In his short story, The Nummer 14 Bus, James Robertson evokes the daily struggle played out on a bus ride through Scotland’s affluent capital. It could be a bus ride in any UK city.
“Pro-independence commentators on the Left are angry that (the recent Sustainable Growth Commission report) appears to reduce an “independent” Scotland to a “vassal state” (h/t JRM) of the Bank of England, Westminster/Whitehall and Brussels.” Some comments from the right as well as the left on the Big Debate…
“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.
“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.
Loki stirred up a hornet’s nest among Yes supporters when he wrote on the STV website why he won’t vote SNP on May 5 but for RISE. Here he explains more about why he’s saying No to pragmatism.
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.
As talks on the fiscal framework remain deadlocked, is John Swinney holding out for the best deal he can get or looking to rzeje3ct anything on offer for domestic political gain? A St Andrew’s House kremlinologist investigates.
Scottish Government spending on health is being cut in real terms. But the key political issue is what kind of health service we want in Scotland and whether – and how – we’re ready to fund it.
The row over a 1p rise in income tax or SRIT has for once put the SNP and Scottish Government on the back foot. And that’s before increases in tax allowances kick in. This leaves local services painfully exposed – with worse to come. Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney need to revise their sums.
Could the next Scottish Government buck a historical trend and do something about the council tax? Even if they take on the challenge it will not be a quick fix. Ken Mckay considers the options presented by the latest in a long line of commissions recommending council tax reform.