The upcoming budget debate is an important opportunity for policymakers from all sides to set out what they would do, yes on taxation, but also on expenditure and growth. The new income tax powers provide some measure of relief, but it’s far from the only game in town’.
‘And while England’s Brexiteers prepare to sign a blank cheque to gain their version of independence at any price, what are the chances of Scotland gaining control over its own post-Brexit destiny?’
One in eight secondary school-age pupils in Glasgow provides care for someone at home. Not only do these pupils care for someone with a disability, long-term illness, mental health or substance issue, they also have poorer outcomes for their own health and future expectations.
The Programme for Government is full of detailed initiatives to support and encourage everything from manufacturing in the West Highlands to tourism in Ayrshire. Mostly it is a description of what is already being done, but where’s the evidence for what works, asks a former government adviser.
‘…if Scotland is excluded from key European programmes then funding streams will dry up which are crucial to the delivery of Scotland’s policy ambitions’. An ex-adviser on EU to the First Minister examines her Programme for Government.
‘Of course, it is possible to close this (budget) gap by explicitly reducing certain expenditures or by assuming higher tax revenues – either through increased rates or faster growth. Others will argue though, that in the context of independence, there may be additional costs. The debates will no doubt continue.’ And indeed they do…
‘…he seems to believe that GERS are unrealiable simply because the results sound ‘improbable’ to him and ‘the last thing they should do is trust that from London’. With a belief in his own infallible ‘intuition’, he then goes looking for reasons to confirm it’.
‘..it is time for governments to stop wasting time and money on technologies like CCS that aren’t working. They need to finally get serious about leading a major drive for energy efficiency instead’.
‘Changing the constitutional set-up doesn’t alter the fact that these fiscal challenges need to be addressed by all governments in all countries. Today’s figures show that a more autonomous Scotland will be forced to meet such challenges sooner rather than later.
‘So all in all, whilst very welcome, we’d urge caution in dusting down the bunting and streamers just yet! There is much work still to be done if the Scottish economy is to fully make up recent lost ground’.