“Yet we all still need to ask and find answers to these questions: is Scotland genuinely more egalitarian? How does Scotland tackle early mortality, poor health outcomes, rising poverty, educational under-achievement – and with what instruments?” This boring binary campaign ignores all these.
“All told, we need much more interest shown by the public on demanding detail about how the government spends our money, and then, most likely, demanding change.” Still true now – a look back at this August 29016 warts-and-all analysis to remind us of the fundamentals.
“It has never been claimed that GERS shows exactly what the public finances of an independent Scotland would look like. We’ve only ever said this report, produced by the Scottish Government, shows where we are now – so you tell us what changes to improve that position.”
It is critical that both the UK and Scottish Government act to support the Scottish economy. Poor economic growth has implications for growth in jobs and wages, as well as the resources available to both governments to fund public services.
“These arguments are entirely legitimate, and ‘fairness’ is something we each may have an opinion on, but to criticise the entire GERS exercise for the simple fact that they are based upon ‘estimation’ is clearly wrong.”
“Scots are only slightly more egalitarian than people in England, while support for redistribution has declined across the UK. People will pay for specific services, notably health, but are not keen on redistribution. They want more powers for Scotland but are less keen on different policies or taxes.”
“Holyrood is an incredibly powerful Parliament with the ability to make a real positive difference to the lives of people in Scotland. Sadly, it is not in the interests of those who value independence above all else to use these powers to their full effect. The powers they need must always be those they don’t have. It is the only way their constitutional obsession can be achieved.”
“This blog examines the recent trend in productivity in Scotland, and we unpick the numbers (3.5% rise in 2015) to see if they are as positive as would initially appear.” “..if policymakers are hoping that the recent statistics herald a new found surge in productivity in the Scottish economy then they are set to be disappointed”.
“The Scottish Government, as is their right, have simply decided that they would rather spend the increased funding elsewhere. They have, it seems, other priorities.” The agreed Scottish Budget provisions for local government are unpicked.
Derek Mackay’s first budget as finance secretary is assailed from all sides – even his own. Scottish Conservatives label Scotland the highest-taxed part of the UK; Labour’s Kezia Dugdale endorses higher Scottish taxes as part of a federal-style devolution of revenue-raising powers. Leading economist David Eiser pondered deeper economic issues.