The author, fiscal expert at FAI, examines the tax changes designed to achieve greater fairness made in the fifth Scottish Parliament – and the scope for reform and greater powers in the next.
“Holyrood needs to revive its commitment to power sharing and subsidiarity. At its inception, the Scottish Parliament could legitimately claim to be bold and innovative. It can be again.”
Going beyond recovery from the pandemic. In reviewing a recent book on Scotland post-Covid-19, we urge an ambitious, granular debate on the ways to transform our country and make it greener, fairer and more democratic for all.
“To chart a path to recovery Scottish Labour needs to elect a new opponent,” argues Chris Silver. “If the party found a way to trace a route back to its origins – seeking in the first instance to represent the interests of those who live by selling their labour – there could be a path back from the brink…”
‘This will not be unique to Scotland’s capital but does illustrate the double bind that local government is in with COVID-19: tackling the problems created along with the cost of doing so with insufficient funding and still having to make cuts of £39m at the same time. This is where the unallocated monies and the underspend can be used especially now in this time of great need.’
‘… a different kind of constitutional structure from a typical federal state, but a structure which discharges the same functions…For Scots, endlessly split over the unhelpfully binary independence question, change in the UK offers a different option which not just constructive unionists but thoughtful nationalists will be attracted to…’
‘This is not the model of capitalism envisaged by Adam Smith, that beautiful smooth-running machine with its assumptions of benign reciprocity between an industrialist and a workforce. It is, rather, an unfettered Hobbesian monster, not unlike the rampant and exploitative mercantilism which Smith (a proto-social psychologist, as well as economic theorist) sought to discredit.’ First of three in a series on Edinburgh’s architecture…
‘Scotland likes to see itself as a bold, brave, progressive, dynamic 21st Century nation, but the truth is more insular, conservative, deferential and, in the end, suffocating – not just for individuals, but for ideas and innovation too. Unless that changes, nothing else will.’
‘Every major party in Scotland has contributed to the process of centralisation and this has undermined local responses to the crisis. Scotland’s constitutional status is an important issue but not at the cost of considering the need for reform of local governance….’
‘..with so much promise offered by new economic democratic agendas such as new municipalism, communities can have a key role as partners with the state against the cosh of market liberalism and declining public services.’