settlement. But it is one that kicks the can down the road towards renewed acrimony in five years time, argues this leading economist.