“A Scottish currency is no guarantee that independence would see the country’s deeply embedded economic problems tackled. A monetarily sovereign independent government would still be perfectly capable of chronic mismanagement. But to have an independent country with a fighting chance of making even partial economic and social progress, monetary sovereignty is a pre-requisite. Another Scotland is still possible.”
“The left should opt for an eco-fiscal policy, designed to dismantle rentier capitalism. It should accept that high progressive income tax is out of date. It should make clear that income and consumption taxes are mainly for public services and infrastructure, including transport, defence, housing, schools and other social needs. Beyond that, the aim should be to restructure fiscal policy as a means of common justice.”
The new UK Chancellor has set out his radical fiscal plans – and prompted a sterling crisis. The situation is so grave, not least for Scotland, it merits a return from us in the interests of a wider public policy debate. Here we republish commentary from the FAI – and expect to run further contributions this autumn.
‘Clearly the political and institutional landscape has changed dramatically since 2014. One inescapable fact about any future debate on the economic case for Scottish independence is that the terrain – by which we mean the political, economic, social and cultural context – has shifted significantly.’
‘So, whilst the rhetoric may have softened, the constitutional paradox remains. Scotland can leave if it has a lawful vote to do so, but there is no way of having a lawful vote. For now, anyway. And there is no plan to have a plan.’
“And even though, with Scotland as an independent country, your policy options would be much greater, you have to be constantly aware of the trade-offs involved and the limitations on your power to influence the choices made by workers and by companies. You can at least take comfort from the fact that less prosperous nations with less well-developed institutions than Scotland manage these issues without the roof falling in.”
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‘Many in the Yes movement support independence because they believe it offers a path towards a more progressive future. But the vision outlined in the Growth Commission delivers the opposite: it is difficult to conceive of an economic settlement better designed to ensure that government policy serves the interests of international finance rather than its own citizens.’
‘.Like the Bourbons, the Conservatives have learned nothing, and forgotten nothing. But Labour are in danger of the same. Time is running out for a reasonably well developed alternative option that might be included in a future referendum. Not only would this enrich a stale debate but would allow Labour to escape the potentially lethal embrace of working with the Tories again.’
‘The potential shorter and longer-term economic transition and structural change Scotland faces as an independent state within the EU, while rUK is outside post-Brexit, needs careful economic analysis and an understanding of likely costs and benefits. What it does not need is a studied looking away from the challenging economics of a Scotland-rUK border.’