As the SNP leadership campaign crawls to the finish post, time for a Big Debate on the political and socio-economic future in Scotland and the UK
What does Hunt’s first Budget mean for Scotland? (Update)
“The £320 million of money coming to Scotland mentioned in the Chancellor’s speech is for 2023-24 and 2024-25, but that’s all we’ve been told. Given that these figures will have been worked out in advance, there is surely no reason why these figures can’t be released in full at the same time as the rest of the Budget documents.”
Taking the border out of politics
David Torrance looks back on the first UK constitutional referendum – the 1973 N Irish border poll. “As Prof James Mitchell has observed, the 1973 referendum ‘suggested that sovereignty rested with the people of Northern Ireland and not Parliament at Westminster’, a suggestion arguably reinforced with respect to Scotland more than 40 years later.”
Prospects for future fiscal devolution?
“Are current fiscal powers optimal for managing day-to-day and longer-term risks? And do the devolved administrations have the right tools to manage the financial risks they are likely to face now and in the future?”
Scotland’s currency options under independence
“The transition to full use of a S£ would take time, with high use of the UK£ within Scotland even once the S£ is established, whether at independence or soon after. In my view, it should start on day 1 of independence.”
Swinney should use his fiscal powers to the full: Update
“But there are also flexibilities that the Deputy First Minister has for the next financial year that were not available to him for this year – the Scottish Government does have tax powers that could be used, if he wishes, to raise more revenue.” FAI sets the scene for Thursday’s Scottish Budget
The left must abandon high tax policies
“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 It should accept that high progressive income tax is out of date.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.”
Going for growth – or broke?
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.
Strategy for going everywhere and nowhere
“The report, the launch, the minutes of the Advisory Council meetings – all point to a ‘just get it done and get it out’ approach. And as with previous, failed, economic strategies it will go through various hoops of progress reports and ‘accountability’ that are underplayed and soon forgotten. But without anyone taking real ownership, without a genuine attempt to identify and plan a way forward, little will change.”
Postscript: Infants in care – out of sight out of mind?
“The current position in Scotland is just not good enough. Infant removals continue to this day. They do not lie in our past. This trend is found in other wealthy countries..yet elsewhere infant removals appear more subject to public scrutiny. An infant entering care in 2016, when the Independent Care Review was launched by the First Minister, will be 14 years of age by 2030. Hardly a sea change. More surely a glacial pace.”