From an excellent letter in today’s Herald by Chris McLaughlin of Giffnock:
The only fault in Chris’ logic is that he’s a bit too generous to Labour.
If the new Trident is to last for its official projected service lifetime of 32 years, and Scotland pays an 8.4% population share of the cost (assuming it doesn’t go up again, as it almost certainly will), then that actually comes to just over £438m a year.
Labour’s income-tax proposal, on the other hand, has a starting figure for projected revenue of £480m, but Labour have already said they plan to spend £75m on rebates for low-paid workers and pensioners, plus there’ll be significant administrative costs on top of that. So the real receipts will be more in the region of £390m a year at best – nowhere near enough to plug the £500m gap.
Faced with the choice between scrapping Trident to combat cuts, or increasing taxes on teachers and nurses and part-time workers on £11,000 a year (and still being £50m short), Labour have chosen to snatch the cost of its beloved weapons of mass global destruction – whose only true purpose, according to Tony Blair, is to inflate politicians’ egos – straight out of the pockets of the poor and struggling.
It’s an interesting call.