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.
council tax reform
Why politicians need to take a bus ride to reality
In his short story, The Nummer 14 Bus, James Robertson evokes the daily struggle played out on a bus ride through Scotland’s affluent capital. It could be a bus ride in any UK city.
Independence: growth, austerity, social justice or sheer magic?
“Pro-independence commentators on the Left are angry that (the recent Sustainable Growth Commission report) appears to reduce an “independent” Scotland to a “vassal state” (h/t JRM) of the Bank of England, Westminster/Whitehall and Brussels.” Some comments from the right as well as the left on the Big Debate…
Council cuts: who wields the knife?
“It is cartoon politics to portray Westminster as the baddie in respect of funding and powers for councils when there is a steadfast refusal by Holyrood to use its powers to prevent cuts to councils..” Gordon Munro on the funding crisis facing Scottish councils.
“More money” and spending cuts for local government
“The Scottish Government, as is their right, have simply decided that they would rather spend the increased funding elsewhere. They have, it seems, other priorities.” The agreed Scottish Budget provisions for local government are unpicked.
Holding our own feet to the fire
Loki stirred up a hornet’s nest among Yes supporters when he wrote on the STV website why he won’t vote SNP on May 5 but for RISE. Here he explains more about why he’s saying No to pragmatism.
Putting council tax reform to bed
The SNP still calls its proposed Council Tax ‘reforms’ radical. But one of Scotland’s leading experts on local government finance disagrees profoundly. This is really about ruffling as few feathers as possible.
Why no deal on fiscal detriment?
As talks on the fiscal framework remain deadlocked, is John Swinney holding out for the best deal he can get or looking to rzeje3ct anything on offer for domestic political gain? A St Andrew’s House kremlinologist investigates.
We need to talk about the health of our nation
Scottish Government spending on health is being cut in real terms. But the key political issue is what kind of health service we want in Scotland and whether – and how – we’re ready to fund it.
Swinney frets – or frits – about SRIT
The row over a 1p rise in income tax or SRIT has for once put the SNP and Scottish Government on the back foot. And that’s before increases in tax allowances kick in. This leaves local services painfully exposed – with worse to come. Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney need to revise their sums.