‘On Thursday, (as Derek Mackay outlines the 2017-18 Scottish Budget,) the Scottish Fiscal Commission will publish its first ever forecasts for Scottish GDP growth and income tax revenues over the next five years. It will be interesting to see what judgement the Commission has come to about the evolution of both’.
In the corner apartment overlooking the city Elspeth was unpacking a Whole Foods bag, in between flipping a clean towel onto the bathroom rail and kicking her gym shoes under the sofa. She greeted them at the door. “Jim! How lovely.” After Jim had admired the view – two windowed walls overlooking the nexus of […]
‘But here and now, for sanity sake, I abandon the endless stream of anger in the digital world, stuff my silenced phone in my back pocket, pick up a pair of secateurs and venture out into the fresh air’. On Douglas, Atholl and ‘..celebrating a natural world without borders, the spirit of human adventure, and offering a fragrant protection against bad politics’.
‘We need to speak up for ourselves and other children from Scotland’s past. We need to fathom out how to protect subsequent generations. As a society we need to recognise how a good childhood, free of toxic stress, forms the basis of future physical and mental health. And as a country we need to admit that nurturing children has never been one of Scotland’s strengths.’
‘I worry also about nest-egg building by those from high incomes, as a new form of hidden advantage, because of the low interest rate on student loans here. We could apply higher interest to loans to those from better-off households (but we won’t)….’
‘A real-world illustration would be that of Northern Ireland or Scotland seeking to secede from the UK following Brexit. When the UK exits the EU, it will drag the two regions (which both voted to remain) out of the EU. That will greatly affect the Scottish and north Irish economies and their international relations…’
‘Throughout my life those Anglo-Scots-Irish links have pulled complicated strands of loyalty, plucking a confusion of romantic emotional responses. Who the hell am I?’
‘Having failed to resolve these differences prior to the Act, as well as a myriad of other problems, the realities of integration are now coming to the fore, while the baton has passed to the SPA. Charged with providing assurance and oversight, the Authority has some exceptionally hard decisions ahead on what is a fiendishly complex project, against a backdrop of rising demand on police services and increasing cost pressure.’
“It is cartoon politics to portray Westminster as the baddie in respect of funding and powers for councils when there is a steadfast refusal by Holyrood to use its powers to prevent cuts to councils..” Gordon Munro on the funding crisis facing Scottish councils.
‘ I would advise any Scottish government to aim broadly to balance the budget. At present, without support from Westminster, Scotland would be running a large deficit. If the proponents of independence want to increase their economic credibility, now is the time to start setting out how that deficit could be closed’.