Election A to Z — S is for Scotland


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1 Response

  1. Avatar Stuart says:

    Hi Mike

    Just discovered your site and have spent most of the evening reading it.

    As someone who has lived in Scotland all my life, your analysis of the situation is Scotland is excellent.

    At present, thanks to the Barnet formula, Scotland gets a vast annual subsidy from the UK (around £8bn a year if my memory serves me correctly). Yet, around 45% of Scots have been hoodwinked (yes, in some quarters it’s more like a cult than a rational decision) into believing that after independence the streets will be paved with gold.

    The reality is rather different. Fiscal independence (let alone full independence) would require vast budget cuts of perhaps 10%.

    In recent years, oil tax revenue has collapsed by more than 95%. And given the rate of growth in solar power, it may never recover.

    As you mentioned, higher state spending in Scotland has resulted in a budget deficit of almost 10% per year, around twice the current UK deficit.

    Even worse, the Scottish tax base is much narrower than the rest of the UK. Around 3% of Scots (150,000 people) are responsible for half the tax paid. Only 11,000 people in Scotland earn more than £150,000.

    As a result, despite having tax altering powers, the SNP daren’t use them.

    If they increase taxes, people, businesses and capital will leave Scotland (it would only take a few thousand high taxpayers to seriously damage tax receipts).

    Meanwhile, they can’t be seen to reduce taxes given their political leaning to the left to capture labour voters.

    Despite their rhetoric, the SNP, Sturgeon and Salmond do not speak for me, or millions of Scots. Their behaviour, which paints Scots as greedy, arrogant and self-obsessed, disgusts me.

    The modern SNP is a grievance machine designed to ride the surge in nationalism that invariably follows a financial crisis.

    The situation is made even more dangerous by certain characteristics of the Scottish national psyche. There’s a perversity to it, which often makes them their own worse enemy.

    For example, 19% of Scotland’s trade is with the EU. And as the UK has voted to leave the EU, how do many Scots respond? By renewing calls to leave the UK, with whom they conduct more than 40% of their trade.

    It’s utterly illogical. It’s like losing an arm in an accident and then hacking-off one of your legs just to show everybody how angry you feel about the situation.

    Fortunately, the people who dislike the SNP are growing increasingly vocal.

    And given the fact that the SNP have been in power at Holyrood since 2007, patience is beginning to grow thin with their record in government.

    In the future, I think the general election of 2015 could be seen as peak-SNP.

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Election A to Z — S is for Scotland

by Mike Rawson time to read: 4 min
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