‘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.
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.
George Osborne’s eighth Budget is unravelling as each day passes. Here a leading Stirling Uni economist suggests it’s his direction of travel that’s wrong. Time to relax the fiscal rule and invest for the future.
Something will have to give if Nicola Sturgeon is to finance her admirable policy wish-list for the next five years. After the UK Budget we can only see a shortfall that will have to be made good by – what? The SG’s tax-and-spend options are unclear.
The oil price shows no sign of recovery any time soon; thousands of jobs are being lost; the big producers have left the North Sea and the smaller ones are following suit. Scotland needs to start real planning for the post-oil – and post-carbon – economy.
Nicola Sturgeon and David Cameron have rushed to Aberdeen to pledge financial support to surmount the oil industry slump. But the city was never given the tools to benefit fully from the boom, argues the Aberdeen-based author. It now needs a change in Scotland’s political culture to make the transition.