Looking forward to the Scottish Budget on Dec 19, the FAI says: “With monetary policy determined at UK level and little in the way of manoeuvre on its own fiscal stance, the Deputy First Minister’s decisions will need to deliver a budget that takes all these constraints into account, and some large parts of her funding are already determined – especially as it pertains to the Block Grant.”
“At the end of a year of confusing cuts, un-cuts and renewed cuts, the Scottish Government’s latest pledge is to invest £100m in the cultural sector over the next five years. How widely and how quickly that will be shared is not yet known.” We report on how successive governments starve a sector that’s key to the Scottish economy – and identity.
“As these are devolved matters, the Scottish Government receives this funding but is under no obligation to match the policies announced by Westminster. For example, the retail, hospitality and leisure relief is a repeat of the measure for 2023-24, which the Scottish Government decided not to pass on and spent elsewhere. So this is one to watch out for at next month’s Scottish Budget.”
“Remote” seems to me to have a useful meaning in the IT sense of performing an activity when you are not there in person – eg a surgeon might operate remotely, or a teacher give lessons remotely. I don’t think it is useful to class whole communities as “remote”.
” Instead, there is every prospect of a bitter war with many thousands more Palestinians killed, tens of thousands of young Palestinians all too ready to fight in the future, and a peaceful resolution of the Israel/Palestine conflict delayed by at least another generation.
“ ‘This effectively means no one can scrutinise the activities of these farms which are basically self-monitored as it is. It’s a very, very dangerous ruling.’ ”
“…can the SNP walk and chew gum at the same time? Surely, it makes most sense to focus on priority issues at home, whether in Holyrood or arguing the case at Westminster, and on the case for independence too (the substance not the process).”
“To portray the Islamist fanaticism of Hamas—its radical-conservative ‘purity’ laws, its Manichean world of friend and foe—and its consequent war crimes as somehow comparable to the national liberation movements of past times is, apart from everything else, an insult to the vast majority of those liberation movements.”
“There are, though, exciting ways that monuments could be used to throw light on the events of the past. They hold the possibility of being key objects for understanding the writing of history itself, and of how biased and complex that act can be.
“It may be that the process of establishing and issuing the bonds is seen as strengthening the Scottish state in advance of a future independent Scotland. But in a constrained fiscal environment, it will be fair to ask whether borrowing in a more expensive way makes sense.”