Sometimes there isn’t much happening in the world of politics, but it’d be a bit of a stretch to describe this week as one of those times. So we’re not sure in what context this article on the BBC website today counts as “news”.
Labour’s cynical attempts to score points against the SNP over the bedroom tax certainly aren’t new. They’ve been banging the same drum for months, demanding that the Scottish Government essentially subsidises (and thereby encourages) Tory cuts by taking money from elsewhere in the Scottish budget.
Hilariously, when challenged to say where Labour would find the £50m of savings required, on a special Newsnight Scotland debate on Monday night Jackie Baillie’s only suggestion (at 28 mins) was that £10m could come from the money she claimed the Scottish Government had spent on the Oscar-winning movie “Brave”.
The figure was in fact £7m rather than £10m (an exaggeration of a mere 43%), it was spent on investing in tourism generally, and it resulted in significant increases in revenue - although as the BBC’s Glenn Campbell pointed out, the more pertinent issue was that the money had been spent a year ago, before the introduction of the bedroom tax, and to go back and un-spend it now would require the services of Doctor Who.
Labour’s position on the bedroom tax hasn’t changed since we looked at it in depth more than five months ago. In all that time, they still haven’t managed to come up with the £50m. If and when they ever do, THAT will be news.