Nicola Sturgeon has called for an inquiry into the Edinburgh school closures and the PFI scheme behind it is under renewed scrutiny. Here Unison’s senior Scottish official, a long-time PFI/PPP opponent, looks at why things went so badly wrong.
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.
John Swinney, finance secretary, is about to borrow money to help finance new construction projects and stimulate growth and jobs just when the economy is turning down. It’s a sign of things to come as Holyrood gains more control over tax-and-spend.
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?
Labour in Wales may be facing a tough election in May 2016 but unlike its Scottish counterpart it is likely to benefit from a divided opposition – and may hold on to power in Cardiff Bay.
David Cameron’s ham-fisted plans to help mainly Muslim women learn English have rightly been condemned for stigmatising people – not least as government funding for teaching English as a second language has been cut. Here the United States rather than Europe may have a better, more liberal process of integration.