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A problem of dishonesty

Posted on November 03, 2015 by

We had an interesting conversation last night with someone who was prepared, quite legitimately, to credit Scottish Labour with a little more good faith over their proposed plan to mitigate Tory tax credit cuts than we were. But we had a lot of trouble coming to an agreement over the arithmetic, and we tend to think that backs up our cynicism.

liarliar2

Labour have presented their supposed funding for the policy in an incredibly dishonest and disingenuous way, and it seems to have confused the media to the point where nobody in the print or broadcast media has challenged what appears to be a huge and (to us at least) incredibly obvious gaping hole in the finances.

Let’s walk through it one more time.

As we noted at the weekend, Kezia Dugdale has said that Labour will use the new welfare powers in the Scotland Bill – which allow the Scottish Government, within certain parameters, to create new benefits. The likely logistical and technical pitfalls of that notion have been dealt with far more expertly by Lallands Peat Worrier than we could manage, so for that aspect we’ll direct you to his analysis.

What we’re concerned with is the money. According to Dugdale herself, the cost of fully compensating the victims of the cuts will be around £440m a year. Plainly, that’s EXTRA money that has to be found on top of the current Scottish budget.

Dugdale says that £250m will come from not implementing the Scottish Government’s plan to phase out Air Passenger Duty. But clearly – really incredibly clearly – that won’t generate an EXTRA £250m, it’ll just avoid LOSING £250m from the budget.

(We suspect the Scottish Government would contend that it wouldn’t be lost at all, and would pay for itself by generating extra airport traffic, tourism income, jobs etc. But we’re not here to make that case – we’re discussing what Labour say they’d do.)

Let’s simplify the figures:

– Say the current budget is £1,000.

– To fund replacing the tax credits – a new additional expense – you need £1,020. (This number isn’t precisely proportionate, just broadly illustrative.)

– The Scottish Government currently plans to spend £10 buying a new hat.

– If Labour cancels the new-hat-buying plan, the budget is still £1000. It hasn’t gone up. You’re still the same £20 short you were to start with. You still have to find extra money from somewhere.

Labour’s plan to do so has two other planks. One is to avoid a planned Tory increase in the thresholds for higher tax rates. But that has the same problem as cancelling the APD cut – it doesn’t generate any MORE money, it just avoids you losing any from your already-inadequate starting position.

The second is an increase in the top rate of income tax, from 45p to 50p. But Dugdale herself admitted to Holyrood Magazine on Friday, with unusually admirable candour, that this could raise nothing at all:

“Up to £100 million. But bluntly, Mandy, it could also raise zero because of the mechanisms by which people can avoid paying tax so it is up to £100 million.”

The IFS estimates that the actual money raised in Scotland would be about £8m (as a population share of the £100m that would be generated were it implemented UK-wide, though if it was in Scotland only it’d very likely be less than £8m as some people would move across the border to avoid the higher rate, and because there are fewer top-rate taxpayers in Scotland to start with).

But even in Dugdale’s impossible-fantasy best-case £100m scenario, it’s still less than a quarter of what’s needed. (In our simplified figures above, at BEST we’d now have about £1,004 in the budget, and realistically more like £1,000 and 36p.)

The figure of £440m also doesn’t take account of what would likely be very high administrative costs, due to the huge cross-border and inter-departmental complexity that would be involved. We’ll very conservatively assume those come out to another £60m, as well as swallowing up whatever pennies Dugdale’s tax rise generates.

(That’s about twice the cost of administering prescription charges, which are far simpler, and it also gives us a nice round number.)

So what that leaves is a £500m black hole in Scottish Labour’s budget if they want to effectively reverse the tax credit cuts. It certainly doesn’t make it impossible, if the political will is there, but it means you have to be honest with people about the fact that you need to find that money somewhere.

There are only two ways for governments to get more cash: they can increase taxes or they can make cuts elsewhere. Labour have already ruled out the former – Dugdale and Ian Murray both said repeatedly on air at the weekend that nobody but the rich would pay any extra tax to fund the policy, and we know that doesn’t produce even remotely enough – so that leaves cuts.

There are remarkably few places to find £500m in the Scottish Government budget.

neilgraph

The graphic above will be familiar to followers of our recent set-to with the BBC’s Andrew Neil. It shows the total amount of money that’s under any sort of control by the Scottish Government, divided into the respective spending areas. If you dig into it, the departmental budgets come out like this:

Health: £12bn per year
Local government: £11bn per year
Education: £3bn per year
Infrastructure (building roads, bridges etc): £3bn per year
Policing/justice: £2.6bn per year
Rural affairs and the environment: £0.6bn per year
Culture and external affairs: £0.3bn per year

We can see that the only two departments that could even begin to afford a £500m cut without spectacular levels of damage are health and local government, and given the massive screaming fit Scottish Labour recently threw over a microscopic one-off drop of about £80m in health spending, slashing six times that much out of it every single year seems like an obvious non-starter.

And given the enormous fuss the party has also made for several years about the council tax freeze, it’d also be politically challenging (to understate the fact by several orders of magnitude) for Scottish Labour to suddenly hack half a billion pounds out of the local government budget, especially as councils are the last remaining bastions of Labour power in Scotland.

As a final option, Dugdale could decide to spread the burden out, perhaps by cutting £100m from each of the top five departments. Again, that’s not impossible, if she’s prepared to swallow the massive hypocrisy of cutting health AND education AND councils AND policing AND infrastructure after spending years in opposition attacking the Scottish Government for not spending enough on them.

But the point is that she’s not. She’s pretending, shamefully, that she can magic hundreds of millions of extra pounds out of nowhere without anyone suffering.

(We also, of course, really ought to be considering the continuing cuts to the budget coming from Westminster, which further reduce the ability to make any savings, and which we haven’t factored in here.)

Dugdale’s dishonesty is compounded several-fold by that of the media, which willingly turns a blind eye to the yawning chasm in her figures even though it’s always happy to scream “BLACK HOLE!” at the SNP at the slightest provocation.

(Not a single newspaper or broadcaster, at the time of writing, has picked her up on the absurdity of saying a non-cut to APD somehow creates extra money, and they can’t all be staffed entirely by innumerate clowns. Although perhaps it just reflects the fact that nobody takes the thought of her actually ever being First Minister seriously.)

But until either Labour or the press treats the Scottish people with some basic respect on matters like this, the Scottish people will be justly and deeply angry with both of them. People will be shouted at intemperately by hotheads on Twitter. Journalists will respond hypocritically, inflaming the sense of injustice and mistrust even further. The tone of public debate will continue to spiral downwards.

Because if you kick a dog a dozen times a day, you shouldn’t complain angrily or act surprised when it turns round and bites you. And if you respond to that by kicking it harder and more frequently, eventually it’s going to jump up and rip your throat out.

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    336 to “A problem of dishonesty”

    1. steveasaneilean says:

      Where’s Douglas Fraser when you need him to do some proper journalism?

    2. mealer says:

      There is,of course,a third way for governments to get other money for a project and that’s to grow the economy thus increasing the tax take.Thats exactly why our government is cutting APD,because it will encourage business and businesses to come to Scotland.Labour simply don’t have the talent within their ranks to run Scotland.

    3. Donald MacKenzie says:

      I think that what’s most depressing of all is, as the piece points out, the complicity of the mainstream media in not challenging what is so obviously nonsense.

      I think we can dismiss the idea that mainstream commentators have not seen the lie that this is. If that is the case, then the only thing left is that they are playing a significant role in holding the truth back from the Scottish public. And that’s disgraceful.

    4. Ken500 says:

      The money could come from cutting Trident/illegal wars, a tax on ‘loss leading’ drink, developing the Oil on the West, not paying £4Billion a year debt repayment on debts not borrowed or spent in Scotland = £10Billion+

      Norway, Switerland, Denmark, New Zealand, Sweden are the most prosperous countries in the world. Scotland could be the same.

    5. One_Scot says:

      The unionist media will continue to mislead and lie to Scotland, well forever, or until we say enough is enough at the ballot box.

      If we have any sense, that day will not be far away.

    6. Hoss Mackintosh says:

      Go for the jugular, Rev Stu.

      Great article – the BBC and MSM just cannot criticise Scottish Labour at all and these morons still do not realise that is the main reason why the Party is in ruins.

    7. Ken500 says:

      # If Scotland had full fiscal autonomy/federalism/Home Rule/ Independence.

      Cut the tax on the Oil sector to retain jobs.

    8. davidb says:

      Our government is not proposing to cut APD just for fun. It is intended to stimulate more flights to/from Scotland, and if they are right, we should have more employment, less people driving South to fly, more inbound tourism.

      Similarly, the small business rates relief, and the council tax friezes are there for a good reason. Its the economy stupid.

      It would be nice if our new “autonomous” Labour branch could put their country before their political machinations. Our economy has to grow. Couldn’t they at least see we are trying to do that?

    9. Murray McCallum says:

      I also fear that this endless talk of mitigating Tory policies will lead us along a path of Scotland being seen as an inevitable high tax regime.

      A basket case. An economy that is not sustainable in the long run.

      It’s a mistake to have your financial actions primarily driven by a government you did not vote for, while the same government limits the cuts (and tax raising powers) you are able to make.

      I have to wonder why most journalists are playing along with this.

    10. Sooz says:

      So if this is Kezia’s usual MO for budgeting, she must spend hours on her accounts every month.

      Kezia: “But you see, the gas bill was ninety quid and I thought I only had seventy five. However, I was going to get a new haircut for fifteen quid but didn’t, so in fact I have ninety quid.”
      Corporate media: “Yes, Kezia.”
      Everyone else except the corporate media: “Don’t let her get even a sniff of the Scottish budget.”

    11. Macart says:

      As per usual, absolutely zero diligence or investigation by the media in Scotland where Labour are concerned.

      Did we expect anything else? Probably not.

      Ms Dugdale’s grasp of what constitutes ‘extra’ cash fair takes the breath away for sure, but those who come up with these little policy wheezes surely must be aware. The sheer dishonesty involved is particularly offensive.

      Say it worked. Say the Scottish electorate swallowed this cunning plan hook, line and sinker. Kezia gets voted in next year as FM in a stunning reversal of fortunes for Labour in Scotland and now has to deliver. Kezia has to keep all of those spending pledges in SNHS, education, the offsetting of tax credits etc, etc and suddenly discovers that the cupboard is less than bare, it has in fact been repossessed and is heading oot the front door in the arms of repo men. What then for both a collapsing, broken system of devolved government and a Scottish media that did not do their jobs when they should have? When it mattered.

      Short term political bullshit and a media that frankly couldn’t give a shit for the lives of those they look to for help when they themselves are in bother.

      FFS, just for once look past SNP bad and do the job. The real enemy is in Westminster and they’ve just ripped off the public for another huge wedge of cash. The Scottish Government shouldn’t have to offset any fucking thing if this system actually worked. People are being hurt, they are suffering and right now the media aren’t helping.

      If they aren’t willing to look past their politics and do their fucking job, they should simply get out of the way and let the rest of us get on with it.

    12. Ken500 says:

      The extra CAP payments Westminster took from Scotland. Scotland receives the lowest CAP payment in the EU, as part of the UK. Tax evasion through the City of London. (whisky companies etc). Higher fuel and energy costs (it’s colder) despite being in surplus and nearer the source.

    13. Sinky says:

      Great front page headline in print edition of The National on Dugdale’s failures over Tax Credits etc

      Not seen in any other newspaper and that’s why we should all support the National at only 50P

    14. Donnywho says:

      Though most of the article is about labour and honesty, it is its conclusion that is most damning.

      I along with I am sure most of your readers suffer from a perpetual sense of annoyance/anger with the MSM. It sadly serves no purpose and I cannot see how it can be countered other than shouting at the moon.

      Sites like this provide a welcome respite but what can we do to combat the media when the Scottish governments press releases are ignored and vacuous untruth is published and trumpeted unscrutinised.

      We live in Vichy Scotland and must accept that fact.

      But once done; it makes our response clearer, the French learnt how to deal with effective state run propaganda, yes we have Twitter and social media. But the seeds of social resistance are there, non payment of the licence fee is a start… Your duty!

      But why not posters, graffiti, the defacing of government/uk buildings. We are in a fight for independence and our opposition is fighting dirty. I see no problem with passive resistance, postering and mocking the establishment.

      My god if our pig f*cking leader is not lampoonable by the media it must be our duty to do so!

    15. galamcennalath says:

      Trident. It will cost most than they estimate. Everything does.

      Round figures … cost probably nearer £200billion, 30 years and take out Scotland’s share …. Must be at least £500m per annum.

      We vote against Trident and against benefit cuts.

      rUK votes for Trident and votes for a pro austerity government.

      Simple, we spend our share on welfare, rUK spends their money on WMDs.

      Only one hurdle to actually implementing this – convert 5% of voters from NO to YES.

    16. Ken500 says:

      Do what the Scottish Gov says and end austerity. Cut less hard than is necessary. Osbourne intends too deep cuts which will damage the economy.

    17. Golfnut says:

      Does the Scotland Bill not include a clause which states that the Bill must be revenue neutral.

      Basically that if you increase taxes to raise this £500 million, the same amount will be deducted from the block grant(Barnett).

      Net gain = Zero, a big fat nothing.

      Please someone correct me if I am wrong, if it is true, then it makes the lies of the unionist politicos and the media beyond despicable.

    18. Fiona says:

      I don’t think you have made your case about APD, to be honest, Rev Stu.

      As I see it, SG has decided to scrap that tax. It follows that their proposed budget does not include that revenue. So it is less than their existing £1000 ( in your illustration). Whatever they spend is out of that reduced budget once the policy is implemented.

      If the tax is not reversed then lab are correct to say that they will have that income to spend, and they may choose to spend it on restoring tax credit cuts. It is not extra money, compared with current income, as you say. But it IS extra money compared with SG’s future income on current policy. I don’t see how you can escape that conclusion

      The real issue is whether or not cutting that tax will produce more revenue over time by increasing business and therefore increasing other kinds of tax take over time. SG believes that improvement will be greater than the direct loss of revenue. That is a matter for judgement, and, to some extent, of theory and of ideology, I think.

      I am not at all sure what the outcome will be. Cutting tax credits will reduce demand. People who get tax credits spend almost the whole amount, cos that is what poor people do with their income. So cutting the credits will reduce demand, and that has an effect on business profits and therefore on jobs.

      Cutting APD is intended to reduce costs for business and therefore to increase their activity so producing jobs and profits. But business does not necessarily spend all of any increase in profit, because profits tend to go to folk who already have a greater cushion and so don’t need to. Some of it will be spent if jobs are generated, certainly: but business will not expand if there is not enough demand, no matter how low their costs.

      It is fundamentally a difference between whether you think supply or demand is the problem, as I see it. Since I believe low demand is the essence of the matter I am not sure which is the better policy. I really mean that. It is, as I said, a judgement call.

      We should not be in the position of having to make these choices, and if we were independent we wouldn’t have to. But with a fixed budget we do have to, unlike WM.

    19. Grouse Beater says:

      Dugdale follows in the great tradition of Scottish Labour – make a lot of noise on behalf of Scotland’s interests but be sure to wear your poppy to show you are British, and that you happily defer to Westminster’s needs and creeds.

    20. John Hamill says:

      Labour aren’t talking to people who are politically aware but to the majority who read headlines in the papers and take things at face value. Going by some of the things I have read it’s working.

    21. paul gerard mccormack says:

      In terms psychological profiling, I would guess that KD totally fits the bill of those confabulators who habitually fabricate their existence through their teeth (such as the poor paranoid and delusional) and when questioned, will further compound their living-a-lie by suggesting with that smirking don’t-you-know-look, that it is the questioner who is stupid and can’t see reality.

      She has all the grandiosity (cf. JFK utterance) of those who believe they are 100% right. All the time. Such fragility is a huge weakness and really has to be unraveled by the MSM. If only.

    22. Doug Daniel says:

      Kezia knows she’ll never have to actually put this plan into action, and that the media will never put her under much scrutiny, so she doesn’t need to fund it. It’s like the referendum all over again, really – the media expects one side to have every last little detail costed, while giving the other carte blanche to make whatever promises they want, despite the gaping holes in their figures and arguments.

      Ah well, they have the media, we have Nicola. Advantage SNP.

    23. Onwards says:

      I suspect raising the top rate of tax might end up LOSING money, as the wealthiest base themselves over the border.

      It is basically handing money to the Tories in London.

    24. DerekM says:

      och they are just up to their usual tricks trying to muddy the waters so nobody can see the the truth in the hope that they can use a fictional policy to beat up the SNP with using their tame media,who have already backed this with very few questions,which should come as no surprise.

      They are working under the premise that nobody will look into what they claim or will remember or care ,which in the past would have probably worked,but when you are dealing with a very aware and enlightened electorate its a pretty bad mistake.

      Guess what yea you guessed it, its just more SNP BAD for the future coming to your lugs soon once the “new” powers arrive.

      Can some one send them a memo telling them we are not buying it and that they can scream SNP bad all they want,but until they come up with sensible ideas on how to govern Scotland then the people say awa and chase yerselfs ya eejits.

    25. Les Wilson says:

      What we are actually dealing with here is a Unionist plot to undermine the democratic government of Scotland.
      This is their plan,to make the SNP look bad by over burdening the finances available to them.

      This really is a Better together plot, long worked out with the Tories and the treasury.Labour is simply the Union attack dogs. The Tories have no truck in Scotland,so they help Labour.
      Especially after EVEL, the Tories know well politically Labour Scotland does not interfere with their plans.

      However, they need to retain Scotland for so many reasons, and are happy to assist Labour to try and dethrone the SNP with underhand tricks. We can include the BBC and all the corporate media are in thrall with this.

      It is not mearly political moves, it is a conspiracy.

    26. Finnz says:

      Perhaps someone, more knowledgable than I, can answer the query below.

      If the Scottish budget is based on Barnett Consequentials only, I assume the devolvement of APD revenue generated by Scottish airports will lead to a reduction in the Block Grant by the same amount. (Say £250m)

      If however, the SG cut APD in half, does the Block Grant figure get reduced by the old amount £250m or the new amount £125m. Or can the Block Grant (based on expenditure in England) be unaffected if APD is reduced in Scotland to zero. And would the increase in tax revenue from airport use and tourism stay in Scotland.

      In all scenarios, Kezia does appear rather confused as there is no ‘new’ money

    27. Graham H says:

      @Sinky 8.31 Good to see someone point this out. I’ve subscribed to the online version and the article quotes from Alan Trench at UCL. Support the National – the only voice opposing the Unionist cacophony.

    28. Grouse Beater says:

      DD: the media will never put her under much scrutiny

      They won’t do that because they’re only motivated to the business class parties, and to Scotland as North Britain. The output of their newspapers, indeed, their entire career depends on seeing the world in that single dim light.

    29. Chris Darroch says:

      Can I submit this logic, hopefully for correction and enlightenment?

      If the ScotGov propose being able to afford any necessary budgetary forfeit in phasing out APD doesn’t that mean that they can spare that money from their budget and thus would be abke to use it to offset tax credit reduction?

      I really don’t want to be right here.

    30. Fiona says:

      @ Onwards

      Most of the wealthy already base themselves in London, because London is a sink for wealth for obvious reasons. Those who choose to stay in Scotland (or the North of England, Wales etc etc) do so for other reasons than money, I suspect. I think it is a mistake to imagine that people are solely motivated by money, though the more psychopathic rich may be. We are better off without those ones, however.

      I do not believe the plutocratic account of “human nature”, in short

    31. Fiona says:

      @ Chris Darroch.

      Yes, I think so. But as ever the issue is complex (see previous post). We do ourselves no favours by accepting the debate as presented.

    32. Angra Mainyu says:

      The mistake we are making here, as with their stance on multilateral disarmament, is that we are taking them seriously at their word.

      It seems like one of the biggest blunders ever in terms of basic spending proposals, though.

      Anyway, I had a look at the fine details of the Smith Commission proposals. I feel quite sick — they amount to nothing. I decided I was approaching it from the wrong perspective; the Smith Commission proposals should be read as a list of areas that are to remain reserved (with the word “reserved” reiterated about 4000 times).

      The thing that made me sick was the thought that what is actually being proposed in the Scotland Bill falls way short of what Smith proposed.

      At what point do we declare the games-a-bogey on all of this crap?

    33. Golfnut says:

      Reducing the APD,increasing Scotland’s productivity and therefor its tax take, does not increase the Scottish governments pot, money it can spend.

      If Scotland where allowed, note that word allowed, to keep the increased tax take, Westminster would reduce the block grant by an equivalent amount.

      Net gain = Zero.
      The gain to Scotland is job creation, though WM seem hell bent on making sure we do not benefit.

      As with most SNP policy,in my opinion, it’s about people.

    34. Clootie says:

      Kezia is trying to pull off a variation on one off the oldest con tricks around – “The fiddle game”

      The fiddle game uses the pigeon drop technique. A pair of con men work together, one going into an expensive restaurant in shabby clothes, eating, and claiming to have left his wallet at home, which is nearby. As collateral, the con man leaves his only worldly possession, the violin that provides his livelihood. After he leaves, the second con man swoops in, offers an outrageously large amount (for example £20,000) for such a rare instrument, then looks at his watch and runs off to an appointment, leaving his card for the mark to call him when the violin-owner returns. The mark’s greed comes into play when the “poor man” comes back, having gotten the money to pay for his meal and redeem his violin. The mark, thinking he has an offer on the table, then buys the violin from the fiddle player who “reluctantly” agrees to sell it for a certain amount that still allows the mark to make a “profit” from the valuable violin. The result is the con men are richer (less the cost of the violin), and the mark is left with a cheap instrument.

      Scotland – don’t buy the fiddle (in either sense of the word)

    35. mogabee says:

      As I see it, Labour know they have absolutely no chance of regaining their “fiefdom” in Scotland, let alone England, so, as they are a bunch of spiteful children will be doing their best to destroy the Scottish government.

      They really don’t care who gets hurt in the process, just look at those who “advise” like B Wilson and J McTernan. Nasty and vindictive sums them up.

      Lies are the order of the day. And Wings is essential to get the truth out there.

    36. sensibledave says:

      Rev, your article is another excellent analysis of a siuation. There were a couple of things though that I noted in the text:

      You wrote: “The second is an increase in the top rate of income tax, from 45p to 50p. But Dugdale herself admitted to Holyrood Magazine on Friday, with unusually admirable candour, that this could raise nothing at all” and …

      “There are only two ways for governments to get more cash: they can increase taxes or they can make cuts elsewhere.”

      There have been numerous threads here on Wings where top rate tax rates were discussed. Is you quote an acceptance that increasing the top rate of tax doesn’t increase the tax take? Secondly, your second quote leaves out the third method of Governments getting more cash – borrowing more, or not paying loans back as quickly as planned.

    37. Grouse Beater says:

      Fiona: ” as ever the issue is complex”

      I hope you don’t mean only you understand the issues, that’ll make you sound like JK Rowling-Innit

      You’re articulate, making me wonder about your background.

      I begin from a point of departure accepting Scotland was a nation state and ought to have been so had it not signed a one-way Treaty with England, everything based on business advantage.

      We have arrived at that time again in our history but with a vengeance; England wishes to keep it’s economic advantage intact, and that means keeping Scotland docile.

      On this occasion, if the neo-cons gets their way, it will take another hundred years to return to democratic sanity, or a revolution. Sadly, Scots are not prone to revolution in the streets, (English and Irish do that) otherwise we would have taken back our country generations ago.

      Which is to say, when a political party wedded to Westminster says it can organise Scotland’s finances better than a party devoted to Scotland, I am immediately suspicious.

      And when it says it will use our money to offset Westminster’s iniquitous taxes, well then, I am convinced they do not have Scotland’s good health as sole motivation of their plans.

      All Whitehall needs to do is impose more tax burdens on Scotland while ensuring its economy atrophies or stagnates by the simple method of withdrawing funds Scotland has generated that go to the UK Treasury, until such time as … we ask England for a loan.

      And there we are, back in 1707, with happy-clappy Westminster saying “We told you so!”

    38. Robert Peffers says:

      @steveasaneilean says: 3 November, 2015 at 7:56 am:

      “Where’s Douglas Fraser when you need him to do some proper journalism?”

      Oh! Sitting somewhere doing what he usually does – skiving off while doing his own thing and looking for more easy ways to say SNP BAAAAD!

    39. the penman says:

      So, if reversing the APD cut will restore £250m to the Scottish budget that wasn’t going to be there under the SNP’s plans, doesn’t that mean that Labour would need to find £440m – £250m, that is, £190m? Plus the £60m administrative costs, of course. Why is the article still assuming the full £500m needs to be found?

    40. Alba 46 says:

      The put down by UK Labour over Trident is the clearest indication to Scottish labour that they really are a branch office. The only thing that UK Labour want from SLAB are seats at Westminster. They don’t want your resolutions or opinions just the seats.

      SLAB like the rest of us are being used and bled dry by westminster, the only difference is the rest of us know it. SLAB stagger on giving their support to UK labour in the belief that they are important.

      We live in hope that some day they will waken from this coma and realise that there is only one way for Scotland and that is Independence. I have no doubt that under Independence SLAB would actually flourish but they are too dense to see it.

    41. Les Wilson says:

      Angra Mainyu says:
      Ref Smith Com. Yes, they fiddle at the edges but NO real usable powers will be for Scotland.
      But think about this, while they do not deliver, they proclaim that they have delivered in full. They lie of course.

      However,I think they really want the SG to reject it, making it useless encourages that. If then SG do reject it as futile, they will clap their hands job done for them.

      Then they get started in monstering the SNP, every party, every Corporate Media outlet will attack as hard as they can. Every interview, the SNP will be belittled for rejecting the offerings. The SNP looking after the interests of the Scottish people will get no interest the Unionist agenda.

      Which is to prevent a SNP majority in Holyrood, and make them lose voters who have always wanted Devo max.
      They have their plan and are putting it in place.

    42. Jim says:

      On Radio Sc…..d:

      ‘Does it matter to you if your nurse is fat?’

      Please, Just go and fuck yourselves!

    43. Ruby says:

      mealer says:
      3 November, 2015 at 8:01 am

      There is,of course,a third way for governments to get other money for a project and that’s to grow the economy thus increasing the tax take.Thats exactly why our government is cutting APD,because it will encourage business and businesses to come to Scotland.Labour simply don’t have the talent within their ranks to run Scotland.

      Ruby replies

      Growing the economy! Now that is something that interests me a lot.

      It seems to me that NO voters have given Westminster carte blanche to do what they like with the Scottish economy. No Unionist party would be interested in growing the economy in Scotland because growing the economy in Scotland would be ‘independence by the back door’.

      ‘The SNP will not be allowed to introduce “independence by the back door”, the Scottish Secretary has said after the Government published a report warning proposals for extra devolution must not damage the United Kingdom. Alistair Carmichael.

    44. Petra says:

      TIME FOR ANOTHER FUNDRAISER?

      The Daily Record is running with a ‘tale’ today by Torcuil Chrichton …. ‘Over to you First Minister: Daily Record’s Vow has given you the power to top up Westminster welfare cuts.”

      Some snippets from the article:

      ”Radical changes to the Scotland Bill will ensure the pre-referendum Vow made by Prime Minister David Cameron and the former Labour and Lib Dem leaders Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg in the Daily Record will be fulfilled, David Mundell said yesterday.”

      He (Mundell) added that the changes would turn Holyrood into one of the world’s most powerful devolved parliaments ……. “It is Smith delivered”.

      John Swinney said while he welcomed the amendments, the bill “still fails to deliver Smith and still fails Scotland”.

      Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray said all of Labour’s amendments had been accepted. “The Government have folded because they know The Vow has to be delivered and they didn’t want to be on the wrong side of the argument. The message is ‘Vow delivered, thanks to Labour.’” … “It sorts out the permanency of the Scottish Parliament, because it would need a referendum.

      “The debate now is what to do with the powers. If the nationalists are saying they don’t have the powers to sort out the tax credit issue, they should move aside and let us.”

      Gordon Brown is also saying now that the Vow has been delivered.

      Isn’t it high time that we had another fundraiser? Employ a solicitor to establish if we can take any of these individuals to Court …… Gordon Brown, David Mundell, the Daily Record and even Ian Murray. Not just based on this article but on data we can retrieve from a number of sources / articles.

      If someone or all of them are lying in an attempt to further dupe the Scots surely we have a case against them …. Home rule, as close to federalism, Vow delivered!

      Approximately 80% of control of taxes / welfare lie with Westminster. Broadcasting isn’t being devolved and our Parliament isn’t permanent. How on earth does this make Holyrood ”one of the Worlds most powerful devolved Parliaments”? That comment alone I’m sure would justify taking wee Mundell to Court.

    45. Jim says:

      I take it that even if by some miracle Slab were elected as the next Government then did indeed raise the top rate of tax and those tax payers remained in this country and paid their taxes, any money raised would be removed from the block grant?

      Someone confirm as I am quite dense.

    46. Fiona says:

      @ Grouse Beater

      I certainly do not mean to suggest I have a great grasp of the issues. I only know what everyone knows. But I am very conscious that we are encouraged to atomise things into simple black and white dichotomies, unrelated to each other. That generates “proverb thinking” the way I see it. It does no favours to honest people, because if you try to address how things interact, you cannot easily reduce stuff to comfy, plausible slogans which are designed to mislead.

      I had hoped my first post on this thread was clear in stating that independence is the only solution to this problem, because tinkering with a fixed budget can’t be in the interests of the Scottish people. We need control of all of our economy in order to make the kinds of changes I wish to see. It really does matter that those trying to act within current constraints do so from a position of acting in Scotland’s interest: but it cannot make enough difference to meet our aspirations.

    47. Ruby says:

      Alba 46 says:
      3 November, 2015 at 9:33 am

      The put down by UK Labour over Trident is the clearest indication to Scottish labour that they really are a branch office.

      Ruby replies

      It’s not just Labour that’s a branch office the whole of Scotland is a branch office.

    48. Murray McCallum says:

      Scottish Labour should press their logic to the max.

      “We have ruled out a 5% cut to the basic rate of income tax thereby raising a further £1 billion to make Scotland a more equal country”.

      A certain journalist at the Herald will love this.

    49. Robert Peffers says:

      @Donald MacKenzie says: 3 November, 2015 at 8:11 am:

      ” … I think we can dismiss the idea that mainstream commentators have not seen the lie that this is.”

      Sadly we can only go on the evidence that is presented to us. That evidence indicates the Scottish mainstream media including the press, broadcasters and online commentators really are as innumerate and ill educated as their obvious inactivity indicates.

      There is absolutely no evidence to the contrary – unless of course, Donald, you know better.

      Put it this way, if they were sitting an examination to test their numeracy and showed the same obvious lack – would they pass the exam?

      So, Donald, until they can show otherwise, I for one will rely upon the only evidence before me. It indicates the whole rickamatick of them are an ignorant, lazy bunch of lying posers.

      (Am I being over generous to them? Is there hidden evidence in their favour?)

    50. Les Wilson says:

      Carmichael case should be on livestream, but I caanot get the link I have to show it. Anyone got a working link I could use.

    51. Onwards says:

      @Fiona says:

      “..
      Those who choose to stay in Scotland (or the North of England, Wales etc etc) do so for other reasons than money, I suspect. I think it is a mistake to imagine that people are solely motivated by money, though the more psychopathic rich may be. We are better off without those ones, however.”
      ——–

      Fiona, the point is that the top 10% of earners contribute over HALF of all income tax, and the top 1% a big chunk of that.

      The very richest are also highly mobile, and the barrier to movement is small in our case – living on the same island, speaking the same language.

      18,000 pay tax at the top rate, but it only takes 10% to leave before the losses outweigh any gains from the 90% remaining.

      Is everyone so patriotic that they will put up with losing half their income? Many won’t be from here anyway.
      I can see people like JK Rowling pretending that the ‘abuse has got too much for her’ and she is going back to England.

      The long term effects are even worse.
      The youngest and brightest are more likely to emigrate if they see themselves with good prospects, and inwards investment is likely to dry up as directors look at the relative rate of personal taxes.

      Whichever way you look at it, we are effectively handing money to London.
      That’s the reason we got limited devolution in the first place, and we are falling into that trap.

      Personally I don’t care about any ‘psychopathic rich’ living here. They can build gold castles and hold roman orgies every night for all I care.

      So long as they are paying taxes that go towards new roads and schools.

    52. Ruby says:

      Petra Does it matter what the Daily Record print?

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/recordsnp.jpg

    53. Macart says:

      I’d recommend reading LPWs dissection on this.

      The real elephant in the room isn’t simply arithmetical its legal. Scotland has no and will have no powers to reverse the effects of Osborne’s cuts.

      An entirely new department of government to disburse an income supplement would have to be created under obscure discretionary powers. This would require, staffing and funding of its own, take several years to implement successfully and STILL the monies would have to be found to fund this on an ongoing basis even as further budget cuts and austerity measures are enacted.

      A bear trap, pure and simple. As yet there is no answer to the simple question, if central government is so effective, so beneficent, just why should devolved government have to come up with new and interesting ways to offset or mitigate the legislation of central government?

    54. call me dave says:

      Mitigating for the harsh policies of the Tories will do us no good in the long term. These pretendy powers all have a double edged sword for Scots.

      Only independence can allow innovative ways to be implemented which will improve our society. It won’t be easy but it will be worth it.

      PS:

      Jackie B is revolting and “not going shopping” she says.

      https://archive.is/FdKWz

    55. dakk says:

      Fiona 8.40 am

      ‘Cutting APD is intended to cut costs for business’

      Not only costs for business,but also for consumers.

      So more money available for consumers to spend on other things,hence creating more demand,and growing the economy.

    56. mealer says:

      I get a bit frustrated that whenever we talk about taxation we always seem to assume that we will keep the Westminster system of taxation and fiddle about with the rates a bit,even after independence.What we need is a hugely simplified tax system that is specifically designed to eradicate loopholes,not create them.

    57. Les Wilson says:

      The BBC with call Kaye this morning has hit an all time low,
      attacking Nurses fpr being fat. There is many reasons this could happen due to their jobs.Everything in Scotland baaad!

    58. frogesque says:

      Is there any point in further debating this?

      SLAB are serving up a bag full of doggy poo. Whatever they propose, if they got any where near power at Holyrood they would have to run everything by the the real Labour Party in London.

      We have already seen London’s response to the Trident debate. SLAB have had their input into the debate, now London will ignore them like they did all the times before so suck it up and pay your subs!

      SNP/SNP May 2016 and let’s rid ourselves of these mendacious charlatans

    59. One_Scot says:

      Given that ‘Scottish’ Labour and Labour could have prevented the Tories welfare attacks on Scotland by not standing shoulder to shoulder with them during the referendum, it does seem a tad disingenuous, to say the least, to try and pretend they can mitigate the Tax credit cuts now.

      Idiots does not even come close. Can you imagine ever giving your vote to these people.

    60. frogesque says:

      Les Wilson says:
      3 November, 2015 at 10:06 am
      The BBC with call Kaye this morning has hit an all time low,
      attacking Nurses fpr being fat. There is many reasons this could happen due to their jobs.Everything in Scotland baaad!

      Kay (with an ‘e’) doesn’t seem to realise that Nurses vote!

      She’s just another MSN SNP Baaaaddd attack dog. We shouldn’t give her the oxygen, just hang up the DNR sign.

    61. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “So, if reversing the APD cut will restore £250m to the Scottish budget that wasn’t going to be there under the SNP’s plans, doesn’t that mean that Labour would need to find £440m – £250m, that is, £190m? Plus the £60m administrative costs, of course. Why is the article still assuming the full £500m needs to be found?”

      *smashes head off desk over and over again*

    62. Grouse Beater says:

      Back in 1707 London told us they would do all they could to stop Scotland getting any trading advantages, they did exactly that:

      They stopped banks investing in the Darien Scheme (a plan to create a trading post not the invasion of a country) and they would stop our ships at sea, and indeed, they enrolled Spain’s help in doing that, so just as we mitigated the bedroom tax we went it alone … removing over a quarter of our money circulation.

      What Westminster and Whitehall are doing now is another version of stopping Scotland from prospering.

    63. robert graham says:

      with golfnut on this one ” revenue neutral ” trumps everything on this , nice analysis Fiona but basically falls down on golfnuts observation i believe.

    64. Onwards says:

      @Dakk

      The APD reduction should be seen as an investment.
      It costs money upfront, but begins to pay back over the next few years.

      http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13204912.Billion_pound_benefit_of_cutting_air_passenger_tax/

      I remember reading the head of Ryanair saying he could DOUBLE passengers if it was scrapped completely. Even allowing for a bit of exaggeration, it is sure to have a big effect, especially on short haul flights.

      On a visit to Edinburgh, the Ryanair boss said the budget airline could double the number of passengers it flies in Scotland if the country ?were to follow Ireland’s lead in abolishing the levy. He said: “The Irish government asked us how Ryanair would respond if they scrapped it, and we said we’d deliver 1.25 million new passengers in the first year – we’ve delivered 1.75 million. After five years of decline there’s a tourism boom in Ireland this year, and they’re all running round claiming credit for it, but it’s entirely due to the government’s decision to scrap APD.”

      O’Leary said growth on this scale would deliver inward investment and job creation equivalent to “four or five US multinationals” setting up operations north of the Border. “If we were to deliver ?3.5 million more passengers, that would be 3,500 new jobs directly at the airports. There’s a huge potential here and ?the tourism spending, the VAT receipts and the tax from the jobs would far outweigh the loss of APD.”

      —–

      I imagine the APD reduction will now have to be scaled back to compete with Labour’s tax credit plan.

    65. Iain More says:

      So more lies from Labour, not surprised at all.

    66. Robert Peffers says:

      @Ken500 says: 3 November, 2015 at 8:22 am:

      “The money could come from cutting Trident/illegal wars, a tax on ‘loss leading’ drink, developing the Oil on the West, not paying £4Billion a year debt repayment on debts not borrowed or spent in Scotland = £10Billion+”

      I could come up with a few more, Ken500. How about stopping paying the Grid connection charges to the UK’s, “National”, Grid where the Establishment imposes a very high extra cost upon the Scottish generators for every kilowatt of energy they add to the grid while subsidising the southern generators for every kilowatt they add.

      Then there is the Scottish Crown Estate profits that are added to the English crown estates profits and Scotland gets little or no benefit from them. Then Scotland gets none of the revenue from oil & gas as this all goes under earnings from Extra-Regio-Territories.

      Forget the estimated per capita figure of 8.4% – this is a cynical con-job as it is, first of all, a fudge, the share of the revenue is actually geographic and not per capita and secondly it is just a figure used for working out other mythical statistics and Scotland doesn’t get a single real penny of the revenue.

      Then we have the Scottish per-capita share of the UK national debt repayment but Scotland’s economy is such that we do not actually have a national debt. There is also the fact that all the fines collected from the independent Scottish courts and on-the-spot-fines goes directly into the coffers of the Treasury and are not returned to the independent Scottish legal system.

      Not to mention either that we pay a disproportionate share of just about everything such as, we contribute more in BBC licence fees than the BBC spends in Scotland. We are docked more for defence than is spent back in Scotland. We contribute to such things as, “National”, Museums, galleries, theatres, ballet, Shakespeare, Much of London’s infrastructure, such as the Chunnel, HSS rail links, Heathrow, and a thousand and one other nice little UK earners that penalise Scotland.

      The list is endless but it all adds up and in an independent would remain in Scotland.

    67. Bob Mack says:

      Agree with most posts.
      Given that Scotland has to maintain itself on money from the Barnett formula,it is impossible to subsidise every cut coming down the line from the Tory government.

      This however is Labours plan. To pressurise the Scottish government and try to make them look as uncaring as the Tories in the eyes of the public.
      The mantra is “We would do it,why can’t you ?).
      They never would of course due to restraints on funding.

      It is a dirty game to play on people who will be desperate to avoid the hits on their income.
      Labours promises are as empty as their ethics,and clearly they have sunk to a new low in their pursuit of votes,

    68. Stephen Wood says:

      How the Graun presented their version of this fraud at the weekend

      “It’s clear that Dugdale and Jeremy Corbyn have the sort of relationship that Nicola Sturgeon once had a long time ago with Alex Salmond, according to SNP insiders. So she has already amassed a personal war chest that her predecessors could only dream of: an excellent working relationship with a leader who “gets” Scotland, approval by the unions and a growing respect within the party in both Holyrood and Westminster. Now all she needs is policies. The one that will be unveiled today is a small step in solving the attainment gap in education which, after eight years in office, has been beyond the abilities of the SNP.

      Labour will propose a fair-start fund under which a cash sum for all pupils entitled to a free school meal will go directly to the headteacher for the purpose of closing the attainment gap. The initiative carries obvious benefits for schools in less advantaged areas, but it also has a degree of innovation and creativity, which has thus far been lacking in the SNP’s education solutions.”

      Red and blue tories can say anything they like really.

    69. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Does the Scotland Bill not include a clause which states that the Bill must be revenue neutral.

      Basically that if you increase taxes to raise this £500 million, the same amount will be deducted from the block grant(Barnett).”

      No. It’s the Scotland Bill itself that’s supposed to be revenue neutral. Once it’s passed the idea is that Scotland is free to cut or increase taxes and deal with the consequences.

    70. Jim says:

      Is your nurse too fat; does this excess fat affect her ability to help get you well; should fat nurses be eradicated from the SNHS?

      Call Kay with an E with your thoughts on this matter!

      Next week on call Kay with an E:

      Should your dentist have a perfect set of Gnashers?

    71. While Westminster is of course an enemy, the persons, and organisations, I despise the most, are the ones in our midst, so-called “proud scots”, who take great delight in doing Scotland, and it’s people down.
      What do they gain by taking by taking this, in my opinion doomed, course of action?
      I have suggested before that it’s due to over three hundred years of brainwashing by the establishment, and I still believe that to be the main cause, but, I also believe that some other factors are in play.
      Namely, short term gain in terms of finance and perceived position in society. In other words, well paid jobs and titles.
      Well you might say, it’s probably human nature in play, but at what cost to their nation? They don’t seem to care about their country in their selfish pursuit, only their personal goals, and to hell with the rest of us.
      I only hope come independence we remember these persons who bombarded us with their lies and deceit, and are not deceived by their weaselling excuses for their behaviour during our fight to regain our birthright.

    72. Onwards says:

      Golfnut says:
      3 November, 2015 at 8:40 am
      Does the Scotland Bill not include a clause which states that the Bill must be revenue neutral.

      I think that means at the point in time when the new Scotland bill comes into effect.
      Any changes after that will increase or reduce the available income. Otherwise it would be pointless.

    73. Bob Mack says:

      For you know who.

      SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT CANNOT BORROW!!!!!

    74. sensibledave says:

      Onwards 9.52

      Again, as has been discussed on previous threads, the “mobility” of the rich is not about where they live – it is about where they “reside” for tax purposes.

      It is the nature of many rich people that they travel a lot and spend many months out of the country. If they spend less than 6 months in the UK then, providing they are paying tax somewhere, then they have no obligation to HMRC.

      A Formula 1 driver might be Scottish and have his “home” in Scotland. However, if he is out of the UK for more than 6 months of the year he could elect to be resident in another country. I believe to qualify for Swiss tax, one has to “live” there for two months in a year. Monaco has zero income tax rates but you have to “live” there for 6 months in a year.

      The point that I am making is that the “rich” do not have to move house – they just arrange their affairs so that they spend less than 6 months of the year in the UK.

      The richest 3000 tax payers, yes just 3000, in the UK pay £6 Billion in tax … hence the game of cat and mouse with the upper rate tax rates. High enough to be valuable, low enough to encourage them to “reside” here.

    75. Tony Little says:

      @robert graham @golfnut

      As far as I am aware the ‘revenue neutral’ aspect of the Scottish Bill is ONLY relevant on the date that the transfer of powers takes place (or at least in that financial year).

      So, if at the time APD (to take an example) is calculated as being worth £500 million to the Scottish exchequer, that sum will be DEDUCTED from the Barnett grant.

      So NOT reducing it will NOT give any more money to the SG. I think that is the point Rev makes. Only if the APD is calculated as being worth nothing, or £250m, or a sum less than that CURRENT revenue assessment will there be any benefit in the SG retaining it. But no one in their right mind expects the UK Treasury to be so munificent, do they?

      Please, let’s see the reality and the realpolitik of this situation. The UK Treasury will NOT be doing any favours to Scotland when it calculates what these devolved powers are worth.

      It’s a trap. We know it’s a trap, economists have expressed an opinion that it’s a trap, the SNP know it’s a trap and John Swinney has virtually said as much in the media. I can’t see how the SG can do anything other than refuse to accept the Bill as it stands.

      As for the SLAB position – it is and remains economic illiteracy

    76. tartanfever says:

      It’s simple. This is the big picture.

      Labour/MSM/BBC/Westminster agenda – blame the SNP for all monetary shortfalls in Scotland. As long as the SNP are being blamed, Westminster isn’t. That in turn will defend the case for the Union.

      The SNP’s response – got to blame Westminster at every turn for the cuts, the overcomplicated tax and welfare systems that are deliberately designed to obfuscate and waste money through delivery. If the SNP manage to place the blame where it belongs, at Westminster, then more people will become independence supporters.

    77. Ruby says:

      Onwards says: I imagine the APD reduction will now have to be scaled back to compete with Labour’s tax credit plan.

      Ruby replies

      That’s why we are ‘Better Together’
      Who would want ‘Branch Office Land’ to be overrun with tourists when we can just sit back and get our giro every fortnight.

      If you do really want to work you can get on a train and go and work in London. There are plenty of tourists there.

    78. Senlac88 says:

      What worries me most is the ignorance of the general public as to who does what, who controls what, and who is responsible for what.

      So many people will criticise the Scottish Government for doings things without realising a)It’s not them doing it, or b) they have no choice.

      Sitting on Facebook and constantly receiving requests for Farmville or Roller Coaster Tycoon got me to thinking…

      …If people develop apps to enable you to run your own farm or theme park, why not your own Government?

      Could somebody with the political and technological know-how not develop an app which puts the “player” in charge of running their own Scottish Government?

      They would be responsible for managing their budget, and the decisions they take would impact areas in the same way it does in real life (i.e. if they cut the NHS budget, they end up with a crisis and public confidence in their Government begins to go down.)

      Just think of what people could learn about the way things are done and where responsibility lies.

      They decide to up the top rate of income tax to 90%…

      ***MESSAGE***10,000 people have put their homes up for sale***

      They decide they want to cut back on defence spending to fund education…

      ***ERROR***You do not have permission to cut this spending!***

      Surely somebody has already thought of this???

    79. Robert Peffers says:

      @Murray McCallum says: 3 November, 2015 at 8:25 am:

      ” … I have to wonder why most journalists are playing along with this.”

      I don’t, Murray. I worked that one out many, many long years ago. Which is why my opinions of them is so poor.

      In fact any real journalist who dares put their head above the parapet is immediately pulled down and is relegated to the equivalent of the hatched, matched and dispatched columns of a Local rag.

      For example where now is that absolutely brilliant broadcaster and journalist Izzy Fraser? The lady was a shining light in the BBC darkness but is now relegated to near obscurity. She is not alone.

      There are good journalist now ex-BBC by their resignation due to the dire BBC propaganda roll imposed upon them by the Establishment.

      Both the BBC and the private funded press and broadcasters are tools of the Establishment. They serve their masters and not their customers. Our inly weapon against them is to cut off the oxygen of their revenue by not buying their products.

    80. Al says:

      The 2012 Scotland Act seems to provide for borrowing powers of up to a total of £500m (see para 18 of http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2013/04/5026/3) which seems to more than coincidentally match the amount of money that Stuart is saying the policy would cost.

      However, compensating for the cuts would cost £500m EVERY year. The borrowing limit in any given year is £200m. If the idea is to use borrowing to finance the policy then that leaves £300m to find in years 1 and 2, £400m in year 3 and still £500m plus the interest on the debt, thereafter.

      So Labour still need to come clean on how they would pay for this – and that is before opening up the whole question on whether it is wise to borrow to pay for recurrent spending rather than capital investment in Scotland’s future.

    81. Legerwood says:

      One thing not being mentioned in all the discussions about Ms Dugdale’s plans for the relief of the Tax credit cuts is the timing of the implementation of any relief.

      As far as I can determine she would not be able to do anything until 2017 at the earliest because the devolution of APD and the ability to alter tax bands are part of the Scotland Bill currently going through Parliament. This will take until 2016 before it becomes an Act and then it is likely to have lead in times before its various provisions become fully devolved such as control over APD.

      All of the statements from Ms D and the Press make it sound as if her plans would be implemented as soon as Labour win the Holyrood elections.

      Also how do her plans fit with the amendments passed by the Lords calling for transition periods etc? How will any changes made to the tax credit plans in the light of these amendments affect her proposals – and coatings?

    82. Fiona says:

      @ Onwards

      I am aware that the very rich pay a big proportion of income tax. That is because they are rich.

      Those who are not very rich also pay a big proportion of income tax: that is because they are rich in terms of the income distribution, though they do not realise that.

      You make a number of assertions, and I suppose our disagreement arises from the fact that I don’t really share your premises. But let me accept them for a moment and proceed from there.

      First, it is true that income tax is the biggest single revenue item on the budget. For many years we have been encouraged to think that tax means income tax, and that serves our neocons very well indeed. But it is not true. VAT and NI together generate more.

      Clearly if the very rich move we lose those elements as well, so any estimate of their contribution should include that as well. But we have no information as to how much that is, so far as I am aware. Those taxes are regressive, and so the proportion of total tax take paid by the rich falls when they are taken into account. Same is true for council tax, though it is not directly paid to Central govt: it does affect central budget though because it impacts on LA finance, which is supported from the centre.

      So the figs we are encouraged to consider when discussing this are not the whole story, and that is by design.

      The very richest are highly mobile, you claim. Yet you have referred to the richest 10%. That is people who earn just under £45,000 per year. According to scottish govt, 1 in 7 of the richest 10% work in Social Services and in health. They are not highly mobile, arguably: no more than shop assistants. They can certainly move, but so can anyone. Do you think that people who work on a checkout in tesco will move if the basic rate of tax goes up by a penny in the pound? I don’t. And I don’t see why the very rich would be different, if we are talking about the top 10%

      Course those are percentages and absolute amounts do matter. If you earn a median wage of about £21000 pa an increase of 1p in the standard rate of tax will not make much difference – in fact it is unlikely you would notice it in your take home pay. clearly if you earn £1m a year it is a much bigger sum in absolute terms: you will probably notice it especially if you are not PAYE cos then it comes in the form of a bill to be paid from money you have already rec’d and that is quite a different experience. But it won’t impact on your life much. If you are wholly devoted to getting and spending it will affect your attitude. My contention is that most people are not motivated by money alone. If you have enough then you also have other priorities which become more important. Kids at school, family ties, friends, housing, and on and on. Not ditched lightly for sums which don’t make much difference to you. Plutocrats do not believe that, but I do. Neither they nor I can prove our position, however. It comes down to how you see “human nature”

      You go on to say that 18000 pay the top rate. That is the number who earn over £150,000 pa, then. Not sure where your fig comes from, because despite what I said above, it is hard to get a true picture since those who are not taxed through PAYE are hardly transparent in their account of their income. Are they included in that figure?

      You add that it only takes 10% to leave before the losses outweigh any gains from those remaining. I don’t know what that means, sorry. What gains?

      What is true is that at least some of those who leave will have to be replaced. Those who work, for example, as senior officials in local govt may leave: but then someone else will take those jobs on promotion. They will get the same salary and will pay the same tax: and they will be happy to do so cos it will be a big pay rise for them no matter what the tax rate. That is seldom mentioned in this discussion, but it matters to what extent that happens. The picture you paint is based on the idea of footloose entrepreneurial types who can work from anywhere: there are very few of those.

      Again, you suggest that the break even point is something like 10% leaving, so let me accept that. That is not a loss of half the income though, is it? It is a loss of 10% of half of income tax revenue if none of those posts are filled by someone else. It is not trivial, certainly. But neither is it apocalyptic. Income tax generates 19% of Scottish Govt revenue. So if I understand it right that is a loss of 1%: we lose more than that regularly in WM budget cuts. No loss is good, don’t get me wrong. But it is nothing like the scary story we are invited to indulge.

      If someone like Rowling chooses to leave so be it. As you say, she may say it is because of what she perceives to be abuse: and she may even be telling the truth. Because of tax? Much as I disagree with her stance on independence, I think better of her than that. I do not think she is a greedy woman. In this compare and contrast Ms Mone. Such people have already gone, thankfully: and those are the ones I am truly delighted to export. They are greedy so they go: and tax doesn’t change that

      It is true that our young bright folk leave. That is not to do with tax, either, for the brain drain has been a feature forever. It is to do with the sink that is London, and the lack of prospects at home, I think. That is something which needs to change. We won’t change it through clinging on to nurse, but it won’t be affected by differential tax, since tax is irrelevant if you can’t get a decent job.

      I don’t think you are right about investment, either for much the same reasons

    83. Petra says:

      @ Ruby says at 9:54 am ”Petra Does it matter what the Daily Record print?”

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/recordsnp.jpg

      Thanks for the chart Ruby and yes it’s great to see that their sales have fallen / continue to fall dramatically.

      However they still sell newspapers and many no voters buy it: some of the very people that we want to get onside.

      More than anything they are a (lying) mouthpiece for Labour AND the Tories when it suits them.

      I know there are loads of newspaper journalists lying through their teeth but we can’t deal with them all. This is the newspaper that conned us all with the ‘Vow’ and are still trying to con people. I can’t think of a better example (newspaper) to take to Court.

      It’s not really about the Daily Record per se: a failing newspaper. It would also send out a clear message to all lying individuals and newspapers that we’ve had enough. In turn some may cut it out to some extent as at present they know that there is no recourse for dealing with them other than the totally ineffective IPSO. If not them then someone like wee Mundell. Might be easier to deal with an individual than a newspaper.

      We’ve got an ever increasing elderly population with many more elderly individuals settling here from the rUK (in the news again recently). This puts our NHS / Home Care provision under even more financial strain and will continue to do so, ab hinc, if the statistics are correct.

      Topping up tax credits in Scotland but not England would probably result in individuals (benefit claimants) preferring to live in Scotland than England too. And then there’s housing benefit being stopped for under 25s in England. Will we have to deal with that? Where will it end?

      These proposals by Westminster are nothing less than a poison chalice. Labour knows it and so does the Daily Record. Labour don’t care because they are not going to get into power in Scotland so wont have to deal with / implement what they are proposing at all. It’s clear once again that they really don’t give a damn about the Scots. It’s all about point scoring.

      The name of the game here is to put the SNP under pressure and force them to make decisions that will be seen to be ‘financially unpopular’. Worst still bring Scotland to its knees.

      Carmichael is going to Court for lying. I reckon it’s high time that the Daily Record or someone like Mundell was hauled off too for lying. If a case went ahead it would also open up a real can of worms and expose all of their lies …. great publicity for us.

      I just reckoned that it wouldn’t do any harm to fundraise to the point of getting legal advice on this Ruby.

    84. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      The newspapers (except the National) are silent about the incoherence of Labour in Scotland’s budget proposals but I think the general public are paying little attention anyway.
      You can lie too often.

    85. heedtracker says:

      Daily Heil SNP bad frontpage is creepy as can be today, SNP bad, they love “benefits bloat!”

      So tory boys taking tax credit £1300 off of single mum’s look like its nothing to do with toryboy UK.gov.

      Welcome to toryboy hell basically. A toryboy on BBC R4 said tax credits were now out of control. Its going to be SLabour landslide next May, after everyone’s had their free frontal lobotomy.

    86. TD says:

      Far be it from me to defend Dugdale, but just on the point of the £250 million she says she will save by not ending APD I am not sure if you have this right Stu. If we assume that the current government will trim their expenditure in order to be able to live without that £250 million and that an incoming Labour government initially maintained the same expenditure plans, then if that Labour government brought back APD (or did not axe it) then they would have £250 million available. They could put that towards mitigating the effects of the tax credit cuts.

      Of course as you have pointed out, they would still only be half way there, and that assumes that they would follow the same spending plans as the SNP government. Which begs the question of “why bother?” But just on the specific point of APD, I think they would have £250 million available to spend on tax credit cuts mitigation (or anything else) if they did not scrap it / re-introduced it.

    87. frogesque says:


      heedtracker says:
      3 November, 2015 at 10:58 am
      Daily Heil SNP bad frontpage is creepy as can be today, SNP bad, they love “benefits bloat!”

      So tory boys taking tax credit £1300 off of single mum’s look like its nothing to do with toryboy UK.gov.

      Welcome to toryboy hell basically. A toryboy on BBC R4 said tax credits were now out of control. Its going to be SLabour landslide next May, after everyone’s had their free frontal lobotomy.

      I’ve just covered their crud with some Nationals!

    88. Petra says:

      O/T

      @ call me dave says at 9:56 am ……………….. PS: Jackie B is revolting and “not going shopping” she says.

      https://archive.is/FdKWz

      Thanks for the Herald link Dave.

      Labour in total disarray as per Jackie Baillie. She’s actually telling the Truth, for once, and agreeing with us.

      “I’m expecting to be a lonely traveller, as the instinct is always to be accommodating to the party position.

      **** But the vote in Scotland doesn’t matter ****
      the decision will be taken by the UK parliament, and the party’s UK position is to be in favour of multilateral disarmament.”

    89. Ken500 says:

      ‘Revenue neutral’? Means Scotland can’t borrow? Must balance the books. The rest of the UK can borrow what it likes.

      Osbourne has to think again on tax credits. Cameron has to think again on Syria. Thry can’t get their policies through Westminster.

    90. handclapping says:

      As Slab says a party of government without opposition grows complacent. The Corporate media say they also provide that opposition.

      Slab aspires to be a party of government, where is the opposition to it from the Corporate media?

      It is not just the BBC that has not got to grips with devolution, a parliament designed to be run by coalition requires all the parties that may be involved in a governing coalition have their policies scrutinised. Thats hard work compared to the Tweedledum Tweedledee of FPTP. You have to find out and let your audience know what their respective policies are and then demolish them. Not just the SNP but Tory, Slab, the Greens and whoever.

      It is entirely possible that the Tories become the official opposition in 2016, where is any scrutiny of their program from our Corporate media?

    91. Fiona says:

      @dakk at 9:59am

      You are right it will cut costs for consumers, and hopefully generate more demand as well. I should have mentioned that. It is a supply side measure, but all such measures presuppose a positive effect on demand as well, though indirect.

      Tourists coming in to the country will hopefully spend that here: though it is not certain, since much of what is generated by tourism may be unaffected: won’t make folk stay in dearer accommodation or buy more stuff, necessarily. Increased numbers could be great, though, and may have knock on effects for jobs as well.

      Costs of our own people as tourists abroad will also fall. We will presumably see the reverse outcomes: either we will spend more abroad or we will keep the saving and spend it at home. Don’t know if that will balance out, cos I don’t know the relative numbers for incoming and outgoing tourists.

      As I said, it seems to me to be a judgement call, though based on more information than I have.

    92. Onwards says:

      @sensibledave

      “The point that I am making is that the “rich” do not have to move house – they just arrange their affairs so that they spend less than 6 months of the year in the UK.”

      Yes, that makes it even easier for the very richest to avoid tax. But there are plenty of wealthy people who live here and run businesses here and it isn’t so easy to move.

      But hitting that landmark 50% in personal taxes has a big psychological effect that will be resisted.

      The reality is that it could hurt the economy.
      Some people will sell up and move south.
      Some people will take a delay in pay rises, or alternative benefits to salaries.
      Inwards investment will take a hit.
      It will encourage further emigration.

      Whichever way you look at it, England/Wales will benefit and Scotland will lose out.

      Sure I think the wealthiest should pay more, and there is an element of schaudenfraude in seeing the wealthiest No voters pay for rejecting independence, when the inevitable result was sure to be hamstrung devolution.

      But the reality is that having a top rate higher than the rest of the UK is economic idiocy. And the sad thing is that the SNP leadership may see have no alternative if they wish to compete for traditional Labour votes.

      Especially if independence is downplayed as a key campaign issue at the next Holyrood election.

    93. heedtracker says:

      I’ve just covered their crud with some Nationals!

      I do it to the sneaky shits every morning at 7.50 am, also the neo-fascist Voice of The North P&J.

    94. yesindyref2 says:

      OT – I’m bealing
      Article in the Herald, the Herald Scotland, used to be the Glasgow Herald, a decent paper, “Syrian refugees to be given sanctuary on picturesque Scots island”

      15 Syrian refugee families to be taken by Bute. Occurred to me residents might like to find out some customs and info to help welcome them in. So in customary fashion I did my research, found a quite long document via google, but to get a proper URL navigated my way through the website itself which wasn’t easy and found this:

      http://www.culturalorientation.net/content/download/3970/21954/version/2/file/CAL+Backgrounder+08+-+Syrians+FINAL.pdf

      Made a suggestion that it would be a good idea for a single sheet A5 leaflet so people would bother to read it.

      I noticed already a couple of the usual hate refugee illegal immigrant move to London benefits benefits type postings.

      When I look now a few hours later, my helpful posting about an idea to help to make them feel at home is no longer there, but the hate-filled ones are, with attempts by normal people to put them down.

      —————

      So now it’s certain. The HERALD prefers to be full of hate and conflict, with a touch of xenophobia, stirring up trouble, rather than making refugees welcome.

      I hope the Herald dies.

    95. Fiona says:

      Part of the problem with papers like the record is that so long as they exist their influence is not primarily direct. Falling sales is gratifying, but they are reported on TV etc in the same way regardless: and that is part of the water we all swim in. The impression is given that there is a great diversity of outlets and if they are all singing the same song it must be a great tune. They would have to go out of business altogether to change that. Speed the day

    96. sensibledave says:

      .. I think we agree, although I should stress that I was more focused upon the issues of high rate tax anywhere – rather than relating it specifically to issues politically in Scotland. Every Government, everywhere, faces the same issues.

    97. yesindyref2 says:

      Perhaps the Herald has come out in favour of the SDL? It ran an article about them “having a rally” in Monkton, maybe it’s decided there’s £££ in the far right and xenophobia, sectarian hatred, DM stuff.

      (yesindyref2 aka Peter Piper)

    98. Ruby says:

      Fiona says: Tourists coming in to the country will hopefully spend that here: though it is not certain, since much of what is generated by tourism may be unaffected: won’t make folk stay in dearer accommodation or buy more stuff, necessarily. Increased numbers could be great, though, and may have knock on effects for jobs as well.

      Ruby replies

      You’ve totally lost me Fiona!

    99. Jimbo says:

      Labour are not the only ones being dishonest here. Dugdale’s promise to restore money to the families who will lose out through Westminster tax cuts was promoted in the Unionist press as a positive policy.

      We either have a case of inept naive, puerile politicians supported by an unschooled, imbecilic media or it’s cheats and liars willfully supported by fraudsters and deceivers.

    100. Socrates MacSporran says:

      Might not the Smith Commission proposals be the basis of a second Wee Blue Book-type information producing publication.

      We could nail the lie about: “One of the most-powerful devolved assemblies in the world”.

      I have seen suggestions that US States, Canadian provinces, German Landers and several other bodies already have more powers than Smith will, if implemented, deliver to Holyrood.

      What about printing league tables, or comparison charts which demonstrate the reality of how little we will get from Smith?

      We will have to do this ourselves, our tame Unionist media will not tell the people the truth.

    101. Clootie says:

      A couple of questions for Kezia on tax.

      a) A very large proportion of higher rate tax payers work offshore in the Scottish sector of the Oil and Gas industry.Will we have co workers on different tax regimes?

      b) Will all workers in Scottish waters pay their tax to Scotland (will that revenue go to Scotland?) The majority live in England (mostly NE). Under the devolved tax settlement is it where you work or where you live that determines your tax liability.

      c) If it is based on where you live a Scottish offshore worker who is on a fixed rotation could simply buy a cheap flat in the NE of England and declare it as his “home”. His tax saving would pay for the flat and he has a long term property investment.

      Have you thought this through Kezia?

    102. Macca73 says:

      This morning I was unlucky enough to see the front page of the Record and saw the “So now it’s okay to use OUR vow Nicola” at the top of the page.

      Lets face it, this is the same paper that claimed that Craig Whyte was a billionaire in it’s sports pages but never once scratched below the surface or even did a google search to find out what he’d done in the past. It appears that the people who do the sums there also work on the front pages too and they don’t question anything there either.

      Dugdale is getting found out from this simple move alone. I love the line from the good Rev. about the dog coming back to bite her. I wonder if it’s that new breed of dog…. The Ballot Boxer!!

      🙂

    103. yesindyref2 says:

      Fiona says: “I don’t think you have made your case about APD, to be honest, Rev Stu.

      As I see it, SG has decided to scrap that tax. It follows that their proposed budget does not include that revenue.”

      APD hadn’t been devolved and the budget isn’t out yet.

    104. Fiona says:

      @Ruby

      You’ve totally lost me Fiona!

      I am sorry, Ruby

      Dakk and I were discussing the anticipated effect of scrapping APB.

      I am not sure what is not clear, but dakk made the point that there are demand side effects, and I acknowledged that but tried to think about what they might be with particular ref to tourism

      Passengers will pay less, and so will have more money. They could spend that money here, which is good for us. Or spend it abroad, which is not. That is all I was trying to say, really. very hard to predict net effect

    105. Iain More says:

      The reality is that there is no new money and the budget is going to be cut so the lying Labour Party would have to not just find the £20 for the new hat it would have to find the £20 plus whatever the actual budget cuts coming will be.

      I think I will stick with the old tourie! It at least keeps my heid warm whereas the Brit Nat Press and Media chills it.

    106. sensibledave says:

      Clootie 11:36 am

      You raise all the right questions Clootie.

      A further complication is that there are currently lots of people living in Scotland that work for companies registered in England. They pay their PAYE to the UK coffers via the deductions in their pay through the company they work for (it also happens the other way round).

      Either Scotland (or England if it is the other way round) would either have to bring in changes to “residency” rules that allow that situation to continue – or you will end up have staff (say sales reps or reginal call centre staff) that work for the same company, doing the same job, earning the same wages – but paying different levels of income tax because of where they “reside”. Its not impossible but it will have impacts somehow.

    107. Fiona says:

      @yesindyref2

      Yes, that is why I said “proposed” budget. If they intend to scrap it is logical that the budget does not include that revenue, is it not?

    108. Robert Graham says:

      Dave alert —–Christ there two of them now —-Dave Alert—-Dave Alert —–

    109. wee sandy says:

      Another excellent article Rev Stu!

      Your last sentence and the analogy of the dog,”eventually it’s going to jump up and rip your throat out”, was brilliant!

    110. ClanDonald says:

      Am I the only one who is really pleased to see Scottish Labour demand a higher rate of benefit payments for people who live in Scotland to those that live in England?

      It proves their cross-border solidarity rhetoric was nothing more than spin. People in Scotland are now entitled to more than their counterparts in Liverpool according to SLab.

      Pooling and sharing? Nah, Scots should get more. Keep our taxes here to fund more generous welfare for us.

      Don’t let them forget this hypocrisy, people, they must be reminded of it at all times, especially when indyref2 comes along. They must never be allowed to use the phrase “Pooling and sharing” again without ridicule.

    111. Dr Jim says:

      You’ve gone to a great deal of effort Rev and fine analysis to show that

      Kezia’s a Diddy and the Scottish media would much rather have Diddys in charge of running our country

      Now we knew that, but what I still, after years and years can’t figure out is WHY ? WHY ? WHY ? do they hate their own country so much?

    112. Proud Cybernat says:

      Thanks Rev.

      Isn’t it the case that if the 45p tax rate goes up to 50p, won’t that mean that the lower tax rates must also increase by the same amount, thereby harming those who can least afford to pay more tax, thus inhibiting wealth redistribution.

      P.S.

      ‘Wings’ is the ‘Mainstream Media’ (MSM) as far as I am concerned. The other lot, the ‘Corporate Media’ and State Broadcaster belong to the lunatic fringe with their constant lies and misinformation.

    113. Lesley-Anne says:

      Wee Kez comes out with figures of what she will do when she wins next May. 😀

      There is only one teeny weeny itsy bitsy little problem with her long term economic plan. Oh wait a minute the L.T.E.P. isn’t her’s is it it belongs to Ozzy. Ach never mind RED Tory BLUE Tory they are all the same at the end of the day … TORY! 😀

      Normally I’d say that to get to the base of the argument you have to follow the money and this does indeed usually work. However, we are talking about wee Kez here and it is apparent to one and all that she has been using the BBC calculator … AGAIN! 😀

      There is no money trail to follow cause she has no money. She is just spouting a load of old bull in the vainest of vain hopes some old duffer actually falls for her guff and thinks there is a new dawn about to arrive in Scottish politics! 😀

    114. heedtracker says:

      sensibledave says:
      3 November, 2015 at 11:58 am
      Clootie 11:36 am

      You raise all the right questions Clootie.

      Nice to see your UKOK toadying sensible.

      Hows about addressing the article up there toady?

    115. Robert Peffers says:

      @Fiona says: 3 November, 2015 at 10:55 am:

      “I am aware that the very rich pay a big proportion of income tax. That is because they are rich.

      Those who are not very rich also pay a big proportion of income tax: that is because they are rich in terms of the income distribution, though they do not realise that.”

      Whoa! There, Fiona.

      I stopped reading your long comment at that point for your conclusions there are wrong. Thus whatever follows is gobbledegook.

      The matter is not as you state. The relative income tax take is nothing whatsoever to do with the relative richness of the rich and poor for income tax. Other than the fact they are either rich or poor.

      It hinges upon the type of taxation levied. The Labour Party, when in power, began a process that has continued ever since.

      They converted the main tax take from direct taxation, (upon earnings and wealth), to indirect taxation, (upon goods and services).

      Where direct taxation is in use the main burden of tax falls upon those most able to pay taxes. Indirect taxation has the effect of transferring the main burden of taxation upon those least able to pay tax.

      Thus, for example, the first action of the present Tory administration was to increase this imbalance by not only increasing the rates of the indirect taxation but also to bring more items under that system.

      That is, they increased the rate of such as VAT and Road Fuel Duty and so on but also they brought more items under VAT such as the standard working person’s lunch of hot pies & bridies. At the same time they cut the top tax rate as levied upon the rich. So while further increasing the tax burden upon the poor they also decreased that upon the rich. That is they took directly from the poor to give directly to the rich.

      A fair tax system should not be levied in this way. The factor of, “Disposable Income”, should be the guiding factor. That is Disposable Income is that sum left after the compulsory taxation such as NHS stamp.

      The fact is the rich have great disposable income that should be the main target for taxation while the poorest have no disposable income and in fact many must use pay-day loan sharks in just attempting to exist.

      While the very rich do not even invest their disposable income but instead salt it away in bank accounts, or property purchase – often they salt it away in off-shore accounts.

      It is thus inevitable that the poorest bear an even higher share of the burden of taxation and the richest bear an even lesser share. As the poorest get poorer they subsidise and finance the richest factions richness.

      I often wonder at the blind spot in commenters financial vision that lets them see direct taxation while blinding them to indirect taxation.

      For goodness sake even the dead pay indirect taxation. Funeral services are just one more service subject to indirect taxation. Most parts of a funeral service carry VAT that is passed on to the dead person’s insurance costs. Everyone pays indirect taxation and some of it is passed on to them by the providers of the services.

    116. Onwards says:

      @Fiona
      It is losing a big chunk of income from the top rate that I am most concerned about. Those earning over £150,000 who pay a large amount of the total tax take.

      I think you are right to a degree – There will be many people who don’t mind paying higher taxes, and there are many who will want to live here regardless or have a loyalty to this country.

      But you can’t say that for everyone.

      I am sure I read somewhere that losing 10% of the 18000 top-rate earners is the tip-over point, at which the tax gain from the other 90% is outweighed by lost revenue.

      That might not happen the first year, but it is the long term effects that will hurt the most.

      It inevitably puts this country at a competitive disadvantage and in a downwards spiral – especially as the internet and technology based economy becomes more important.

      A computer games firm would have a big incentive to set up south of the border as opposed to Dundee for example.

      And as the Scottish economy suffers relative to England, it could reduce the demand for independence, as the Tories will claim that the extra ‘powers’ have been a failure.

      There is another reason this is a trap.

      There are further big Westminster austerity cuts to come, and the minute the Scottish Government says it will increase the top band of income tax relative to the rest of Britain, it sets itself up for taking the blame for the budget cuts instead of the Tories.

    117. Fiona says:

      @ Robert Peffers

      I know. I believe that is made clear in my post. But as ever, perhaps I tried to cover too much in seeking clarity

    118. sensibledave says:

      heedtracker 12:21 pm

      You wrote: “Nice to see your UKOK toadying sensible. Hows about addressing the article up there toady?

      Two things Heedy. Firstly, and I know its anachronistic to you Heedy, if I agree with someone, I will say so.

      With respect to the article, in general I don’t comment on threads where the theme is purely internal, Scottish politics. What the SNP think of Ms Dugdale is of no consequence or interest to me. Neither is what Ms Dugdale thinks of the SNP. It can be amusing sometimes and the Labour party in Scotland’s position on Trident is, shall we agree, “interesting”!

      I commented originally on the article with specific reference to a couple of paragraphs that the Rev’ wrote, which I quoted, – which were a surprise to read coming from the Rev’.

      So please, if you have a point to make about something I have written then by all means respond. Alternatively, you could “cut and paste” the following to save yourself the time:

      UKOK, Britnat, Scotland hating, Toryboy, etc, etc …

    119. Tam Jardine says:

      I think the problem here is the media’s relationship with Scottish Labour. The snuggling that goes on between the two… the cross-pollination or whatever you want to call it means that Scottish Labour produce policies that are completely incoherent.

      Can you imagine the SNP firing off something so flawed and being given a free reign to punt it on the TV?

      This is one of the reasons why the SNP are so successful right now- everything has to be worked through as what they say needs to be not just implemented but it has to survive the fusillade from the press. It has to be bulletproof- which is as it should be.

      The cheerleading Scottish labour receives from the MSM is what is now destroying it as they trudge down the track, ploughing through hurdle after hurdle. The MSM has been slab’s life support artificially preventing the collapse in support for years.

      The doughballs who talk about APD being almost like a tax on champagne that the SNP want to cut to benefit the rich… One major factor (when I used to be able to go on foreign holidays pre-children) was the cost of flights. These flights take place and the question is not ‘will I fly’ but rather ‘where will I fly’.

      If we can make Scotland a more attractive place to travel to it does not just benefit rich people- it benefits all those who rely on tourism. A healthy tourist industry benefits the wider community in countless ways which filters through to all kinds of other businesses, trades, etc. And that is before we consider the benefits to making Scotland more accessible for commerce.

      The media have become the story in Scotland- they have lost their function and are now just another player like slab and the tories. When papers like the Scotsman and the Record fold they will have no-one to blame but themselves.

    120. John D aka Ecosse-Nkosi says:

      “And if you respond to that by kicking it harder and more frequently, eventually it’s going to jump up and rip your throat out.”

      Yes Rev and that is exactly what the French did in their recent revolution.

    121. Fiona says:

      I do not disagree it is a trap, Onwards. I was trying to challenge the mainstream narrative while accepting their premises for the sake of argument.

      As Steve Keen says, a great many people “know” the world is flat. But if their argument doesn’t work when we accept that premise, it should give pause. Hopefully.

      I see you talk again of the gain from the 90% and I now see you are talking about the 90% of top earners. That should have been obvious to me, but I misunderstood, and I am sorry I didn’t see it first time around. I don’t think it undermines my point in relation to that, though. Because a lot of those incomes will be replaced I think. Nor do I think it makes sense as a general argument; it surely depends on specific rates etc? Where did you see it? I’d like to have a look

    122. muttley79 says:

      I think the SNP should not use the income tax powers, they are a poisoned chalice. They should only use what would be of benefit to Scotland. Whatever the SNP do uniomists and the MSM will attack them regardless. It is just the way it is.

    123. sensibledave says:

      Robert Peffers 12:21 pm

      Astonishingly Robert, I find myself agreeing with the majority of your comments!

      I will assume you are having a bad day – and that your lucidity and logic will leave you shortly and you will be back to normal soon.

    124. Kininvie says:

      It’s worth remembering the timescale. The SG has said it will reduce APD and work to eliminate it ‘when possible’. That may take some years, so even if a Labour Government were to come to power, it would be highly unlikely that the full £250 million would be available for use.

      And, if we are to believe Mr O’Leary – that the benefits of an abolished APD in terms of increased passenger traffic (and the jobs/revenue that would follow) will be significant – it would be politically hard for an incoming Labour government to reverse the whole caboodle without inflicting damage…

      All Kez is doing is adding uncertainty – which is not going to encourage the aviation industry to invest on the promise of a potential cut in APD. The Scottish government is attempting to grow the economy – Scottish Labour seems determined to stifle the attempt.

    125. Clydebuilt says:

      Rev. Stuart

      Page 7 Monday’s National, Jim Sillars and Colin Fox are calling for a seminar to plan strategy for next Referendum. Surely all this would achieve would be to inform Unionists our future strategy, allowing them to plan their opposing strategy over a period of years ……

      Shooting ourselves in the foot……

    126. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “There have been numerous threads here on Wings where top rate tax rates were discussed. Is you quote an acceptance that increasing the top rate of tax doesn’t increase the tax take?”

      It depends on countless factors. If Labour want to endlessly cite the IFS, which they do, it cuts both ways.

      “Secondly, your second quote leaves out the third method of Governments getting more cash – borrowing more, or not paying loans back as quickly as planned.”

      It leaves out loads of ways, actually. They can also sell off national assets, for example. But we’re talking about sensible, sustainable options. Borrowing has to be paid back at some point. It seems the UK is only just – and only very selectively – noticing that.

    127. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      ” If we assume that the current government will trim their expenditure in order to be able to live without that £250 million and that an incoming Labour government initially maintained the same expenditure plans, then if that Labour government brought back APD (or did not axe it) then they would have £250 million available. They could put that towards mitigating the effects of the tax credit cuts.”

      *bangs head off desk even harder*

    128. heedtracker says:

      Certainly a change in pace for you sensible, from the usual rule Britannia sneers and jeers but good luck with it anyway.

      Also sensible, its

      UKOK, Britnat, Scotland’s DEMOCRACY hating, Toryboy, etc, etc …

    129. Fiona says:

      @ Rev. What is wrong with that argument? You need to explain better because I don’t get your point, and clearly there are others like me here.

    130. Tam Jardine says:

      Clydebuilt

      By the same logic rev Stu should close down this website to stop unionists being able to find out what folk in the yes movement are thinking.

      I personally think it is a great idea but would prefer something set up by ordinary people instead of these big names. Ian B was talking about this- I would be keen to know what he makes of it.

    131. Iain Hamilton says:

      Rev, to save your aching forehead:

      Could those commenters that insist on the money being available if SLAB don’t change policy but reintroduce APD just please think about the following until your heads explode. It will save the bother of continually trying to get basic arithmetic through to you.

      Three men go in to buy a Television at £30. Each man pays £10 and they take the TV home. The manager then realises that it was only £25 and sends his assistant to the men’s house to give them back the £5.

      The assistant lies and takes £2 for himself, and gives each man £1 back each.

      So each man paid £10-£1 = £9 x 3 = £27
      And the assistant has £2.

      £27+£2 = £29.

      Where’s the missing pound??

    132. Wuffing Dug says:

      @Grouse Beater @10.18

      Exactly the same as in Rob Roy’s time.

      Intimidation, punitive taxes and blocking of trade.

      I have nothing to add to the debate other than labour and the rest can GTF. End of.

    133. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “What is wrong with that argument? You need to explain better because I don’t get your point, and clearly there are others like me here.”

      I’m really not sure how much simpler I can make it.

      – The CURRENT budget, RIGHT NOW, is £X.

      – To pay for “restoring” tax credits you need £X + £Y.

      – Not cutting APD means your budget is still £X.

      – You’re still £Y short of the money you need.

      What John Swinney does is his problem. He almost certainly thinks phasing out APD will earn as much money as it costs. If it doesn’t he’ll have to deal with the consequences.

      But if Labour are in power in seven months’ time what he thinks won’t matter, because he won’t have done it. So Labour still need to find the missing £Y from THE BUDGET AS IT STANDS NOW.

      Labour are trying to spend relative money. But relative money doesn’t exist. You can only buy stuff with actual money.

    134. Lesley-Anne says:

      Clydebuilt says:
      3 November, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      Rev. Stuart

      Page 7 Monday’s National, Jim Sillars and Colin Fox are calling for a seminar to plan strategy for next Referendum. Surely all this would achieve would be to inform Unionists our future strategy, allowing them to plan their opposing strategy over a period of years ……

      Shooting ourselves in the foot……

      I am not sure that is right Clydebuilt. By this I mean I think it would be a good idea for every party/organisation to get together for a seminar, as Jim Sillars and Colin Fox, are calling for. I believe that now is the time when everyone from UKOK is more concerned about Hambone’s E.U. Brexit referendum.

      The seminar that is being called for can be held behind closed doors Clyde and that way the UKOK media do not get to find out anything other than what is agreed at the seminar, if anything.

      WE need to get our butts into gear and organise now so that all the inter rivalry etc that obviously currently exists is put to one side. Everyone needs to agree a plan for the way forward between now and indy ref II.

      It is far better, in my view, that everyone who was involved in indy ref I met up at a seminar and blew away the cobwebs and any lingering animosity so that come indy ref II everyone is singing from the same song sheet and appearing together.

      We can not have, as happened in indy ref I some people not agreeing to be on the same platform as others because of past histories and ongoing animosities. These need to be expelled once and for all now!

    135. Tony Little says:

      @Iain Hamilton:

      George Osborn sniffed it.

      More seriously, this is a classic example and one I have used myself. It’s fun though. But on the topic, what I find interesting is the number of people here who think that when the time comes to allocate the “neutral” impact of the transfer of powers, that the Treasury will do so to benefit Scotland.

      Sticking with APD. If the assessment is that this contributes £500m to the Scottish revenues (and as such will become an SG power) this £500 will be removed from Barnett. There will NOT be any extra money available to the SG.

      Given that APD will NOT be transferred without a reduction in Barnett, the SG will NOT have any powers over it before then. Even if the SG promised to eliminate it on day one, the CURRENT value will be fully reduced from Barnett. Result? £500m LESS for the SG budget immediately.

      Come on people, we are more intelligent than this. The UK will never enable the SG to have a secure fiscal position. The Scottish bill is an obvious trap and I do not see how any SG can countenance accepting these terms and conditions.

    136. yesindyref2 says:

      @Iain Hamilton
      Nice one, but surely Dugdale spent it on welfare?

    137. yesindyref2 says:

      Yesterday, upon the stair,
      I met a man who wasn’t there.
      He wasn’t there again today,
      I wish, I wish he’d go away…

    138. Fiona says:

      @ Rev Stu

      Thanks for trying. I still don’t get your point

      The current revenue is X
      When APD is scrapped the revenue then is x-APD.
      The current SG has a plan how to spend that reduced budget
      Lab could follow that plan
      Lab could choose not to scrap APD: it could then do all SG now plans and have the APD for other purposes.

      Your argument still makes no sense to me. It works if there is no shortfall from cutting APD, but I think it unlikely that it will generate equivalent income in year 1 – could be wrong, and I hope so.

      But the fact remains that it is likely the budget will be smaller when it is cut under SG plans. And it will be the same size if it is retained. That money is actual money NOT foregone. It is not relative money, as you characterise it, so far as I can see. What seems to be missing from your position is the planned cut in revenue predicated on getting rid of that source of income.

    139. Onwards says:

      Fiona, there is a discussion on this paper that mentions the 18000 higher rate taxpayers in Scotland.

      https://www.royalsoced.org.uk/cms/files/events/reports/2014-2015/Further-powers-for-Scotland.pdf

      You have Professor John Kay forecasting that enough wealthy people would simply change their registered address.

      ——-
      ..In Professor Kay’s opinion, tax competition (between Scotland and the rest of the UK) would not lead to an exodus of people from wherever the taxes are higher.
      On the other hand, he said he is “willing to bet” that most of the people in Scotland who pay at the Additional Rate also have homes outside Scotland, and would find it very easy to register for tax purposes where they enjoyed the advantage and this could have a very large impact on overall tax revenues by reducing not only the amount paid at the Additional Rate but also the amount paid at the Basic Rate and Higher Rate by those same people.
      In other words, they may pay no taxes at all if they declare they are not resident in Scotland. So, by raising the Additional Rate of income tax from 45% to 50%, Professor Kay is “fairly certain” this would lead to a net loss in revenues rather than raising more money.

      The “no detriment” proposal described in the Smith Commission deals with action by the rest of the UK which would have a negative effect on the revenues levied to Scotland, which would be compensated for by an increase in the Barnett Consequential, but the paradoxical effect of Scotland raising the Additional Rate of income tax could lead to an increase in revenues in England.
      And Professor Kay said that if England was asked to compensate Scotland for the negative consequences of Scotland increasing tax rates in Scotland, there would be little chance of England complying.

      ——-

      And that is before you even consider the long term effects of having a competitive disadvantage, where investment goes elsewhere.

      I think the exact consequences won’t be known unless it takes place, but whichever way you look at it the Scottish Government will be effectively handing over money to London each year Scotland has a higher tax rate.

      George Osbourne will be cracking open the champagne !!

      If Nicola made this clear, the SNP could perhaps get away with not matching Labour in a race for votes with a naive and simplistic ‘tax the rich’ message.

    140. Bob Mack says:

      @Fiona,

      The Rev is saying that for the foreseeable future until APD is actually cut ,there is no extra money.It is all accounted for . Labour are espousing using this as yet non existant money to fund tax credit cuts.

    141. Petra says:

      O/T

      The Better Together Dictatorship. Here’s hoping it will lead to a National Strike.

      Dave Ward Tories disgusting attack on Civil Liberties #KillTheBill

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLz0q1XNnwg

      FBU Matt Wrack “people have died because of cuts in Fire Service’’

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LaN4EaVCYY

      Antonia Bance Head of TUC Campaigns

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAS_6omZiEs

      Kate the Postie

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FROvGoT659M

      Manuel General Sec TSSA – “We will break the law”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qG7OgMwJpEM

      A Question for George Osborne

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJVP_XN0CdE

    142. Angra Mainyu says:

      Will someone answer my question, second time of asking.

      Q) would there be any legal implications to us here on Wings orchestrating a systematic boycott of a certain newspaper that included a boycott of those sponsors and advertisers that the given newspaper relied on?

    143. Almannysbunnet says:

      I am against nuclear weapons but we need to keep the submarines because they provide employment for 33,000 people in Scotland.
      I have a £100m and through diligent research have decided not to spend £50m on road signs in Gaelic, I now have £150 million pounds.
      It’s called Slabonomics 101.

    144. Bill Halliday says:

      “eventually it’s going to jump up and rip your throat out” —
      which is to say it will ‘revolt’. Today the MSM and WM would say the “dog had been Radicalised’.

    145. Will Podmore says:

      Alex Beveridge claims that the reason people don’t agree with him is ‘300 years of brainwashing’, from which he is, mysteriously exempt.
      How do you know someone’s been brainwashed? Simple – they don’t agree with you.
      To accuse your opponents of being brainwashed is not a democratic argument, it is just an insult to their intelligence and a puffing of one’s own presumed greater insight.

    146. yesindyref2 says:

      Well fuck the Herald, I put another posting together about it and if they remove that one in their sheer heartlessness I’ve saved it and I’ll post it again and again until the fucking bastards bar me.

    147. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “The current revenue is X
      When APD is scrapped the revenue then is x-APD.
      The current SG has a plan how to spend that reduced budget
      Lab could follow that plan”

      Are you not reading the words I’m writing?

      The idea of cutting APD is that it pays for itself. It’s not just a free bonus for airports for the hell of it. So there is no “reduced budget”.

    148. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “would there be any legal implications to us here on Wings orchestrating a systematic boycott of a certain newspaper that included a boycott of those sponsors and advertisers that the given newspaper relied on?”

      Legally? No. But you’d be on your own, because I don’t believe in organised boycotts. There’s stuff I don’t buy because I disagree with what the company might do with my money, but when you start organising it it turns into something a bit ugly.

    149. Fiona says:

      @ Bob Mack

      That is certainly true. But they can’t do anything till they win an election and that is not now. It may well be before they have the devolved power to make that change, and in that case that is the argument which should be made: that it will not be restored from day one. But that is not the same as saying the money isn’t real, because it is, so far as I can see.

      Either policy can be adopted (though fact remains that APD is not enough, but they acknowledge that) on the basis that a budget without APD can be devised, as SG assume. Q is which is the better policy: and that is a matter of politics and judgement as to outcomes.

      I am sorry if I am being dense, but that seems logical to me. I really don’t think this line of attack can fly

    150. Tony Little says:

      @Angra

      Are we still living in a democracy? (Yes, I know, but …) so I can’t see what the illegality of such a proposal would be. There have been many similar boycots of stores or goods etc. in the past

    151. heedtracker says:

      “If Nicola made this clear, the SNP could perhaps get away with not matching Labour in a race for votes with a naive and simplistic ‘tax the rich’ message.”

      That sentence alone shows the sheer UKOK Tory boy genius underlying their colossal Vow fraud on Scotland.

    152. Fiona says:

      @ Rev Stu,

      Yes, I did read that and they may well be right. As I made plain upthread, I honestly do not know. But I am fairly certain that the benefits do not arise immediately. The revenue from the change is indeed notional rather than real money: much more so than the APD receipts, in fact

    153. Fiona says:

      @ Will Podmore

      Agree that it is a problem to focus on false consciousness, though neither is it wise to deny the effectiveness of propaganda, I think. I had thought you were some kind of socialist however: do you not accept the concept as described by Marx? Or does it only apply when it suits?

    154. Jack Murphy says:

      Petra said at 9:42 am 03/11/2015
      “TIME FOR ANOTHER FUNDRAISER?
      The Daily Record is running with a ‘tale’ today by Torcuil Chrichton …. ‘Over to you First Minister: Daily Record’s Vow has given you the power to top up Westminster welfare cuts.” ‘

      Ah!—The Daily Record? Scotland’s Champion. 🙁

      Last year– Front Page, “The Vow Delivers”.
      This year–Page 2 tucked away in small print,”The Retraction”.

      27/11/14 and 26/2/15 respectively.

    155. Clydebuilt says:

      Lesley Anne @1.18

      Closed doors won’t keep the discussion “secret”

      Getting rid of animosity, If there is any of the “A” word around I would have thought it was there before the Referendum. Things turned out fine people put differences away for the common cause.

      As you point to animosity existing currently, then by all means have unification peace events. They just don’t have to agree on hard and fast campaigning strategy.

      Keeping us in the fold is very important for Westminister,
      We have to play smart, not show our hand years in advance.

    156. Murray McCallum says:

      “Straight talking, honest politics”

      Anyone know when this starts? Are Labour Accounting Units exempt from it?

    157. Bob Mack says:

      @Fiona,

      The money would be real enough WHEN it is devolved,and under WHAT timescale that devolution would take place.
      Until then it is not salient to the Scottish budget.

      Mr Osbourne is not going to wait on devolution of APD before cutting tax credits.

      Labour are pushing the hyperbole that these things would seem to nicely co- incide.

      They do not. Tax credit cuts will hit first.

    158. Clootie says:

      sensibledave says:
      3 November, 2015 at 11:58 am

      The Troll “wedge tactic” simply won’t work here. People on this site over many years have established a core agreement on the direction of travel. We may disagree on points but we know a shared value is held. It is not about political parties. It is about the right of those in Scotland (regardless of place of birth)to build a fairer nation. In short to put in action the programme argued by the YES campaign.

      On the other hand you,at best, are simply a misguided fool wishing to block or break progress.At worst your intent is to get a kick from annoying people.

      It is positive to hold a positive vision of the future and fight for it.

      I pity you.

    159. A2 says:

      of course if you think you are going to loose control of the councils by the time you get round to doing anything (at the same time as you think you can win hollyrood – yes I know!) you can chop the Local government budget and blame the SNP for the drop in services….

    160. crazycat says:

      @ Angra Mainyu

      Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer.

      I boycott Nestlé products. There are a number of charities and campaign groups which promote this boycott, which has been in existence for a long time (and has had some success, though not enough to lift it, in the opinion of its promoters).

      At least one of these campaign groups used to (and may still) publish a small card, listing all the commonly-available products manufactured by Nestlé or companies owned by them (a constantly changing list as they bought and sold and merged and demerged).

      I have not heard that this was illegal in any way. It is ultimately up to each individual whether they participate in a boycott; I’m not sure one can be orchestrated any more than people can be compelled to wear a poppy.

      This products list did, of course, refer to things directly connected with Nestlé; a list of advertisers in a newspaper is a bit different. There were lists of No-supporting businesses available; I don’t recall anyone being prosecuted for producing that. Maybe they were just lists, with any consequent action left up to the reader.

      Is that helpful? (I’m not sure it is, but at least you aren’t being ignored!)

    161. dakk says:

      Rev Stu and Fiona

      I think you are both saying the same thing in a different way.

      Bottom line is that economics is an inexact science,so there are imponderables no matter what a government does,including doing nothing.

      If we look at the experiences of similar countries who have had exit taxes such as Ireland and Netherlands,I believe both those countries found removing the taxes had a net positive effect on tax take and economic growth.

      As you both say there may be an initial deficit, but do we just retain the highest Air Passenger Duty in the world (bar Chad)or do we try to progress and compete,and grow.

      Do we want vision,or short-termism and no vision ?

    162. TD says:

      Rev

      I’m not sure why this is proving so difficult, but please understand that a few of us don’t agree with you on this specific point, even although we do agree with the broad sentiments of your article. I think there could be some confusion over terminology.

      The CURRENT budget, RIGHT NOW, is £X.

      By this I assume you mean revenue. The current government intends to scrap APD so at that point the budget (revenue) will be £X – £250m. That will be the revenue before any attempt is made to mitigate tax credit cuts.

      To pay for “restoring” tax credits you need £X + £Y.

      No you don’t – you need £Y (£500m taking your figure). You need £X to do everything else, or £X -£250m if the SNP government get rid of APD. They have to be working on the assumption that they can manage that reduction in revenue. Now I concede that they might be assuming that by eliminating APD, other revenues will flow in to their coffers which will offset the loss of APD, but that is not certain and in terms of understanding the Labour proposal I don’t think we should go there. It is as unpredictable as Kez’s anticipated revenue from increasing higher rate tax.

      Not cutting APD means your budget is still £X.

      That’s true and if the expenditure changes which were planned in order to be able to live without APD are still implemented then you have a spare £250m.

      You’re still £Y short of the money you need.

      This is not true for the reasons above. You are £Y – £250m short.

      I think this is all hinging on the unpredictable effects of cutting APD. The current government perhaps believe that overall, the effect on their revenue would be neutral or even positive. They may well be right. But it is very unpredictable. On the other hand, Labour’s proposal to retain APD is reasonably certain to produce the revenues currently generated.

      I don’t want to give credibility to Labour’s proposals and as you correctly stated in your article, even if they do manage to raise £250m from retaining APD (compared to the current government’s plans) they are still only half way there. But we need to attack them where they are vulnerable, not where they can put up a robust defence.

    163. yesindyref2 says:

      @me
      Oops, sorry about that language 😳

      I thought I’d Alt-F4’d it, I must have hit enter by mistake.

    164. heedtracker says:

      To accuse your opponents of being brainwashed is not a democratic argument, it is just an insult to their intelligence and a puffing of one’s own presumed greater insight.

      Doesn’t mean it’s not the UKOK propagandist goal in their Scotland region, eg

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/premature-evacuation/#more-77849

      A pretty routine display of brainwashing for teamGB from usual crew of UKOK con arteests, BBC, Crash Gordon, Fluffie the only Toryboy MP left in their Scotland region, etc etc.

      Or maybe it’s all just BBC going “who gives a flying fudge what we say any more, just get it out there” kind of non brainwashing brain washing?

    165. crazycat says:

      @ Angra Mainyu

      Some better answers than mine appeared while I was typing – but were not visible to me until after I’d submitted my comment, otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered. (I did refresh the page to see if you’d been answered; there was nothing at that point.)

    166. desimond says:

      Next week on Call Kaye

      Skinny Junkies!…a blight on our Organic Cous Cous Avenue landscape or a shape to die for this Autumn…

    167. Iain Hamilton says:

      @yesindyref2

      Don’t worry. Apparently it won’t affect your standing in Scotland’s favourite people 🙂

      A wee swear sometimes only serves to illustrate frustration.

    168. Broch Landers says:

      Loved the maths problem. No good at maths so i can only make sense of it if i think in terms of real money changing hands. As soon as you realise the assistant had to tell the three guys it actually cost 27 quid, then the problem vanishes. They get 3, he gets 2 and the shopkeeper has 25. But i realise the problem is not solved in a pure maths sense.

      I have a serious point, too. Consider the non-existent financial literacy – not maths – many of us got at state school. We need to do sum-thing about that 😉 for a range of reasons, to avoid folk drowning in debt, and giving people the confidence to start their own enterprises.

    169. Bob Mack says:

      Perhaps there is one thing we are forgetting.
      Cameron has already pledged to assist Northern English airports if Scotland does cut APD.

      Ultimately England will protect its own,so benefits to Scotland from an APD cut may be minimal in terms of trade, meaning no extra revenue.

    170. heedtracker says:

      Here comes the charge of the red toryboys

      Duncan Hothersall ?@dhothersall 6 hrs6 hours ago
      Will the SNP pledge to use our new powers to restore tax credit cash like Labour, or is grievance more important?

      Duncan Hothersall ?@dhothersall 6 hrs6 hours ago
      Because surely, surely our common cause must be to lift our fellows out of poverty? Enough grievance politics. We can, and should, act.
      4 retweets 5 favourites

      What’s happened to blue toryboy Prof Tomkins, ( C ) Lubjana West

      Adam Tomkins ?@ProfTomkins Nov 2
      The FM is all about caution and, in any event, it’s not in her party’s interest to use the powers of devolution: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3299687/CHRIS-DEERIN-Adored-winning-s-gone-wrong-Nicola-popularity-t-save-her.html

      Ah. The great “Powers of Devolution”, what same UKOK shysters that “gave” Powers of Devolution but will do and say pretty much anything to shut down devolution.

      These are good times for red and blue tory unionists everywhere, they wish. Didn’t take them long either.

    171. Capella says:

      Since Kezia believes in Better Together UK perhaps she will cut:
      Culture and external affairs: £0.3bn per year

      Why do we need Culture here anyway when we’ve got Stenders and stuff, British Baking competitions, Under the Hammer cetera,cetera.

      And UK does all the external affairs for us. That’s because we’re better together?

    172. yesindyref2 says:

      @Bob Mack
      Taking Newcastle, if Scotland has 0 APD, but Newcastle has full APD, it is likely to lose out to say Edinburgh. But as well as taking traffic from Newcastle, Edinburgh will have new routes, routes that don’t go through London. So it’s taking traffic from London, but is also generating new traffic which wouldn’t have existed, encourgaing more visitors to Scotland, but also the UK as a whole.

      If Newcastle can cut its APD then it doesn’t lose traffic to Edinburgh, but Edinburgh still gains the traffic from London and gets the same new traffic that didn’t exist before.

    173. Petra says:

      @ Onwards says at 1:34 pm ”Fiona, there is a discussion on this paper that mentions the 18000 higher rate taxpayers in Scotland. You have Professor John Kay forecasting that enough wealthy people would simply change their registered address.”

      https://www.royalsoced.org.uk/cms/files/events/reports/2014-2015/Further-powers-for-Scotland.pdf

      Thanks for the link Onwards.

      Westminster aint daft and we know that Osborne aint an economist (History hons 2/1). That’s why they fork out millions in employing some of the most intelligent but corrupt and devious financial experts in the land. They have some of the best psychologists, sociologists and statisticians working for them too.

      Anything that they’ve come up with, anything that’s on offer has been WELL thought out with the focus on highlighting that Scotland is too wee, too poor and in particular that the SNP are too stupid to run the country.

      We’re being left, effectively, with the sole economic lever of raising taxes to pay for a Welfare Bill that will escalate out of all control in Scotland as they implement welfare cuts in England and drive low paid or unemployed people Northwards to the land of milk and honey. Maybe some of the under 25s, who will be made homeless, and those with larger families will find ‘benefit bountiful’ Scotland attractive too. Note how Mundell, with a smirk on his face, keeps bleating on about how Scotland will have all the power in the World to boost benefits: the benefits that England’s cutting.

      Companies and individuals will find every type of loop-hole possible to avoid paying additional tax in Scotland. Westminster may even, ultimately, overtly or covertly advise them of how to do just that.

      We’re going to be sh*fted big time if something isn’t done to prevent the Scotland Bill going through in its current form or if the SG eventually sign up to it.

    174. heedtracker says:

      Uh Oh! Super Unionist Man Keverage is back in business, £1.5 trillion NOT Scots oil worthless, UKOK oil jewel in teamGB crown.

      Kevin Hague ?@kevverage 2 hrs2 hours ago
      Kevin Hague Retweeted Yes Scotland
      In a rational world, Scottish voters wouldn’t forgive the SNP for trying to fool us into voting for independence

      Not much on Prof Smirky’s “Powers of Devolution” from Super Unionist Man, which is odd.

      Scotland, the only country in the world to strike vast oil and gas reserves and get poor (and get branded the scrounger region by our friends)

    175. dakk says:

      Bob Mack 2.29

      ‘Cameron has pledged to help Northern English airports ‘

      True,but that is just part of the competition we face.

      We are also trying to compete with Ireland,NI,Netherlands, and everyone else for that matter.

      Bring it on !

      Perhaps an unfortunate turn of phrase.

    176. heedtracker says:

      And one more for UKOK luck. Keverage’s side show bob says

      Scott Arthur ?@DrScottThinks 6 hrs6 hours ago
      The Vow has been delivered. Half of Nats say it’s not enough and the rest say it’s a trap.

      Let’s just get on with running Scotland.”

      Great British Slacker of the Year and ultra unionist red toryboy says, shut up and vote SLabour, they know what they’re not going to be doing, possibly for decades, to their Scotland region.

    177. Tony Little says:

      @TD

      I may have this wrong as well, but my take is this:

      Scottish Government Revenues is at present Barnett for their devolved responsibilities. Let’s call it £X. That sum will not change until powers are devolved for collecting taxes. On that day the SG revenues are still £X as the transfer has to be fiscally neutral.

      UNTIL the transfer of powers, the SG (or indeed SLAB) can say anything they like, but the actual £X remains exactly the same. It is only AFTER power is transferred that the SG can make changes to their income.

      BUT, the UK Treasury will assess the budget impact of, for example, APD – let’s call it £Y – on the day the transfer of responsibility occurs. So on that day, the SG revenues becomes £X-£Y. At which point they can delay the APD policy (thus retaining £X revenues) or make some other choice.

      Their future revenues will be based on £X plus or minus any changes they think they can make in revenues streams. Then they assign budgets to those devolved responsibilities and hope to balance the books.

      SLAB are suggesting that by NOT reducing APD they will have those ‘savings’ available to spend. they will not as this doesn’t increase by one penny the revenues of the SG, which still has existing commitments to pay for out of the new taxes and the Barnett grant.

      There is NO NEW money

    178. Dan Huil says:

      Labour can say anything it wants because it knows it won’t form the next Holyrood government. It can say anything it wants because the unionist media refuses to question its policies. Thank god for WOS.

    179. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      ‘I’m not sure why this is proving so difficult, but please understand that a few of us don’t agree with you on this specific point”

      I understand perfectly that you can’t grasp how basic arithmetic works. I don’t know WHY you can’t. Clearly we’ve been cutting the education budget way too much.

      “But we need to attack them where they are vulnerable, not where they can put up a robust defence.”

      What you outlined is not a “robust defence”. Sorry to say it, but it’s raving dribble based on a whole series of mad assumptions.

      Last try: the Scottish Government plans to PHASE OUT Air Passenger Duty. If the initial partial cut turns out not to generate equal or greater revenue, it seems stupendously unlikely that they’ll continue with full abolition. They’ll either stop there or reverse the cut. They’ll never reach a point where it’s having a -£250m effect on the budget, because I’m reasonably sure John Swinney isn’t a galactic-class fucking moron.

    180. schrodingers cat says:

      Swinney has a current budget of £10

      regardless of who wins in 2016, the Scottish budget will be £10

      Swinney wishes to abolish APD which will reduce the budget to £9

      Kez does not wish to abolish the APD which will leave the budget at £10

      Not at £11 as she is claiming

    181. heedtracker says:

      https://notesfromnorthbritain.wordpress.com/2015/08/19/one-year-on-nearly/

      It’s always worth reading the views of what Smith Commission is actually designed to do to Scotland, Scotland’s economy and of course bring down SNP Scots.gov, by one of the authors, future Lord Adam Tomkins of Pentonville and also my Slovene girlfriend.

      Adam pulls it off, UKOK!

      . If the Scottish health service is still in the mess in 2021 that it is in now, it will be no-one but the SNP’s fault. Moreover, well before 2021 the new tax and welfare powers agreed by the Smith Commission and currently being legislated for in the Scotland Bill will be fully in force. Mr Swinney made a complete hash of the first tax devolved to him (stamp duty) and, when he takes charge of income tax in Scotland, which he soon will, his job will get a whole lot harder”

      Indeed. The palpable longing of unionists and Britnats for Scotland to fail.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-34709594

      These ghastly characters know no depths.

    182. Bob Mack says:

      @yesindyref2,

      I remember Cameron saying this.He gave it some odd name.

      Moreover he was quite emphatic that no English airport,but more specifically the northern ones would be put at risk by Scotland reducing APD.
      Wish I could remember the title he gave it.

    183. Almannysbunnet says:

      Just announced on BBC web page.
      Infected baby dies at ‘super hospital’
      “A baby dies at Scotland’s newest children’s hospital campus after becoming infected with harmful bacteria that has also infected five other infants.” Inset is a photo of the QE hospital.
      You would be forgiven for thinking these unfortunate babies had been infected at the new Queen Elizabeth hospital. This didn’t occur there and is very misleading. Just one more reason I do not trust the BBC! Who know to what depths they will plumb?

    184. Lesley-Anne says:

      Sorry Clyde I maybe wasn’t being totally clear when I said holding the seminar behind closed doors to keep the talks secret. What I meant was the range of topics secret from the UKOK media. I agree you could never keep the actual seminar secret but you could, to a degree, keep the topics discussed secret I believe.

      As far as the “A” word is concerned Clyde I was thinking specifically of what appeared to be a certain level of animosity aimed at Tommy Sheridan by some individuals last time around. I am not saying they were right or wrong to refuse to share a platform with him but it certainly did raise some questions, I believe, in some folks minds about the whole YES campaign being unified.

      Immaterial of what anyone thought about Tommy Sheridan there is one thing no one can deny and that is the passion that he put into every speech he made. Even when he spoke on his own he drew crowds. In fact some places were overflowing with folks just wanting to hear what he said.

      I firmly believe that next time Tommy should be involved on various platforms with folks from all the other organisations. I’m not saying if he had been more involved with the other groupings last time we would have won but we would certainly have had more of an impact of that I have no doubt.

      As far as I can see most of the animosity was based around two distinct areas.

      1) the animosity that arose when he split from his previous party. Some of his former “collegues” really did seem to have the knives out for him. This is not something that should been seen in public, in my view.

      2) a number of people refused to share a platform with Tommy because of his being found guilty and serving time in prison. For me all that is in the past. If we are asking the people of Scotland to look forward then those leading us in the fight for independence must also look forward NOT back.

    185. frogesque says:

      schrodingers cat says:
      3 November, 2015 at 2:54 pm
      Swinney has a current budget of £10

      regardless of who wins in 2016, the Scottish budget will be £10

      Swinney wishes to abolish APD which will reduce the budget to £9

      Kez does not wish to abolish the APD which will leave the budget at £10

      Not at £11 as she is claiming

      You know, your cat talks a lot of sense Would it like to become the next SLAB leader – the post may be even more vacant soon.

    186. Anagach says:

      Labour seem to be clinging to a trick here.

      SNP plan to phase out APD means they have to find the £250m that it brings in from somewhere else. Thats a tough call, and one suspects that is the reason its a phase out rather than a quick removal.

      But any party that plays the same game, has the same issue.

      If Kezia wants to spend that £250m by not phasing it out – she assumes that the related cut the SNP would make is still going to happen under Labour – only she has not explained where Labour would make that cut.

    187. Dcanmore says:

      Hilarious about what’s happening over at Stornoway Gazette twitter account, rogue tweets still active after 18 hours.

      https://twitter.com/Sygazette?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

      MSM has reported on it but left out the tweet about Johnston Press hiring editors to bash SNP.

      http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/stornoway-gazette-scottish-newspaper-extraordinary-6757689

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-34710335

      http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13931550._Nobody_cares_about_The_Vow___tonight_is_about_the_Stornoway_Gazette_/

      Apparently a disgruntled member of staff has changed the twitter passwords leaving the tweets active.

    188. jacksg says:

      Anyone who wants to know how the big companies like Nike brainwash their consumers should read.

      Naomi Klein’s ‘NO LOGO’ she is a canadian journalist and enviromentalist.

      http://www.naomiklein.org/main.

      🙂

    189. Clootie says:

      schrodingers cat says:

      3 November, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      Swinney has a current budget of £10

      regardless of who wins in 2016, the Scottish budget will be £10

      Swinney wishes to abolish APD which will reduce the budget to £9

      Kez does not wish to abolish the APD which will leave the budget at £10

      Not at £11 as she is claiming

      Schrodingers Cat
      One minor change I would argue is on the line “Swinney wishes to abolish APD…” ADD – “IF a £1 is generated by stimulation of tourism in Scotland by the cut”. The balance at £10 is the critical point. No cut in APD no money generated.

      Kezia doesn’t raise a penny by APD arguement but if it’s fooling people on here then she may have pulled off the trick!

    190. yesindyref2 says:

      @Anagach
      Yes, for Dugdale, not cutting APD leaves the budget exactly as it is.

      So if she wants to spend £250 million on welfare, compensating for Westminster cutting welfare for the people, then she has to take money from the rest of the budget, closing hospitals, schools, giving nurses or teachers the sack.

    191. Schrodingers cat says:

      Clootie
      Correct, but I was trying to keep it simple…….really simple

      Frogesque
      You know, your cat talks a lot of sense Would it like to become the next SLAB leader

      Thanks, but I’d rather have a skilled Job 🙂

    192. sensibledave says:

      Clootie says 2:05 pm

      You wrote: “The Troll “wedge tactic” simply won’t work here”.

      You are somewhat paranoid methinks!

      This is a new definition of “troll” that I have not come across before. To paraphrase, if I agree with you on a particular point, I am trying to drive a wedge between you and others?

      Wow! Are there crocodiles under your bed when you turn off the lights too?

    193. ClanDonald says:

      would it be easier to point out that Swinney isn’t actually planning on spending ANYTHING by cutting APD?

      Instead of raising £100 from 50 flights at £2 per flight he will raise £100 from 100 flights at £1 per flight.

      This is because cheaper travel will encourage more travel.

      Plus he’ll get the added bonus of increased taxes from twice as many tourists spending money in hotels, B&Bs, restaurants etc

      Kezia says, no, she’ll stick to 50 flights at £2 per flight = £100, just like we have right now, raising precisely £0 more than we get right now.

    194. DerekM says:

      The onions are in full attack mode the buckets of JB bullshit are flying over the fence.

      The whole thing is a big lie to sell us the line the SNP are against tax cuts for the rich.

      Now this is to force them into the trap that is the Smith crap,its a lose/lose situation PR related if they go with it then we will be punished,if they dont they will get monstered big time as the whole UK press goes after them.

      Now the SNP have one ace up their sleeve for this very situation they could put the new powers before the Scottish electorate and let us the bosses decide.

      Anybody for a referendum ?

    195. DerekM says:

      ooft correction

      The whole thing is a big lie to sell us the line the SNP are against tax rises for the rich.

      got bleeding tax cuts in my head its all i lie though and just the usual you tax more than us political guff we have seen for decades from westminster.

    196. nodrog says:

      Has anyone produced a poll since Kezia’s applause laden speech at the weekend?

    197. Lou Nisbet says:

      I see many people debating the effects of tax credit cuts but I have yet to see ANYONE discussing the disgraceful effect it will have on small business and especially small business start ups.

      Many small businesses rely on WTC to get started. The WasteMonster Tory MPs are on record as saying they “hate ‘hobby businesses'” where people work fewer hours to benefit from WTC.

      This is hypocritical in the extreme from people who have no fixed working hours, where many have stated being an MP is NOT a full time job thus justifying their three other ‘directorships’ on the side.

      Final effect – Gideon’s stupid attack on the small business quarter here will turn ‘a nation of shopkeepers’ into a nation of dole claimers. Economically illiterate does not start to describe this fool.

    198. Grouse Beater says:

      Dippydave: You are somewhat paranoid methinks!

      I never read on when a fatuous Unionist uses the antiquarian ‘methinks’.

    199. Phil Robertson says:

      “Labour’s plan to do so has two other planks. One is to avoid a planned Tory increase in the thresholds for higher tax rates. But that has the same problem as cancelling the APD cut – it doesn’t generate any MORE money”

      Ain’t necessarily so.

      The statement would only be true if there were a wages freeze. If wages go up through pay rises, promotions, incremental scales or whatever then the fiscal drag increases the take from this sector of the tax population.

      And it is not small. Over one-third of the income tax revenue comes from this group of taxpayers. So even small changes can deliver significant income.

    200. Caroline Corfield says:

      Just to clarify the impact the proposed cut might have on Northern English airports – eff all.

      Currently, there is no major airport on the North West English coast till you get to Liverpool, I don’t see them travelling up the motorway or railway at cost to take advantage of a slightly cheaper airplane ticket, since flying from Liverpool direct to somewhere is going to be cheaper it will still happen. Newcastle and what little passenger stuff now leaves Teeeside these days will be in a similar position, and since they appear to be superstitously afraid of dualling the A1 completely, its not going to make Edinburgh a new favourite airport for many folk.

      At the moment I’m far more likely to see pals flying from Newcastle coming down from Scotland and kipping in my spare room than I have done in the opposite direction.

      What it will do is hurt SE England airports, the big, annoying ones like Gatwick and Heathrow, if the north of England has to travel to them for a flight they will start to look at the costs of leaving from Glasgow and Edinburgh instead, smaller to traverse, easier to get to A74/M8 versus A1/M1/M25 kinds of easier, even the A1 looks a better option when you factor in the M25 of a morning.

      This desperate plea from Heathrow that another runway will benefit Scotland is just part of the plea they’re making here in Newcastle too. It isn’t true if more airlines start to use Scottish central belt airports for international flights, which is likely if it looks like a cheaper ticket to the consumer.

    201. Dr Jim says:

      John Swinney hasn’t accepted the Scotland bill yet, if it’s a big trap it’ll be rejected, so whatever the Dying Yelpings of the almost defunct Labour party proclaim, will be immaterial

      Even Ian Smart their biggest rabid supporter has accepted their death in his latest scribblings, so much so he’s probably going to vote Tory, so if there’s more like him third place for Kezia looks like a fair bet

      I’ll have a fiver on that

    202. Andrew McLean says:

      You may remember the channel 4 tv news program from the SNP conference about Andrew and Claire Stoddart who have been farming in East Lothian for 22 years. During this time they have invested heavily in infrastructure and buildings on their farm at Colstoun Mains, creating a profitable and well-managed business.

      The Stoddarts have been served with a notice of forced eviction by the end of November.

      If get off my land attitude pisses you off you could sign the petition!

      you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/please-stop-the-eviction-of-east-lothian-families?bucket=blast

    203. Jim McIntosh says:

      @Lou Nisbet

      Totally agree. Additionally what impact is taking £12 Billion out of the economy going to have. Remember this IS going to come directly out of the everyday economy, because this money is spent immediately in the local shops etc.

    204. Fiona says:

      Last try. Dugdale is not, so far as I have seen, claiming it will raise any extra money if she does not cut APD: she is saying revenue will be the same as now: but that will be more than SG will have if it does cut it. And it is available to spend, therefore. That is clear in Schrodinger’s post and is the point of this.

      It is true that SG assumes the cut will be offset by the increase in revenue abolition will generate. I think that is plausible, but it is by no means certain. I do NOT think it will happen instantly, however, so the problem remains. That does not make the policy wrong. But it does not support the idea that Ms Dugdale’s policy is wrong, either. That is a matter for political judgement.

      Certainly to do it Ms Dugdale must set a budget with cuts: and so must the SNP for their policy. In the longer run, SNP policy can hope to restore that budget through the growth engendered: that is the point. Ms Dugdale’s policy can’t do that. So on balance I prefer the SNP approach, though that depends on accepting the suffering of people who should not have to suffer in this way. And I am very unhappy with that, though I do not see an alternative which is viable. I am glad I do not have to make that decision. For in the longer term “we are all dead”.

      Please do not think I am trying to be awkward. I just genuinely think the OP analysis is wrong on this specific issue. Nothing I have seen so far has persuaded me otherwise.

      But I will say no more cos I do not think I have more to add.

    205. Alastair says:

      I have it sussed.
      Kezia’s is waiting till she passes GO and gets £200m.

    206. Onwards says:

      ClanDonald says:
      3 November, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      would it be easier to point out that Swinney isn’t actually planning on spending ANYTHING by cutting APD?

      Instead of raising £100 from 50 flights at £2 per flight he will raise £100 from 100 flights at £1 per flight.

      This is because cheaper travel will encourage more travel.

      Plus he’ll get the added bonus of increased taxes from twice as many tourists spending money in hotels, B&Bs, restaurants etc

      —–

      Exactly.

      Swinney isn’t just going to dish out £250m in tax cuts to the airlines unless he expects to get it back again and then some.

    207. dakk says:

      Louis Nisbet 4.25

      ‘Gideon’s stupid attack on the small business sector’

      Very good point Louis.

      And when you add the burden of stopping the ability to claim back Statutory Sick Pay due to employees, and the forthcoming occupational pension contributions requirement,then it proves the British Conservatives are anything but pro business.

      Big business cronyism,yes,but not much else.

    208. Lou Nisbet says:

      @Senlac88 says Dvelop an app

      One of the first text computer games I played was to run a kingdom. In the game you had to manage resources, food, people, transport etc. What I discovered in the game was that to keep winning you had to invest enough in shelter, clothing and food to let the people prosper.

      Those three priorities are what EVERY government should be making their first priorities. Look at the state of our country. Not enough houses, not enough clothes, not enough food. Why? Because every single government we have ever had is incompetent.

      The SNP may make a start at fixing the housing problem with 50,000 new builds but they are not providing clothing and they are not providing food. Local councils have an infuriating habit of spending thousands on ‘art installations’ then claiming poverty when it comes to caring for our elderly.

      Governments in this UK have completely lost the plot. They take care of themselves and their rich friends and everything else can go to hell – and it is. Children dying of neglect and starvetion due to sanctions by a vile, evil bunch of plutocrats should be called what it is. It is torture and murder of the worst kind. The Nazis at least gave a quick death to many in the gas chambers the Tories are STARVING people to death.

      If you have never gone hungry you cannot know what this means! I have and starvation is not something to trivialise. Remember this on Armistance day. All those hypocrites in £1000+ suits with their poppies on their lapels – by their actions starved an ex soldier to death as they will many more.

      Doesn’t it make you proud to know that ex service personnel have to depend on charity? That these self-serving hypocritical bastards can even turn up at the Cenotaph should be enough to make anyone puke.

    209. Stephen McKenzie says:

      Alastair 4:55

      I wish Michelle Mone had passed GO, she would have been Lady Mone of Old Kent Road..

    210. ClanDonald says:

      Caroline: I don’t agree, I live in the South of Scotland and we nearly always go on holiday from Manchester, Liverpool or Newcastle. It costs us about £10 more in diesel and an extra half hour to get there but we can save far more on the costs of flights.

      I know loads of people locally who do the same. probably more go south than north for flights.

      If cheaper or even comparable flights were available from Glasgow, Prestwick or Edinburgh then we would definitely fly from there.

      You’d probably find lots of people from Carlisle area doing the same.

    211. sensibledave says:

      Grouse Beater 4:41 pm

      Er Grousey, I think you have me confused with someone who gives a fig about what you think of my use of the English language.

      I note that, as usual, you have absolutely nothing, of any import, to say about anything relevant.

    212. Fiona says:

      @ Onwards.

      Thank you for the link. I had to go out and have not yet had time to read it, but am doing so now.

    213. Grouse Beater says:

      Dippydave: who gives a fig

      And I never read the crapology from people who use the 19th century expression ‘give a fig’.

    214. Lesley-Anne says:

      Lou Nisbet says:
      3 November, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      @Senlac88 says Dvelop an app

      One of the first text computer games I played was to run a kingdom. In the game you had to manage resources, food, people, transport etc. What I discovered in the game was that to keep winning you had to invest enough in shelter, clothing and food to let the people prosper.

      Jeez this is weird Lou.

      I just come back onto Wings and the first post I read is yours going on about running a kingdom. I have just bought Democracy 3 for Steam and so far I’m running at 67% in the polls and I am running a surplus to boot! 😀

      Oh in case you’re wondering the country I’m running? … well it is U.K. 😀

      Eat yer heart oot Georgie Porgie! 😀

    215. Still Positive. says:

      Re APD.

      Last year we had a family holiday in Spain during the English mid-term break, flying from Glasgow.

      My eldest son, his wife and 2 children who live in Surrey found it cheaper to fly to Glasgow, stay in the airport hotel, then fly from Glasgow with the rest of us.

      They also stayed in a hotel on the return journey before flying home. They saved a considerable amount of money even after paying for flights and hotels.

      This could possibly be another money-spinner for SG during English school holidays.

      Don’t know what the holiday companies will make of it.

    216. Paula Rose says:

      (restraint Grouse Beater restraint)

    217. sensibledave says:

      … could it be that you are unused to curbing your language when in public or when communicating electronically. Each to his own Grousey, but I don’t need to resort to profanity to make a point. I prefer to use alternative words that will not offend the sensibilities of others.

      I note, again, that you have nothing of interest to say Grousey – its a bit of a theme with you isn’t it? All bluster and absolutely no content.

    218. Maths Question says:

      Arithmetic was never my strong point but can you please clarify if APD is maintained, rather than withdrawn, does that not free up funds which could then be used to offset the propsed tax cedit cut? In your example, if the Scottish Government dont buy the £10 hat do they not then have £10 available to use on projects which they would not otherwise have had access to? Im hoping im confused…

    219. In reply to a previous post it’s funny how the lords don’t seem to mind sharing a platform with their members who have been to jail, also can anyone help me with one of the great mysteries of our time what ever happened to the 56 snp mps who went to Westminster I have not read or heard anything about them very strange on a par with the Marie Celeste ?

    220. Albaman says:

      I hope I’m wrong, but Fiona reminds me of a softer version of someone who used to post elsewhere .

    221. Legerwood says:

      At this moment in time the tax revenue from APD is not paid to the Scottish Government and won’t be until the Scotland Bill enshrining its transfer becomes an Act.

      Once APD revenue is transferred there are two possible scenarios:

      1. Block Grant plus APD = extra money to spend – so Ms Dugdale can use the extra to help mitigate tax credit cuts or SNP phase in reduction in APD tax but still have some extra income.

      2. Block Grant is paid Minus an amount equal to the APD revenue. Therefore: (block grant – x) plus x = Block grant. In other wards income stays the same. No extra cash to mitigate tax credit cuts, and any cut in APD reduces the overall income of the SNP Government which means it has to make savings elsewhere.

      Under scenario 1 Ms Dugdale would have the tax revenue from APD, BUT scenario 2 is the more likely. Westminster will give with one hand and take with the other.

      Cutting APD would eventually generate extra tax revenues from increased economic activity but would mean belt tightening in the short term.

    222. Alastair says:

      Labour to introduce carpet tax.
      Dugdale says you have to tread carefully when rolling it out but we feel we have it covered and nailed it this time.

    223. dakk says:

      Lou Nisbet

      ‘Every single government we have ever had has been incompetent’

      I think that’s a bit unfair on the SNP government who with very limited powers have done a decent job.

      They are certainly the only major party in Scotland with any ambition or vision for the country. All the others just want to go cap in hand to Westminster and be in charge of spendfing.

      Not to say they should not be subject to fair criticisms of course.

    224. Edward says:

      A bit O/T , but think it will get the hackles raised

      UK Govt proudly advertising new ‘UK’ Passport
      Funnily its annoying women as it features only two women, but seven men

      But that’s just a distraction as the passport is 100% ENGLISH!
      Those honoured in the new passport are:
      Ada Lovelace, English, born London
      Elisabeth Scott, English, born Bournemouth
      Charles Babbage, English, born Teignmouth
      John Constable, English, born East Bergholt
      William Shakespeare, English, born Stratford
      Sir Antony Gormley, English, born London
      Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, English, born Hampstead
      John Harrison, English, born Foulby, Yorkshire
      Supposedly to celebrate ‘British creativity
      It also features the London Underground, the Angel of the North and the Globe Theatre

      Apparently it does feature Edinburgh Castle somewhere
      Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing against these famous people, but for a passport that is supposed to reflect all of the UK, its piss poor!

      Better together right enough
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34710261

    225. TD says:

      Rev

      “I understand perfectly that you can’t grasp how basic arithmetic works.”

      This is not an arithmetic problem. Your argument seems to be other revenues would increase to compensate for the loss of APD and that consequently the Scottish government would not need to adjust its expenditure at all. That is not a matter of arithmetic – it is a matter of policy, speculation about future revenues and frankly guesswork.

      “Sorry to say it, but it’s raving dribble based on a whole series of mad assumptions”

      Gratuitous insult. Why don’t you try telling me which assumptions are “mad”? If the assumptions (mad though you think they are) are accepted, do you agree with the logic? If so, the disagreement becomes purely about the assumptions. Could I suggest that if you are looking for “mad” assumptions, the assumption that overall revenues would remain the same after partial or complete abolition of APD would be a better candidate?

      “Last try: the Scottish Government plans to PHASE OUT Air Passenger Duty. If the initial partial cut turns out not to generate equal or greater revenue, it seems stupendously unlikely that they’ll continue with full abolition. They’ll either stop there or reverse the cut. They’ll never reach a point where it’s having a -£250m effect on the budget, because I’m reasonably sure John Swinney isn’t a galactic-class fucking moron.”

      If APD is phased out rather than abolished in one go, the principle remains the same. I would like to know how you think Mr Swinney is going to be able to tell if any increase in other revenues is attributable to the reduction or elimination of APD. Or indeed, if there is a reduction in other revenues, will he be sure that without the APD effect, the reduction would not have been greater? Trying to attribute cause and effect to changes in taxation is like trying to nail jelly to a wall. It can’t be done, but there will be lots of speculation about it. The only thing you can be sure about here is that if you eliminate APD, you’ll get no revenue from it and if you keep it, you will get revenue from it.

      I think we should concentrate on the other arguments against Labour’s proposals. They are far better.
      – You made the point yourself that Labour’s argument for £250m from APD only covers half the cost.
      – Do we want to have APD at all? Is it socially desirable to have APD, with all its indirect effects (increased cost of holidays for ordinary people, increased cost to business, disincentive to overseas tourists etc.)

      We should concentrate on these points rather than the highly speculative assertion that we can retain revenues while cutting taxes.

    226. Ruby says:

      Albaman says:
      3 November, 2015 at 5:59 pm

      I hope I’m wrong, but Fiona reminds me of a softer version of someone who used to post elsewhere .

      Ruby replies

      Tut! Don’t be a tease. Spill!

      I have a friend called Fiona and she gets called Fifi.

    227. Grouse Beater says:

      Alastair: Labour to introduce carpet tax.

      Carpet tacks? 🙂

      Edward: the passport [images in it] is 100% ENGLISH!

      When the RL Stevenson asked the Royal Mail to issue a stamp commemorating the anniversary of his birth they were told bluntly as a novelist he was ‘not well known enough’ to be eligible.

    228. Robert Louis says:

      You know the thing about cutting Scottish APD (if it happens) is that it will directly encourage more airlines to fly direct from Scotland – Ba’s CEO Willie Walsh, is certainly a big fan. But here is the point I really cannot fathom, right now; as part of the united kingdom, many Scots AND people from N England have to fly to London for international flights, yet we are told Heathrow is overloaded.

      If we are truly (as the unionists always claim) a UNITED Kingdom., why on earth did Westminster never invest in airport infrastructure in Scotland, so instead of Scots flying to London for flights, people down south would fly to Scotland to catch international flights. This would, as it were, ‘spread the traffic load across the UK, whilst improving links to Scotland/N.England. For the USA it makes absolute sense.

      The fact is, we are NOT a united kingdom, and so Westminster talks of building even more runways in London, instead of thinking strategically.

      Go to the USA, and all international flights don’t fly from JFK, indeed most major airlines have their own ‘hub’ airports. With Delta, it’s Atlanta, with AA it’s Chicago, with Alaska, it’s Seattle, and so on.

      The simple fact is that London likes to crap on about the ‘union’, but when it comes down to it, strategic infrastructure investment will be in London or the South East.

      Scots pay all their taxes to London, yet most of the money gets spent on developing London. That is why I am so angry at Labour for opposing independence, as it is clear as day, that Scottish taxpayers are getting (and have for over 300 years) a right rotten deal.

      I think the tipping point will come soon.

    229. heedtracker says:

      Anybody for a referendum ?

      I am! I think there should be a referendum on their The Vow shyste. Its not about independence, its not an in/out UKOK question, it’s a very simple referendum question.

      Was The Vow delivered? YES or NO.

      If YES, fine.

      If NO, fcuk it off back to them, but them when is the shyste actually going to be delivered?

      Its our democracy.

    230. Bob Mack says:

      @Td,

      Sorry don’t agree.It is a matter of arithmatic.

      When John Swinney created his budget for last year.he included an 8% figure for revenues to Scotland from the UK government for air passenger duty,which was 250 million.
      This was part of the budget and utilised for expenditure in Scotland.

      Devolving APD will not increase the value of the revenue,unless you experience a massive rise in people using the services of Scottish airports.
      If you half air passenger duty you half your previous revenues by 125 million.

      This 125 million would have to be made up by an increase in passengers, or from some other source in the budget.

      Given that APD revenue of 250 million is already included in our spending just now ,how can it magically compensate for tax credits and education promises made by Dugdale?

    231. heedtracker says:

      Robert Louis says:

      Its not just air travel centered in the south of Englandshire. ALL UK trade has to go through English ports, Tilbury on the Thames? is the giant.

      Why is there not one big port in their Scotland region?

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7116682.stm

      Its entirely because Scotland is too poor, stupid, small, OR, run by SLab troughers at the great trough of Westminster?

      or both.

      They even tried to syphon off non Scots North sea oil around any Scottish terminal.

    232. Hoss Mackintosh says:

      @Edward,

      Do not worry about the “100% English passport” with folk we have never heard of – they are that famous.

      Soon we will have our own Scottish Passport and we can put whatever or whoever we want in it!

      Just we will need a lot more pages 🙂

      http://www.biographyonline.net/british/top-100-scottish.html

    233. caz-m says:

      I still think there are far too many scenarios to overcome before we could even start working out what Scotland’s budget will be in the next couple of years.

      For starters, there is the spending review, which is coming up in a couple of weeks. The outcome of that is crucial to Scotland’s budget.

      I am expecting our pocket money to be cut. Osborne has told ALL his departments to prepare for drastic cuts.

      Are YOU feeling, “Better Together”.

    234. mealer says:

      Does anyone have a link to the breakdown of the voting in the Trident debate at Holyrood today?

    235. Murray McCallum says:

      Given our power over signage, can we propose:

      1. All nuclear weapon facilities in Scotland must display “DANGER WMDs” signs.

      2. Any establishment displaying a “DANGER WMDs” must pay the annual WMD signage levy.

      3. Proposed annual WMD signage levy = £440 million.

      4. Failure to pay the WMD signage levy results in a fine.

      5. Proposed fine for failure to pay the WMD signage levy = £440 million pa until sign displayed.

      A fully costed, practical, reasonable and low admin cost plan.

    236. Bob Mack says:

      @mealer.

      97 to 17 against Trident. Jackie Baillie voted for it.

    237. Monica Worley says:

      I think you’re missing the most obvious in that they say this is the cost in 2019 (or 2020, I forget). That’s AFTER the ‘minimum wage has gone up. What’s the cost in April 2016?

    238. heedtracker says:

      http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/nov/03/snp-and-labour-msps-unite-to-vote-against-trident-renewal

      You know when you’re being taken for a UKOK mug, when you see this kind of shyste. Good old Libby Carrell and this all fine and UKOK dandy-

      “Baillie, the only Labour rebel to vote against Tuesday’s motion, insisted that abandoning Trident’s replacement would put Faslane’s future as the UK’s sole submarine base at risk and with it 13,500 highly-skilled jobs.”

      At least Jackie’s an honest liar. How very British.

    239. the penman says:

      Ah, that makes much more sense Rev – the point about the “cut APD if and only if it pays for itself” is the key bit that those of us less savvy about this stuff didn’t get.

      So, when the papers say “SNP will cut APD”, they should say “SNP will phase down/out APD if it shows that it’s paying for itself by generating equivalent revenues elsewhere”.

      That makes the argument much clearer about the £250m gap which actually isn’t a gap at all.

    240. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      In my judgement we have fannied about long enough on the Smith Commission.
      We are now lending credibilty to an anti independence device

    241. caz-m says:

      O/T

      Why is it, whenever BBC Scotland News start discussing Trident nuclear missiles, they show the same video of a helicopter flying past the side of a Vangaurd class nuclear submarine, then more shots following the sub from behind.

      Are they trying to glamorise these subs, trying to influence our vote?

      Someone has obviously produced these videos in the faint hope that Scotland will come round to accepting these expensive carriers of destruction.

    242. Edward says:

      heedtracker at 6:33 pm
      You probably noticed the map on that 2008 BBC article with the caption ‘top UK ports’, except it just shows England

      Since the article, other ports have been developed near London, such as Thamesport and now London Gateway

      The UK Government has never ever had any inclination to develop Scottish ports and infrastructure. They have talked about, but that’s all.
      I remember around the time of the Britain joining the EEC debate that Westminster talked about developing Greenock as a gateway from North America and having factories set up in the Forth valley that would produce goods for the (yet to come then) EEC market. Never happened. Instead they developed Liverpool.

      Any country worthy anything knows that in order to get their goods to a world market it must have good port facilities and road/rail infrastructure. Scotland just does not have that. It relies on either using Grangemouth for container loads or trucking down to English ports and terminals, which just adds to the cost of the products being produced.

      During the referendum there was talk of an international container port at Rosyth, developed by Babcock. But the main protagonist (and anti independence) against it was Forth Ports (owners of Tilbury by the way as well as owners of Leith and Grangemouth) https://archive.is/SDT1M
      What ever happened to that plan?

      Scotland needs better international connections to the world. At least with air services its do-able from existing airports, but will always need to be pushed, due to the constant lobbying form Heathrow.
      More long haul services from Scotland, means more reach for Scottish produce and bringing revenue into Scotland.

    243. Angra Mainyu says:

      These computer games seem to reward “leaders” with socialist leanings. I guess the game developers are too young to remember the 1970s…

      Time for a rant about naive socialists and real socialism.

      If you take the typical socialist like Tommy Sheridan and scribble down the most basic essential ingredients of what they are proposing, it would probably include the following;

      1) a commitment to full employment
      2) nationalised railways and other industries like energy
      3) a generous welfare state
      4) an NHS
      5) strong unions, legally protected, closed shops, etc.
      6) industrial policy aimed at stimulating growth

      Blah blah blah.

      The problem is that we had all that in 1970s. For those of you who weren’t available in the 1970s, understand this: just about everybody was third world poor back then. Even the toffs were poor. I’d go as far as to say 90% of the population were in dire poverty. The other 10% were paedophiles.

      It could be coincidence and I definitely detest everything Thatcher stood for, but I’d say most people became materially better off in the 1980s. And I like Tommy Sheridan and just about everything he stands for. But the 1970s were shit. I was there. Shit and boring.

    244. Proud Cybernat says:

      Whilst we’re on the subject of dishonesty.

      Another Proud Cybernat Production: ‘The Vow’ A Promise Broken

      http://tinyurl.com/p5oryrc

      Spread it far ‘n’ wide folks.

    245. Ruby says:

      Kezia needs to make things clearer and say

      I will not cut APD
      Cutting APD is a very bad idea. Cutting APD will not generating extra airport traffic, tourism income, jobs etc.
      I will use all money raised from APD to compensate for loss of tax credits.
      This money is currently being spend on Health. I will reduce the Health budget to pay tax credits.
      I will compensate any person who loses benefits due to Tory cuts even if this means cutting the Health budget further.
      I believe we are ‘Better Together’

      Albaman says:
      3 November, 2015 at 5:59 pm

      I hope I’m wrong, but Fiona reminds me of a softer version of someone who used to post elsewhere

      Ruby replies

      Tut! you are a tease. Who does it remind you of?

      My friend Fiona gets called Fifi.

    246. Sassenach says:

      “But the 1970s were shit”???

      What?? Kipper ties, flares and the Sweeney, what more could anyone want?

    247. Robert Peffers says:

      @Will Podmore says: 3 November, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      “Alex Beveridge claims that the reason people don’t agree with him is ‘300 years of brainwashing’, from which he is, mysteriously exempt.
      How do you know someone’s been brainwashed? Simple – they don’t agree with you.”

      Utter pish Podmore.

      Here are a couple of dictionary definitions of the term, “brainwashing” : –

      1 – : a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas.

      2 – : persuasion by propaganda or salesmanship.

      Thus what Mr Beveridge claims really has nothing to do with others holding opposing views but that the views held are not only opposing but quite obviously held in error.

      As to being, “Mysteriously exempt”, just like alcoholism, drug addiction or perhaps a compulsion to gamble on the horses or dogs, some people are far more genetically prone, or just far more stupid, and thus do so.

      Not only so but some can cease at any time while others find it almost impossible to desist while yet others will not only fail to stop but idiotically attempt to justify and rationalise their behaviour. Thing is the non-addicted or non-brainwashed can clearly see the truth.

      In your case anyone, not brainwashed by the far more than 300 years of southern Establishment brainwashing, can not only identify the obvious lies you believe but can prove you believe the lies.

      You quite clearly are now in the state where you are attempting to justify the lies you believe but know in your heart they are wrongly held beliefs.

    248. heedtracker says:

      Edward says:
      3 November, 2015 at 6:59 pm
      heedtracker at 6:33 pm
      You probably noticed the map on that 2008 BBC article with the caption ‘top UK ports’, except it just shows England

      Indeed. Its actually horrific they way they have pumped so much Scottish money and credit into developing these giant infrastructure projects in England, to the complete exclusion of Scotland.

      This enormous investment in England is continuing as normal and why not. All countries do exactly the same if they can and Scotland continues to be treated as the fractious scrounger status region we all voted to continue last year.

      Beats the UKOK shit out of me why though.

    249. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      3″ Clover leaf lapels on a burgundy 3 piece suit, Sassenach.

    250. Fiona says:

      @ Onwards

      Ok. I have focussed on Prof Kay’s contribution because that is what you have raised, I think.

      First thing I notice is that the description of what is raised is less than clear where it says

      taxes raised in Scotland add up to about £48 billion, including £10.9 billion in income tax and £9.3 billion in VAT,which account for about 20% of the total,

      It reads as if IT and VAT raise about 20% between them: but presumably he meant each, as that is closer to the truth. No biggie, it just puzzled me on first reading.

      He correctly says that the prime issue will be IT. But that is because VAT is not devolved, not because IT is more important. The omission is one of the truly terrible things about the proposed settlement, because VAT is regressive and it undermines what one might try to do with IT. It is a major reason for independence, in itself. But it is not directly relevant to this discussion so I will not pursue it

      He notes that in fact the tax take from higher earners in Scotland is lower than it is in rUK, and that is no surprise given the centralised nature of the state. Curiously he then concentrates on how much is raised by the higher rates, by discussing the amount which would be lost if those rates were abolished. He says it is “only” 20% of revenue, ie 2.9 billion. I am not sure why he does this, but there we are. His total of £150 billion is £5 billion short of what shows in his breakdown, but presumably a few billion here or there is not significant in his world

      What is at issue, it seems to me, is that together both groups of higher rates tax payers contribute around 65% of the total income tax take: and the top rate contributors pay 27%. The latter are the 18000 people who earn more than £150,000 a year. Raising the rate to 50% would raise £100 m he says; though I make it £145m on his figs (sums not my strong point, so could be wrong). It isn’t chicken feed in my world. It is more than would be lost if APD was halved, as he notes. So that would help resolve the other dilemma we have been discussing, arguably.

      We then move into the realm of fantasy: so I can play too. According to Prof Kay he is “willing to bet” that most people who pay the highest rate also have homes outside Scotland. Maybe. I know quite a few people who have homes outside Scotland – generally a flat in Spain or a gites in France or a cottage in Ireland. I don’t know any who have second homes in rUK though: might just be my circle. They do not, however, pay tax in those countries. That is because they don’t live there. It is not because they pay less here, so far as I can determine. Rather they appear to believe they should pay where they live. Course my friends are not very high earners. In Ireland the standard rate is 20% up to around £33,000 and they pay 40% on income above that. So for very high earners, which is who Prof Kay is discussing, they would pay 20% more between £33,000 and £42,000: which is say £1800: but for anything over £150,000 they would pay 5% less. On £200,000 a year you are winning: yet here they are in the UK despite a difference similar to that which he is considering, were Scotland to raise the highest rate to 50%. Why would they prefer to move to rUK because of a tax advantage, yet not to Ireland? Could be many reasons, but this man is not telling us what he perceives to be the difference. He just assumes it is there. I suspect he believes that we are all British, and not Irish, so would not feel the same about an Irish move. And for some he will be right. But that is not economics, it is psychology. Is he qualified to make such judgments? I think he is guessing on the basis of his own views. Could easily be wrong.

      I certainly agree that rUK would and should not pay increased consequentials if the shortfall arises from tax changes decided here. I just don’t agree it is very likely to arise. His further analysis is predicated on those assumptions and so I do not propose to discuss them further, since they make no sense to me.

    251. caz-m says:

      Jackie Baillie and her 13,500 job losses.

      We are talking about scrapping nuclear weapons Jackie.

      Vanguard class subs are the subs that carry the nuclear missiles.

      There are four Vanguard subs. There is only ever ONE of these Vanguard class subs sitting at Faslane. The other three Vanguard subs are elsewhere.

      Very rarely would you have two Vanguard subs docked in the same area.

      So Jackie, I’ll ask you again, “If we scrap Trident, how will we lose 13,000 jobs at FASLANE?”

      It doesn’t take 13,500 maintenance personnel to work on ONE Vanguard sub.

    252. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “We should concentrate on these points rather than the highly speculative assertion that we can retain revenues while cutting taxes.”

      I’ve made no such assertion, and since you clearly can’t read any better than you can count, I’m out.

    253. TD says:

      Bob Mack

      You assert that the problem is one of arithmetic but then go on to put forward a logical argument. I don’t agree with your logic, but you do not put forward an arithmetic argument. No amount of refining the calculations will shed any light on this topic – instead we need to get the basic logic right.

      The Labour position is simple – if the government scraps APD, it will lose £250m. Therefore if the government (a future thankfully hypothetical Labour government) cancels the decision to scrap APD, the government will then be £250m a year better off than it would have been if the APD cancellation had gone ahead. Therefore this £250m will be available to go towards the mitigation of tax credit cuts.

      With some trepidation I paraphrase the Rev’s argument – scrapping APD will perhaps / perhaps not have an impact on overall revenues. If there is no impact on overall revenues, then not scrapping APD (or reintroducing it) will not raise any revenue so using APD revenue to finance tax credit cut mitigation will not work.

      No doubt the Rev will say I have misrepresented his point, but of these two alternatives, on this point only, I think the Labour logic is better. However, they lose on the other matters – i.e. they still haven’t covered the cost and APD is probably bad news anyway for other reasons.

    254. Fiona says:

      @ Robert Louis

      I agree. The “Hub” model for air traffic ensures that London gets a lot of revenue and everywhere else loses out. It is by design, and as others have said, it also applies to shipping and to other large scale infrastructure

      That is one reason for agreeing that scrapping APD will work as the SNP predict, in fact.

      It is also one of the reasons why regions and countries far from London are poorer: it is a consequence of being in this union, and we can change that

    255. Fiona says:

      @ Albaman

      Why not just voice your suspicions openly? Perhaps I am who you suspect I am. I will certainly be open about it if so. I do not post under many names: Fiona, or Fiona Kabuki. Don’t think I have others and I don’t say what I don’t believe no matter where I post. If I have forgotten another name (which might have happened if I posted somewhere my names were taken) I have forgotten. Remind me if that has happened.

      And do let me know what you object to, for you seem to have some problem I am not aware of

    256. Bob Mack says:

      @Td,

      You are missing the point..The 250 million is already included in the budget. If you scrap APD we will be 250 million short, which will have to be made up some other way.

      To repeat,we already use that money every year

      The money is already devolved by grant,but the power to vary the rate is what they are offering.

    257. Ruby says:

      What causes this site to be so slow?

    258. dakk says:

      ‘highly speculative assertion that we can retain revenues while cutting taxes’

      I’m out as well.

      Look ah just want tae go tae Benidorm for under a hunder quid,that’s the main thing.

      Does that make me a bad bastard ?

    259. Ruby says:

      If people make mile long posts does that slow things up?

    260. K1 says:

      Off topic.

      I wis impressed to ‘feel’ your beating heart Indyref2 in expressing yer disdain for the unfair moderation on that Herald article…yer such an even keeled and inordinately rational fella, made me smile tae see yer blood bile. 🙂

      I too tend to swear when passionately frustrated and angry, better oot than in, I say.

    261. Robert Peffers says:

      @TD says: 3 November, 2015 at 2:12 pm:

      “I’m not sure why this is proving so difficult, but please understand that a few of us don’t agree with you on this specific point, …”

      Ouch!

      I’ve been doing my best to stay out of this one but here’s my own take on it.

      APD is a tax levied by the Establishment and the proceeds go directly into the Establishment’s coffers.
      None of it comes back to Scotland.

      When the SG gets to collect it the cash will go towards the SG’s Block Grant but Barnett Consequentials will then remove the equivalent sum from the SG Block Grant and –
      None of it comes back to Scotland.

      If the SG gets to control the APD tax and decides to abolish it then –
      None of it comes back to Scotland.
      But there are also no Barnett Consequentials and thus the Block Grant is not cut in either case.

      The advantage, though, is that Scotland is a far more attractive place for airlines to do business without APD and it should result in an increase in not only airport activity but in both business and tourist activity and the Barnett Consequential thingy insures there is actually no overall difference in the Scottish Block grant one way or the other.

      If I’ve got that all wrong I’m sure someone will be along soon to correct me.

      Problem is that even if I’ve got it right it is probable someone will still be along in a minute to correct me.

      Oooph! I wish I’d never bothered!

    262. K1 says:

      Askimet Ruby…the comment postings have been slower for the past couple of years, due to an ongoing DDOS attack on Wings Stu tightened up the filters at that time…but recently he had a big overhaul and the comments started to appear closer to the time of posting, rather than delayed up to 20 minutes or so.

      It also could be a lot of baying unionists are attempting to post, but every new poster had to go through moderation period.

      Don’t think length of comments matters, links can be problematic though…if the http isn’t chopped at the front of you tube posts for example, it won’t get through.

    263. Jim McIntosh says:

      @Td
      “if the SG scrap APD they will lose £250M”

      Sorry I think you’re wrong. As I understand it APD will be reduced on a sliding scale, with the extra income from increased passenger traffic offsetting the drop in APD. Therefore the SG will have the same money every year. It will drop to zero when the extra cash generated reaches the amount we receive from APD, currently £250M.

      There is no extra money for Dugdale to spend.

    264. Fiona says:

      @ Robert Peffer. This is from another part of Onwards’ link

      Air Passenger Duty will also become the responsibility of the Scottish Government. This is expected to raise about £455 million. The Scottish Government will be able to vary this duty or even abolish it, but if it cuts the duty, it will have to find the revenue elsewhere – and reimburse the UK Government accordingly.

      I do not really understand what it means, but perhaps you can shed some light?

    265. bugsbunny says:

      Had a look at the headlines of Daily Record at the Spar Shop in Dalrymple. Didn’t read more than that. Can I confirm that the Record is suggesting that the vow is delivered and hinting it is now up to Nicola to make full use of it? It had a picture of her on the front, the cheeky bastards.

      Stephen.

    266. galamcennalath says:

      How about this as a test of Labour’s new found commitment to Scottish democracy.

      The SG and the opposition ie. Labour, jointly threaten a referendum on the housing of Trident in Scotland if WM passes renewal.

      The results of a referendum are hard to ignore. (Tell us about it!)

    267. dakk says:

      Heedtracker 6.33

      ‘All UK trade has to go through English ports, Tilbury on the Thames is the giant’

      Well they built us Faslane,and Trident.

      Mair djae waant ?

    268. Bob Mack says:

      Rev,

      Could you please explain to people on this site that we already get a population share of APD revenues from Westminster. They may not be an accurate amount, but nonetheless we already use this money.
      IT IS IN OUR BUDGET EVERY YEAR. THUS IT IS NOT NEW!!!!!!

    269. Albaman says:

      Ruby,
      I’ll feed the rope out, and await the result.

    270. StevieMcB says:

      OT
      fascinating livestream
      livestream.com/IndependenceLive/TalkingHeads7

    271. Robert Peffers says:

      @Bob Mack says: 3 November, 2015 at 2:29 pm:

      ” … Perhaps there is one thing we are forgetting.
      Cameron has already pledged to assist Northern English airports if Scotland does cut APD.”

      It is still win/win for Scotland, Bob.

      If Hameron does compensate the northern Airports it will indeed reduce Scotland’s advantage as a cheaper place for airlines to use but it will also actually reduce the UK treasury tax take.

      Not only that but it will reduce Heathrow’s business as airlines now fly to Heathrow and transfer both passengers and cargo for other UK, including North English destinations.

      It may even cause friction from Heathrow and London as they stand to lose business to northern airports. The higher imposition of the tax on Scottish airports is directly business away from Scotland to London.

    272. heedtracker says:

      Well they built us Faslane,and Trident.

      Mair djae waant ?

      To lose the referendum to red tory spivs and shysters, then be ruled by them in Holyrood for ever and ever under the endless bullshiters at BBC Scotland and dudes like this

      Blair McDougall ?@blairmcdougall 35m35 minutes ago
      .@ScotlandsFuture @GarethSBrown @davies42g I think people will prefer £1300 on their tax credits than £10 off a holiday (they can’t afford).

      Long to reign over us.

    273. Fiona says:

      @ Bob Mack

      I understand that and so, I think, do we all. That is not the point.

    274. Jamie says:

      I get the impression, and Dugdale has already said her self that they do not expect to win power or even get close to power any time soon in Scotland so the only plan they can have is damage limitation or indeed damage the reputation of the SNP by making pie in the sky policy without any fund reasonable fund raising proposals to back it up.

    275. dakk says:

      Heedtracker

      ‘Long to reign over us’

      Aye.

      Wha’s like us ?

    276. Iain More says:

      No sign of Davy the troll today? Is he self flagellating over a pic of Jackie Baillie since she voted to renew Trident?

    277. Robert Peffers says:

      @Anagach says: 3 November, 2015 at 3:09 pm

      “SNP plan to phase out APD means they have to find the £250m that it brings in from somewhere else.”

      No it doesn’t, Anagach. You are missing the point.

      Scotland doesn’t get the cash from APD just now as it goes directly into the treasury. Scotland’s present income is the Block Grant and that is set only by the Barnett Formula.

      Upon Scotland gaining the, “powers to control APD”, Scotland still gets no income from APD as the Establishment applies Barnett Consequentials and reduces the Block Grant by whatever level the SG cares to set APD at. That leaves the Scottish income exactly where it was but Scotland has to set up a tax collecting organisation so loses income that way.

      In effect no matter what APD is Scotland gains nothing in direct revenue but by NOT collecting it there are no Barnett Consequentials and no need to set up a collecting agency but there would be gains as our airports would be cheaper to use giving a business advantage and attracting business.

      The point is that if Scotland was going to gain from any change in APD the Block Grant would be reduced to cancel it out.

    278. Petra says:

      @ Proud Cybernat at 7:09pm

      I just watched the video ‘The Vow’ A Promise Broken and well as soon as I saw Alex Salmond’s face it brought it all back to me along with the tears. I was absolutely heartbroken when we lost …… catatonic for three days …… so God knows how he felt after fighting for so long and coming so close.

      Great video PC. Another for the archive and a reminder that we’ll not put up with this situation in Scotland and that we’ll fight too, to the bitter end.

    279. TD says:

      Bob Mack at 7:43

      “@Td,

      You are missing the point..The 250 million is already included in the budget. If you scrap APD we will be 250 million short, which will have to be made up some other way.”

      I think that is the very point I have been making. It is others who are suggesting you can scrap APD and still generate the same revenues. I don’t know if this is true and neither does anyone else. But I do know that if we continue with APD we will continue to get revenue from it. That’s not to say this is what we should do.

    280. Robert Louis says:

      Dave McEwan Hill at 6:56 pm said;

      “In my judgement we have fannied about long enough on the Smith Commission.
      We are now lending credibilty to an anti independence device”

      I totally, totally agree. It is high time the SNP stopped being so nice about such things. They should be absolutely raging about how what was promised has NOT been delivered and never will.

      In every single interview, they must make it clear as day, that Smith is nonsense, and so is the Scotland bill. These supposed ‘powers’ are a freaking bad joke. The SNP need to stop being so ‘diplomatic about such things.

      No sane government anywhere would even think for one second about whether to adopt them. The Scotland bill needs rejected, or I do fear it will be used on a daily basis to literally whip the SNP and Scottish Government. Make no mistake, that is EXACTLY what it is designed for.

      It is not about powers, rather it is a fiscal trap.

    281. heedtracker says:

      Aye.

      Wha’s like us ?

      Whoever it is the great British Broadcasters say we are, usually murderous drunks, junkies and bums on the take, too small, stupid and poor but easily led by SNP who wont want stop lying to us about what Scotland could be, without great British Broadcasters telling us… etc etc.

      Or maybe its all true. We really are shite. Time and democracy will tell.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-34711263

    282. Kennedy says:

      If ScotGov want to reject the new Scotland Bill they should hold a referendum. If we reject the new Scotland Bill then the ScotGov are blameless.

      Would that be a solution?

    283. skozra says:

      “Lou Nisbet says:
      3 November, 2015 at 5:07 pm
      @Senlac88 says Dvelop an app

      One of the first text computer games I played was to run a kingdom. In the game you had to manage resources, food, people, transport etc. ”

      That sounds remarkably like the game “Kingdom” for the BBC Micro Model B (around 1981) from its accompanying “Welcome” cassette pack. Good game, good times !

    284. dakk says:

      ‘Or maybe it’s all true.We really are shite’

      Well around half the populace certainly are 🙂

    285. Free Scotland says:

      When the main woman was Johann Lamont, we thought it couldn’t get any worse, but it did: they made Jim Murphy the main man. At that point, we thought Murphy’s crassness was way down there in a league of its own. But no, along came Kez and made Murphy look like a potential member of Mensa. If this trend continues, labour will either die a natural death or seek a merger with Alan “Howling Laud” Hope’s OMRLP.

    286. heedtracker says:

      dakk says:
      3 November, 2015 at 9:49 pm
      ‘Or maybe it’s all true.We really are shite’

      Well around half the populace certainly are

      If red tory SLabour BBC Scotchland gits do rise up and take back what’s rightfully theirs next May, this is still really funny.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Slu1OuykMIk

      Our imperial masters do have equivalents too.

    287. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I will use all money raised from APD to compensate for loss of tax credits.”

      NO. MONEY. AT. ALL. IS. RAISED. BY. NOT. CUTTING. APD.

    288. Tam Jardine says:

      heedtracker

      What a strange article on the BBC website- reading the headline you would be forgiven for thinking the SNHS was performing abysmally but if you dig further into it, it turns out they have only gone and hit their target for the third month in a row.

      And that cybernat general tells us that compared to the labour run NHS in Wales the performance according to this key indicator is impressive.

      No room for complacency (for after all, 12 hours is too long for anyone to wait in A&E) but the BBC reporting is wierd. Its almost as if they want to give people the wrong impression of the state of the SNHS? But that can’t be because they have a charter and are impartial, the gold standard of journalism we are told.

      Maybe we on Wings could develop some impartiality targets for the BBC. Percentage of stories on their website on a given month without a significant political agenda being pushed would be a start.

      Re Kingdom- I recall allocating manpower to work on the dam, plant rice and (I think) defend the Kingdom from attack. Compelling stuff. There was no fourth allocation of manpower and resources to service all the rich residents of the kingdom and the corporations and in that sense it seemed like a kind of communist utopia if you ignore the monarchy.

      I would like to see Jackie Baillie play this game. I fear pouring resources into rice production and defence of the village from foreigners would result in yearly flooding and massive loss of life.

    289. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Arithmetic was never my strong point but can you please clarify if APD is maintained, rather than withdrawn, does that not free up funds which could then be used to offset the propsed tax cedit cut? In your example, if the Scottish Government dont buy the £10 hat do they not then have £10 available to use on projects which they would not otherwise have had access to? Im hoping im confused…”

      You people are trolling me, right?

    290. Tam Jardine says:

      Rev Stu

      There is a great piece on Wings that illustrates your point beautifully:

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/a-problem-of-dishonesty/

    291. Robert Peffers says:

      @Phil Robertson says: 3 November, 2015 at 4:42 pm:

      … And it is not small. Over one-third of the income tax revenue comes from this group of taxpayers. So even small changes can deliver significant income.”

      All forms of direct taxation are now of minor importance, Phil. As the main tax take has long been by indirect taxation. Which was brilliantly illustrated when the Tories regained power at Westminster.

      Their first move was to immediately increase the rate of the main indirect tax – VAT. Their next was to lower the top direct tax rate while also bringing more items under the increased indirect tax rate. Their claim being it was to reverse the national debt.

      Indirect taxation has long been the main tax in the UK and is directly the reason the gap between the rich and the poor has gone on increasing even throughout the financial crisis and austerity measures.

      There can be no imposed austerity cut upon those who continue to more than double their wealth and that is the statistic as applied to those on the top rate of tax.

      In other words even in the austerity cuts the poor are subsidising the rich.

      For every malnourished child in austerity UK there is a top tax rate person getting richer at that child’s expense.
      The top rate taxpayers are stealing the food from poor children and are proud to do so while tagging the working poor, “Idle benefit cheats”.

      The poor, old sick and disabled are being killed off to make rich people ever richer.

    292. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “With some trepidation I paraphrase the Rev’s argument – scrapping APD will perhaps / perhaps not have an impact on overall revenues. If there is no impact on overall revenues, then not scrapping APD (or reintroducing it) will not raise any revenue so using APD revenue to finance tax credit cut mitigation will not work.”

      No. That’s NOT my fucking argument. Whether cancelling APD will or won’t generate extra revenue overall is not the question here, because we’ll only find that out if the SNP are in power, at which point it’ll be John Swinney’s problem/victory.

      For Dugdale to implement her tax-credits plan, LABOUR have to be in power, and that’ll mean APD hasn’t been cancelled. So she’ll have EXACTLY THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT’S IN THE BUDGET NOW, except she’ll have £500m more stuff in extra obligations that she has to fund with it. So she’ll have to find that money somewhere else – cuts or major tax rises.

      Jesus Christ, why is this so hard?

    293. K1 says:

      Tam…whits it come tae when you have to refer Wings to Wings…love this place! 🙂

    294. Angra Mainyu says:

      At last people are questioning the point in taking part in the Smith commission etc. Right now, though, we have to hope the SNP are too but for tactical reasons are playing along.

      The SNP has a lot more power to influence things right now than some might care to admit.
      I guarantee you the smug little pansies in the cabinet will bottle it if we stand up to them.

    295. Onwards says:

      @Fiona

      ..I certainly agree that rUK would and should not pay increased consequentials if the shortfall arises from tax changes decided here. I just don’t agree it is very likely to arise. His further analysis is predicated on those assumptions..
      —-

      I found another article by the same guy that mentions the tip-over point as losing 1000-2000 of the 18,000 higher rate taxpayers.

      http://www.johnkay.com/2014/12/03/income-tax-in-scotland-can-only-go-up-if-new-powers-are-exercised

      There is naturally an element of guesswork involved, and no-one will know until it actually happens.

      But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that Scotland will lose a certain percentage of these higher rate taxpayers.
      Whether it is 10% remains to be seen. I fear that could turn out to be a small estimate. It doesn’t even have to be that many if the ones who relocate are a handful of the very wealthiest taxpayers – where the potential ‘savings’ would of course be higher.

      And I think is is reasonable to assume that any millionaires who do move their tax address are most likely to register in England where they may already own a property.

      In fact HMRC will soon be putting out a letter to taxpayers in Scotland which will helpfully advise them on how to report a change in address:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/11956361/Taxman-targeting-wealthy-Scots-planning-English-move.html

      Scottish Taxpayers will be identified mainly by their place of residence and not place of work.
      So the situation could end up like the offshore workers who make sure they are outside the UK for 6 months and a day.
      Except it is going to be far easier to game the system.
      Who is going to actually count the days that someone is living in their house in Edinburgh or in London?

      Now this is all estimated on a mere address change.

      – It doesn’t factor in people who actually do move away – then we also lose their spending power and possibly their companies.

      – It doesn’t factor in wealthy people who are discouraged from moving to Scotland, or investing in Scotland.

      – It doesn’t factor in people who rearrange their tax affairs so that income is deferred or kept in their business.

      I wish I shared your faith in the altruistic nature of the wealthiest people in Scotland.

      The reality is that with a 50p tax rate, Scotland will effectively be handing money to England on a silver platter.

    296. Phil Robertson says:

      Robert Peffers
      “All forms of direct taxation are now of minor importance, Phil.”

      Really? Net income tax receipts in 2014 were in excess of £160B. One-third of that is over £50B. You may see that as “of minor importance” but I suspect that you are in a minority there.

      VAT receipts for the same year were £111B.

    297. TD says:

      Rev

      Getting all shouty will not win the argument. I have treated you respectfully throughout and I would appreciate it if you could do the same for me.

      I could type in block capitals that under Labour’s proposals the government would be £250 million per annum better off than they would be if APD is scrapped, utter a profanity and ask why this is so hard, but I’m not going to do that.

    298. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Typing about exporting goods directly from Scottish ports.

      This is a quote from the Herald article I’ve archived and linked to below. The story was published in April 1993. It is from before the port in Dundee was taken over by Forth Ports.

      ” There has been considerable speculation in shipping circles as to which Scottish eastern port would introduce a regular roll-on-roll-off ferry service to Europe.

      Last year Dundee spent £350,000 in upgrading their existing ro-ro facility which at present is used on a one-off basis by a variety of customers including the army.

      Captain Watson admitted: ”We are looking very carefully at roll-on-roll-off. We had a service in 1985 but it was ill-conceived. We will get it right this time or we won’t do it at all.”

      He recognised that a large proportion of Scotland’s exports leave through English ports, saying: ”We are aware of the opportunities but the risks are high.”
      However he did admit: ”Yes, we have been in contact with vessel operators,” but he would not be drawn on possible links, other than to say: ”Southern Baltic ports, Germany, Belgium, and Holland can all be reached within, say, 20 hours.”

      Later this year, after July 25, the Dundee Port Authority could be required by the Secretary of State for Scotland, Ian Lang, to produce a scheme for the privatisation of the port which is at present a trust port. “

      Here’s another quote from it:-

      ” Another major niche market identified by the authority was timber products, and their foresight bore fruit when Norske Skog, the Norwegian company, decided to consolidate their imports into Britain through two ports — Tilbury in the south and Dundee in the north.

      At this point Captain Watson showed some signs of irritation when he recalled a recent consultant’s report which suggested that there was no east coast port capable of handling timber products.
      He said: ”We handle between 70-80,000 tonnes of newsprint annually and the pulp trade is a growth market with ships from Portugal, Canada, and Scandinavian countries unloading here.” “

      That Ro-Ro facility is still in-situ but, in the years since Forth Ports took over the management of the port, has been shamefully under-promoted thus underused.

      Perchance Forth Ports primary interests lie a number of miles from Dundee?

      Here’s the link:-

      https://archive.is/3S3oD

    299. K1 says:

      It’s Dugdale that said raising the tax rate of 45p to 50p that may/may not increase revenues re reversing Tax Credit cuts:

      https://www.holyrood.com/articles/inside-politics/kezia-dugdale-her-approach-leadership

      She also said this regarding the APD, from atl:

      ‘Dugdale says that £250m will come from not implementing the Scottish Government’s plan to phase out Air Passenger Duty. But clearly – really incredibly clearly – that won’t generate an EXTRA £250m, it’ll just avoid LOSING £250m from the budget.’

      I think Stu is losing the will to live because people seem to think the APD is relevant to the point he is making atl.

      Part of the point he is making is that neither of these two routes are feasible in terms of generating these monies, and that Dugdale/Labour are in essence ‘at it’ by even suggesting that these methods are viable to raise the required income that would be needed to offset the Tax credit cuts.

      The point is there is a gaping hole in Labour’s costings to mitigate the Tax credit cuts. The APD has nothing to do with this.

      If Dugdale/Labour were really interested in mitigating the Tax credit cuts, which is a laudable aim in itself. Then, they would have produced a fully costed and fully conceptualised route to ensure the Scottish electorate was informed of the genuine possibility of this occurring.

      As it is, we all know this is an ‘electioneering’ vehicle, to bring back some of those who voted Yes, and joined the SNP back into the Labour fold.

      What Stu has done is outline the very obvious ‘deception’ that is underway by showing that the sums do not ‘add up’. It’s ‘tricky’ what they are doing. It’s the ‘disingenuousness’ (is that even a word) of it all, suggesting these two routes are viable that is the point, imo, that he is making.

      ***bites nails whilst awaiting ‘banging ma heid even harder on the table’***

    300. Paula Rose says:

      Rev dear – could we have a pic of the visiting kitten resting in your vicinity in order to restore calm and tranquility?

    301. Angra Mainyu says:

      Brian Doonthetoon, although I’m happy to be considered an idiot — ask around — I think I understand what you’re hinting at. But to be clear, Forth Ports are possibly underutilising Dundee because they want the business to go elsewhere… Where exactly?

    302. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Angra Mainyu.

      Leith? Tilbury? Forth Ports do NOT have a good PR in Dundee…

    303. Cadogan Enright says:

      @ sinky 8.31Best post in a long day of posts, rivalled by Graham H at 9.04

      But Heedtraker at 11.20 and a few others also allying it with direct action

      Keep it up guys

      And it’s cool to link an on-line subscription to their website – in this way I still have every one they ever published

    304. ClanDonald says:

      I’m going to have a final attempt as to why Swinney’s APD tax cut won’t mean a spare £250m for Kezia to spend:

      If I get an admin job I have a budget of £1000 to spend. If Kezia gets the job she has £1000 to spend. The budget must be used to buy a laptop, a first aid kit a burglar alarm and a smoke alarm.

      If I get the job I propose spending £100 of my budget on employing a fundraiser. This means my budget is now £900 but no worries, my fundraiser brings in £100 in the first week. I have my original budget of £1000 back and can still afford all my original spending plans.

      Kez says if she gets the job she’ll cut out the fundraiser post. So she still has £1000 to spend on the original budget items. But she also says she wants to spend an additional £100 on heating. This means she needs £1100, where is the extra £100 coming from?

      The crucial thing is the extra £100 that the fundraiser brings in: it means that Swinney isn’t actually planning on spending anything on this tax cut as it will raise extra revenues to pay for itself. And if Kezia cuts it out, there still won’t be anything to spare.

      If you still insist that it does, please don’t say it out loud to anyone or put it in writing on this thread. If you do people will assume you’re a bit thick.

    305. Fiona says:

      @ Onwards. Thanks again for the link

      I notice he opens with the assertion that Scotland is subsidised by rUK at present. I think that gives you a clue as to how seriously to take him. He follows up by saying that 18000 people “suffer” the highest rate: again a clue to where he is coming from. He is a fairly mainstream economist, I gather, and he was a director of the IFS, which body promoted the “enormous black hole in an indpendent Scotland’s finances. I don’t believe in that either, for reasons long discussed on this board.

      The rest is just the same as the other article, I think

      I do not think that the very wealthy are altruistic: I just believe they are probably human. They have not moved to Ireland, and I do not think that is because they are particularly loyal. In fact I think the very rich have no national loyalties, for the most part. But they do have ties which are not monetary: like all the rest of us. And they have sufficient that money is not such a great consideration in their scheme of things, either

      With the caveat that your other link comes from the Telegraph and may also be scaremongering (though it is a bit subtle for them if it is) the thrust of the article is basically that such folk will not move: but may pretend to. They promise compliance activity to prevent that. So they don’t seem to disagree with my basic point.

      We cannot resolve this, however. It primarily depends on whether you believe in homo economicus or not. I don’t. It seems that you do. We will just have to wait and see what happens if the power is used.

    306. Fiona says:

      @ Clan Donald

      I do not think anyone disagrees with your post at all. I certainly don’t and it seems that I have not been clear in expressing my position if you believe that is an answer to it.

      You get your admin job, and you have £1000 to spend. You use £100 to employ your fundraiser, in the belief that he will raise at least that £100 each year of his employment. And that may well turn out to be true. But it may not.

      You are revenue constrained in a way that a govt with a sovereign currency is not. You are, in fact, like a household. unlike such a government. You may construct your budget on the assumption your fundraiser will raise the shortfall: but if he does not you are in trouble. So a prudent position would be to set your budget at £900 at the outset, since that is what you actually have to spend. If and when he does raise it, then you can revise. But the predicted £100 is notional until he raises it. It is not real money yet

      Kezia gets the job and does not employ the fundraiser. But she. too, sets a £900 budget for the burglar alarm etc: and she has £100 which you do not have (yet) as well. So she spends it on TC.

      Up till this year you were budgeting for the £1000 you actually get and spending it all. It follows that if your budget is prudently set at the guaranteed £900 you must make cuts. Those cuts will hopefully be unnecessary, ideally this year, more realistically perhaps next year. But you cannot be sure.

      Ms Dugdale must also make exactly the same cuts, because she wishes to spend that same £100 in TC rather than a fund raiser: but it is exactly the same money.

      The difference is that she has no prospect whatsoever of increasing her revenue in the long term, and that does not seem sensible

      On the other hand, the people who are to bear the TC cuts will not have to do that. So it is really a question of what your priorities are: bearing other people’s pain from uncertain future gain is never an enviable position to be in.

      Course that is simplistic, since the Scottish government will have borrowing powers as well: but I have not seen any suggestion that SNP intend to borrow to maintain spending till increased revenue arrives. Perhaps they do intend to do that on the basis that the increased revenue will materialise

      Kezia is unlikely to do that because the way she intends to use that same money will not result in increased revenue in the same way: though maintaining the income of the poor does maintain current demand which also helps business and employment to some extent. Cutting those benefits will reduce demand and that has costs as well. I can’t begin to guess how those factors interact, perhaps someone else knows

      So there you are. I am a bit thick, by your lights. So be it.

    307. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Getting all shouty will not win the argument. I have treated you respectfully throughout and I would appreciate it if you could do the same for me.”

      I actually find it incredibly rude and disrespectful to be this thick. I’ve explained it about three different ways in the simplest terms possible. You don’t understand because you don’t want to. I’m busy and I resent people wasting my time.

    308. Paula Rose says:

      So where’s my nice picture of a special kitten?

    309. lawrence says:

      This on top of the £1bn promised by her and Mr J Murphy back in May for the NHS in Scotland, if memory serves me correctly the saving from the APD was to be spent on education but that is now to be found by raising the taxes of the wealth a strategy that has been proved in the past by Westminster to actual reduce tax receipts, it wont be the wealthy that pay it will be those on middle incomes, the teachers and doctors that will end up paying.

    310. Fiona says:

      @ lawrence

      Where are you finding the evidence for your claim that raising tax on the wealthy reduces tax receipts? Westminster has claimed this but it is not true according to Full Fact

      https://fullfact.org/articles/top_rate_tax_50p_Treasury_revenue-27956

      The last rise produced less than predicted, but avoidance was particularly easy in that instance because the increase was in place for such a short time that it was easy to move income from one year to another

      Evidence for Laffer is patchy at best, and its proponent are a little slippery when their theory is challenged. The proposition is really one of those “proverb” type things: by which I mean it is superficially plausible and so easy to believe. But contradictory proverbs are equally plausible, so that kind of thing does not help much. You have to look at the evidence and that is never easy in economics, where isolating relevant variables often depends on unspoken assumptions: and where linear cause and effect are hardly to be expected.

      In my reading it is clear that Laffer proponents tend to start out saying that the tipping point of the curve is known. But when asked to demonstrate that they are apt to retreat to a weaker claim: that there is such a point but we don’t know where it is. That tells us precisely nothing about what tax rates should be: but then this is broadly an pseudo scientific justification for what their ideology tells them is desirable. Like a lot of economics it is really politics in a fancy suit.

      If you have robust evidence for Laffer you will know where the tipping point is. I have read some claims that it is around 70% (summarised by Paul Krugman here -http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/22/taxing-job-creators/).

      What figure do you have, and where does it come from?

      For quite an interesting paper on this, for anyone who is interested, see here

      http://scholarworks.uvm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1048&context=hcoltheses

      Interestingly, even the Cato institute acknowledges the problems with Laffer, though of course why believe in reducing taxation for other reasons

      http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/cato-journal/1981/5/cj1n1-3.pdf

    311. Fiona says:

      Edit: I see that the krugman link didn’t work properly.Trying again

      http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/22/taxing-job-creators/

      Also, in my last para “why” should read “they”

      Apolgies

    312. Onwards says:

      Fiona says:

      4 November, 2015 at 1:02 am

      It primarily depends on whether you believe in homo economicus or not. I don’t. It seems that you do. We will just have to wait and see what happens if the power is used.

      Ok, fair enough.
      I get what you are saying that most people have ties here and want to pay taxes here.
      But I am sure you would accept there will be *some* loss of income, mostly to south of the border.
      I am sure you will accept that personal tax rates could swing *some* contests for investment.

      The success of the policy will obviously depend if the higher tax on the majority outweighs the loss of tax from the minority.

      I see your post on the laffer curve argument regarding which point the tax burden becomes too high, but the ease of avoidance in the case of Scotland within the UK is a far more significant factor IMO.

      Personally I think a higher upper rate than the rUK is a terrible idea, mainly for the competitiveness of the country as a whole regarding new investment. I think it could mean slow relative decline.

      And I’m worried if there is a sharp fall in income, the SNP will get the blame for economic mismanagement, hurting the chances of winning any second referendum.

      I understand they may be forced into using the one blunt tool available to compete with Labour and maintain their poll lead, but I can’t help but seeing George Osborne laughing up his sleeve.

      There is also a danger here of losing their majority if Holyrood elections turn into a traditional battle between left and right.

      Perhaps the SNP needs to battle hard on the aspirational vote for more powers and eventual independence, rather than shy away from the constitution next year, as I feel they may do – especially if there was any truth to that ridiculous 60% polling condition alleged by the BBC.

      The 45% are still there.. maybe 50% now, and hopefully the other parties will split the unionist vote in many seats.

    313. Broch Landers says:

      There’s a line in the sand. That line is the amount of money in the scottish budget.

      Person A stands on the line and says he will cut APD. That’s less money coming in, so he takes two steps back.

      But cutting APD is an economic stimulus, so in time he will take three steps forward, in other words more money coming in.

      Person B steps up. She says I am not going to cut APD, so she stays put, on the line.

      In other words, she has found no new money. Not only that, but she has provided no economic stimulus, either.

      Person B is full of … Sand.

    314. Petra says:

      I don’t think that considering data such as from Krugman or Cato helps at all here. If anything it’s just confusing the issue. The bottom line is that we will be dealing with people paying taxes in Scotland versus England. Not in the UK overall. An analysis of the ‘tax behaviour’ of individuals living in adjoining countries such as France / Spain and Andorra, Italy and Monaco would have made more sense but would still be unhelpful because there are so many variables. This situation in a way is unique (if it comes to pass).

      Human nature tells you that if someone can find a way round paying additional tax/s they will. I’ve already heard people saying that if this comes to pass one option would be to think of buying a wee property (investment) in the North of England. Less hassle and (far) less costly than buying in Andorra or Monaco.

      And then putting potential investors to one side, or more than likely not, any additional money would be totally ‘consumed’ by rising welfare costs.

      Raising taxes in Scotland and paying out for benefits that aren’t available in England is exactly what Westminster wants for Scotland: economic and social disaster. It’s as plain as the nose on your face …. my face anyway.

    315. Phil Robertson says:

      “Part of the point he is making is that neither of these two routes are feasible in terms of generating these monies,”

      Before challenging the arithmetic of others have a look in the mirror. There were THREE proposals not two. And the one that you miss (and SC skims over in his analysis) is one that most definitely raises revenue.

    316. K1 says:

      Phil, what part of “Part of the point…” do you not understand?

      Also, “neither of these two routes…” refers to the two that Dugdale has specifically referred to. I am saying that Stu has shown they are not ‘feasable’ in the atl.

      Please elaborate on the third proposal, as clearly you think it’s a goer. Rather than carp from the sidelines…

    317. Fiona says:

      @ Petra.

      As you say, it is a Q of what you consider to be human nature. We do not agree about that but it is really the foundation of different economic ideologies despite the fact that they pretend to scientific credentials

      Laffer is relevant because it builds a falsifiable prediction on the basis of that premised understanding of human nature. And it has been falsified, on my reading of the evidence.

      When that happens it is usual to revise or abandon the theory. But that is not what economists generally do. Thus their stance is philosophical/political, rather than objective. As is mine, of course, at root: but at least I know that and I do try to look at what little evidence there is, in that knowledge.

      You are perfectly free to reject any evidence you like. You are as free as I am to have confidence in your view of human nature. And naturally you are also free to pursue your vision of what a good society looks like: in the end that is what this is all about.

      If the tax rate is raised there will be an outcome, one way or the other. I will be interested to see that, though without independence the options for any scottish government are so constrained that it is unlikely to move us much in the direction I want. Still, some progress can be made, as we already see. If we do not use the powers we have to challenge the current narrative then I do not see the point at all. We are largely run by blackmail from big business now. I would like to change that and return power to the elected body, where it belongs. Tinkering round the edges is not enough for me: but it is a start

    318. Phil Robertson says:

      K1

      “what part of “Part of the point…” do you not understand?”
      I understand what was said. But your next statement shows that you have missed something.

      “Also, “neither of these two routes…” refers to the two that Dugdale has specifically referred to.”
      To repeat, there were THREE proposals.

      “Please elaborate on the third proposal”.
      It is to avoid a planned Tory increase in the thresholds for higher tax rates (see post 4:42 yesterday). And, as has also been pointed out earlier, it is a guaranteed revenue stream.

    319. Petra says:

      I also try to resolve issues in a scientific manner by using logical, consistent and systematic methods of investigation, such as collecting data and analysing and testing it over and over again (observing and measuring) if deemed to be necessary.

      In this case I haven’t been made aware of any proposed theory that correlates to the issue in question and there is very little valid, or otherwise, data available (none?) that can be used (analysed or tested) as a base-line or starting point to reach a realistic theoretical conclusion at all, such as predicting the outcome of this specific scenario.

      In light of the aforementioned (no relative theory / data) I’ve moved on to looking for patterns in behaviour to formulate a hypothesis (something I quite often have to do): patterns in Westminster’s behaviour towards Scotland.

      My hypothesis is that Westminster doesn’t want Scotland to flourish. This is based on 300 years (of patterns) of being told that we are too wee, poor and stupid to succeed on our own. Based on information (McCrone) being concealed from the Scots that would have led to us being one of the richest countries in the World and in a position to lend to our weaker, poorer neighbour … England. And of course there are numerous examples of this …… pattern.

      As no scientifically driven theoretical model ‘fits’ I’m also drawing on a knowledge of human nature from a psychological and sociological perspective and stand by my ‘theory’ that raising taxes in Scotland (higher than in England) in conjunction with paying welfare benefits (not available in England) will lead to economic and social disaster for Scotland: and the SG wont be able to do one without the other.

      Ultimately only time will (may) tell and that of course depends solely on the Scottish Governments prospective course of action.

      Looks as though we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one Fiona.

    320. K1 says:

      I didn’t ‘miss’ it, I disregarded it in the same way that Stu had, using the same argument: it makes no difference, as Labour ruled out increases in taxes except to say ‘that nobody but the rich would pay any extra tax to fund the policy’:

      ‘There are only two ways for governments to get more cash: they can increase taxes or they can make cuts elsewhere. Labour have already ruled out the former – Dugdale and Ian Murray both said repeatedly on air at the weekend that nobody but the rich would pay any extra tax to fund the policy, and we know that doesn’t produce even remotely enough – so that leaves cuts.’

      You suggest more tax can be raised from about one-third of income-tax from ‘this group of taxpayers’, but only ‘if wages go up through…’ and then you list how you think the wages could go up.

      It’s a big ‘if’ Phil. Your suggesting the very thing that Labour has, even though it ‘doesn’t produce even remotely enough’.

      The point in my post which you don’t mention is where I too employ the logic of ‘if’:

      ‘If Dugdale/Labour were really interested in mitigating the Tax credit cuts, which is a laudable aim in itself. Then, they would have produced a fully costed and fully conceptualised route to ensure the Scottish electorate was informed of the genuine possibility of this occurring.’

      They haven’t.

      Stu debunked the whole notion that Labour have a costed and credible plan to mitigate the tax credit cuts.

      Robert Peffers also replied to your argument too:

      ‘Robert Peffers says:
      10:23 pm
      @Phil Robertson says: 4:42 pm:

      … And it is not small. Over one-third of the income tax revenue comes from this group of taxpayers. So even small changes can deliver significant income.”

      All forms of direct taxation are now of minor importance, Phil. As the main tax take has long been by indirect taxation. Which was brilliantly illustrated when the Tories regained power at Westminster.

      Their first move was to immediately increase the rate of the main indirect tax – VAT. Their next was to lower the top direct tax rate while also bringing more items under the increased indirect tax rate. Their claim being it was to reverse the national debt.

      Indirect taxation has long been the main tax in the UK and is directly the reason the gap between the rich and the poor has gone on increasing even throughout the financial crisis and austerity measures.

      There can be no imposed austerity cut upon those who continue to more than double their wealth and that is the statistic as applied to those on the top rate of tax.

      In other words even in the austerity cuts the poor are subsidising the rich.

      For every malnourished child in austerity UK there is a top tax rate person getting richer at that child’s expense.
      The top rate taxpayers are stealing the food from poor children and are proud to do so while tagging the working poor, “Idle benefit cheats”.

      The poor, old sick and disabled are being killed off to make rich people ever richer.’

      Your response to this nuanced understanding of how our completely screwed up tax system actually plays out in the lives of those who benefit the least in our society from the tinkering of bureaucrats, was to ignore everything but the first sentence of his response:

      ‘Phil Robertson says:
      10:49 pm
      @Robert Peffers

      “All forms of direct taxation are now of minor importance, Phil.”

      Really? Net income tax receipts in 2014 were in excess of £160B. One-third of that is over £50B. You may see that as “of minor importance” but I suspect that you are in a minority there.

      VAT receipts for the same year were £111B.’

      You’re selecting the bits of the atl and comments that suit your outlook on this Phil, which is fair enough, we all do that. What you don’t do, is acknowledge the other parts that undermine your outlook.

      As I said, it’s a perfectly laudable aim to want to mitigate the tax credit cuts, what’s not genuine are Dugdale/Labours costings.

      I think ‘If’ Labour had produced a truly well costed plan, people perhaps would be taking notice.

      It’s not as “if’ Stu didn’t outline another possible route atl the line is it Phil?

      ‘As a final option, Dugdale could decide to spread the burden out, perhaps by cutting £100m from each of the top five departments. Again, that’s not impossible, if she’s prepared to swallow the massive hypocrisy of cutting health AND education AND councils AND policing AND infrastructure after spending years in opposition attacking the Scottish Government for not spending enough on them.

      But the point is that she’s not. She’s pretending, shamefully, that she can magic hundreds of millions of extra pounds out of nowhere without anyone suffering’

      Why can’t you just admit that Stu has a valid point. Their costing are crap, and easily debunked with just a little scrutiny.

      There’s no argument about that.

    321. Onwards says:

      “My hypothesis is that Westminster doesn’t want Scotland to flourish. This is based on 300 years (of patterns) of being told that we are too wee, poor and stupid to succeed on our own.”
      ——-

      @Petra, I agree entirely with that.
      There is NO way that the UK government wants Scotland to be in a position where it could grow economically to a position where independence would be simple.

      The Tories WANT Scotland to be permanently subsidised, or have the appearance of being subsidised, to dampen the appeal of independence.
      The best way to do that is to maintain control over Scotland’s natural resources – the one area where we have a big advantage due to a large land and sea area relative to our population.

      Imagine Scotland had been able to build up an oil fund, even a small percentage of the Norwegian fund. That would have removed much of the risk from setting up an independent country.

      The idea was to prevent that and conceal the extent of Scotland’s natural resources as long as possible during the boom years, whilst building up huge infrastructure for London.

      Equally there is no way now that any major package of tax powers would be devolved that allows us to compete with the natural advantages of the south for many businesses.

      What we have now is an economic trap.

      The best hope we have now is the attitude change that income tax devolution could bring – where people start to focus on where the money goes.

    322. Jake Reid says:

      Ref Dundee Ports. I was extremely active in trying to set up a link via the Hook of Holland for Dundee having contacted various ferry operators, back in the day. I remember Watson he was very friendly with another sea farer a Fred Potter they were buddies. My impression from Forth Ports was a NO NO! But I was well sickend when Fred Potter jnr got permission to run a NON STARTER! A Greek hired FREIGHT ONLY ferry! I saw this as a disaster and confirmed to myself bigger powers are at work here, it was doomed from the start!! it never had room even to carry the truck drivers as they had to be flown out!

      Gross incompetence and waste of resources. Then again big money is to be made by transiting English ports. Dundee city council in their wisdom sold of the port to Forth Ports including the services ie road etc for a mere £18 million in doing so they have thrown away our heritage history and all potential for building on a once Baltic trading town. Even our archaeologist’s are digging up Germanic and dutch traits used in old buildings. The axe used for beheading in Dundee was made in Germany hundreds of years ago. Aye we traded very heavily back in the day.

      Rosyth ran a ferry but the location was ridiculous no hotels, no services and one wee bleak place. Dundee still has massive potential to run a very successful Ferry Port but consider the powers that be either incompetent or bigger players are restricting growth of our city for reasons I know not.

      Take for example the Airport, some clown complained of stones navigating to the surface on the football pitch directly in line with the runway. Here was a perfect chance to extend the runway allowing larger aircraft with tourists to boost Dundee. No they spent £200,000 resurfacing with top soil. The history of this landfilled site? Yep it was filled in with the ash from the old Carolina coal fired power station and the top soil? Well it leeched back through the ash and rubble and will happen again in a few years!!

      City planners on massive wages are extracting the urine and we are the mugs picking up the tab.

      Dundee needs to build on it’s infrastructure not fritter it away on clowns.

    323. Fiona says:

      @ Petra

      I think you are right that we will never agree. Nonetheless I would like to make a couple of points in response to your post, if only to clarify for myself the places where the disagreement lies

      First, I raised Laffer because it is directly relevant to Onwards’ position, which I was addressing. Onwards stated that increasing tax reduced the tax take: that is false in the instance he cited: and I think it is false more generally. There is extensive research into this Q and I am satisfied that the theory is not correct, though, as ever in economics, dispute continues.

      As to its direct relevance to this particular scenario: well Laffer predicts a reduction in tax take because of a change in beh predicated on an increase in the tax rate. The most common prediction is also the most absurd: for it predicts that people will work more if you increase their income, and will work less if you reduce it. That is where the idea that there is no involuntary unemployment comes from: according to the combination of Laffer with equilibrium assumptions people merely choose to have more leisure if their income is reduced. Personally I cannot understand how anything that can tie its own shoe laces can accept that idea: but it is fairly common

      But a change in beh in response to reduced income through higher tax need not be less work: there are other options and possibilities. One of those options is migration, and it is difficult to see how one can propose that is what will happen without invoking something like Laffer. Or so I think. This is because nobody seems to think that any of the possible beh changes are universal for any given tax rate less than around 100%. It follows that there must be some level of taxation where it does not happen: and some level where it happens a lot. So a curve can be drawn, if one accepts that at 0% tax there is no tax take and at 100% there is no tax take either.( Which seems plausible, though I am not fully persuaded).

      I see no reason to suppose that the beh response of migration should differ in shape from the response of choosing more leisure. For the motivation of the responder is the same in both cases.

      If that is correct then Laffer is indeed the applicable theory, though maybe not the only one.

      But even if you do not accept it is appropriate, we still differ. For if I found, as you do, on patterns of behaviour which I can observe I don’t arrive at the same place. And that, I think, is because we are considering different selections of data.

      I have already shown that someone with very high income would be better off in tax terms if they moved to Ireland from the UK as the tax regimes stand at present. I see no substantive difference between that case and the one in which the tax regime in Scotland differs by a similar amount from that in rUK. It does not take longer to fly from Dublin to London that it does from Edinburgh. There is no language barrier. There is no restriction on travel. So if this idea was correct, one would predict that the rich people would already have moved to Ireland and this question would not have arisen. But.. they didn’t. That seems like empirical evidence of beh outcomes to me. I think it is reasonably strong. Certainly some very rich people do move: they become non doms, or even citizens of tax havens. But I see no reason to suppose the proportion of that group who choose to do that will rise significantly if Scotland’s tax regime is different

      You concentrate on Westminster’s intentions, and that is a different level of analysis, though perfectly legitimate. On that issue we differ in 2 ways. First, I do not think that Westminster does not want Scotland to flourish in the way you seem to think. It is my belief that they couldn’t care less either way. What they do want is for the elite to flourish, and for London to flourish. For that to happen policy must always favour those elements, and so naturally other groups suffer: because it really is something like a zero sum game. They deny that, of course. But that need not detain us

      The second reason for my disagreement is that you assume that WM actually knows what it is doing. That, to me, is an example of the Scottish cringe, and I really do not mean to be insulting in saying that. With 300 years of propaganda, every one of us swims in that water: we see some parts of the pool, but not every instance.

      Even if I accept that WM actively wishes to harm Scotland, I see no reason at all to believe that they are especially clever. I think there is also evidence for the view that the current crop of Scottish politicians are far superior in their ability to predict effects than their WM counterparts. In support of that view I will cite just one instance: they thought that establishing Holyrood would kill the will to independence. I don’t think there is much doubt about who was right about that idea, and wasn’t WM.

      In the end my problem with your argument is this, however. If we cannot make decisions in the interests of the whole people because we are held to ransom by the elite, I don’t see any point in devolution or independence. If we are going to carry on with plutocracy we might as well stay in the union. That is the bottom line, for me.

    324. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “It is to avoid a planned Tory increase in the thresholds for higher tax rates (see post 4:42 yesterday). And, as has also been pointed out earlier, it is a guaranteed revenue stream.”

      No it’s not, you loony. It’s exactly the same as APD – it’s a proposal to keep something the same as it is now, which means, incredibly obviously, that it will also keep revenue the same as it is now. It will NOT generate EXTRA revenue, which is what Dugdale needs to pay for the tax credits.

    325. Phil Robertson says:

      K1
      “It’s a big ‘if’ Phil.”
      Not it’s not. Wages rose by 3.8% in the last year.

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
      5 November, 2015 at 8:18 am
      “No it’s not, you loony.”

      Clearly you are not familiar with bracket creep. “Many progressive tax systems are not adjusted for inflation. As wages and salaries rise in nominal terms under the influence of inflation they become more highly taxed, even though in real terms the value of the wages and salaries has not increased at all. The net effect is that in real terms taxes rise unless the tax rates or brackets are adjusted to compensate.”

      “it will also keep revenue the same as it is now.”
      No, it won’t. It will deliver an increase as the wages of the 40% tax-paying cohort increase.

    326. Onwards says:

      “Onwards stated that increasing tax reduced the tax take: that is false in the instance he cited”

      Fiona, The whole time I have been talking in terms *relative* ease of avoidance when still part of the UK. Laffer curve arguments are irrelevant to this situation.

      I don’t think your point regarding Ireland is credible. There are still some big differences – practical and cultural.

      If the higher rates of tax differ, Scotland and England will still be part of the UK, and individuals will still be UK citizens.

      I think it is reasonable to assume many of the highest rate taxpayers will own companies here. I think it is reasonable to assume many of them will already have a property in London, because of the importance of London as a business and financial centre, and as you mentioned, because of the attractions for rich people.
      Many of the wealthiest individuals possibly already split their time between here and there. Any kids are more likely to be in school or university in the UK.

      It seems far more of an upheaval for people to run or work for a UK based company when living in Dublin compared to the UK, and I think it will be far easier for the taxman to work out if someone’s main residence is genuinely in Dublin or not, compared to those who are back and forward to London all the time anyway.

      I think its naive to assume tax competition doesn’t exist.
      I don’t think it is credible to think NO-ONE will change their home address when it relatively easier within the UK compared to a *foreign* country. Or relocate their business entirely, especially if it is a technology or internet based business.

      In many cases when a company is thinking of where to locate, an owner won’t just be thinking of himself but also other directors, staff, employees – present and future.

      IMO, there are plenty of good reasons for devolution or independence, other than simply increasing the very highest band of tax – which just seems like madness to me in our particular situation.

      It seems like you would prefer to tax the ‘elite’ more as a point of principle, even if we will lose some individuals and businesses to England. Even if that turns out to be just a small number each year, we will be handing over millions in tax revenues, investment and jobs.

      What I think will happen is this:

      1. The SNP will be forced to match a 50p top rate of income tax to compete for traditional Labour votes.

      2. The policy will lose money, because enough wealthy people will temporarily or permanently change their home address, and investment will reduce.

      3. It will be changed back within a year, but a lot of damage will have been done.
      We will have to learn the hard way.

    327. Fiona says:

      I understand your position Onwards. We just don’t agree.

      There are many countries where states/regions impose differential tax rates, largely through local taxes under regional control. There is not much hard evidence to show that it induces the kind of migration you predict, with most studies finding the effect swamped by other factors such as the relative costs of housing; family ties etc. Though it does have some impact, so far as I read. Housing costs are particularly relevant if you believe that our rich will move to London. They will certainly have to spend a great deal more for a comparable house there, than they will gain through the tax avoidance. You assert that many already have a house there. I do not see much evidence for that nor any reason why they should. At least not a family home. Our politicians do, certainly: but then they don’t pay for them out of their income. We do. Wealthy workers are not in that position.

      However we are both guessing: which puts us in exactly the same position as those “experts” who confidently make such assertions and predictions, as it happens

      As to wishing to tax wealthy people more highly as a matter of principle: no. I do wish to live in a more equal society, though. That is a matter of principle. There are other ways of doing it, but not under current arrangements. So at present if I wish to see that aim pursued it is natural that a more progressive tax system is part of that.

    328. yesindyref2 says:

      @Fiona
      I had a quick look at your posting as the one before, and there’s a very basic fallacy that people will consider moving to England as the same as moving to Ireland, just on the basis of income tax.

      Firstly medical is not free in Ireland unless you have the card, secondly a thorough look at Tesco’s prices for Belfast and Dublin and comparing them will show another major difference. For instance, if you want Heinz baked beans in Ireland you’ll pay a lot more than you’ll pay for them in Belfast – or Edinburgh. But if you stick to the local beans, the prices would be roughly the same. It’s the same for other branded products, UK branded is dearer, Irish brands the eqiivalent of “back home” in Edinburgh, or London.

      The point of that is that many people want their Heinz beans, not the local brand, and there are other features of life that are different in Ireland to anywhere in the UK. So straight comparison of Income Tax doesn’t do it, there are many other factors that people would consider.

      I would conclude that people are more likely to move to England, than they are to Ireland. As I haven’t followed the thread I have no idea whose conclusion I support!

    329. Onwards says:

      @Fiona – We will see what happens in the next few years because it is sure to happen.

      I do agree with a progressive tax system, and I think we could do things differently in the other tax bands with a few more tax brackets.

      My worry is specifically with the very top band, because these are the people who will find it easiest to relocate within the UK, and many of them are the business owners.

      Both of us are guessing until it actually happens.

      But I certainly don’t see the prospect of higher taxes encouraging wealthy people and their businesses to come to Scotland.

    330. Fiona says:

      @yesindyref2

      I don’t think the seriously wealthy are worried about a few pence extra for branded beans, myself.

    331. Fiona says:

      @Onwards

      Yes, I honestly do think I understand your argument, and your concern.

      I am not persuaded that many will go because of any such change: because those who want to do that have had ample opportunity to move to Ireland and they did not. I genuinely don’t see that this is how people are motivated, and while some are, they have gone already for other reasons -se Michelle Mone and her kind.

      I am not bothered about seriously rich people coming here, first because I do not agree with the notion that they are specially valuable (given propensity not to pay tax wherever they are; and to trash the economy regularly); and secondly because even if I was so persuaded, I do not think it is at all democratic to run things on the basis of blackmail by any group. And that is all this is.

      We have plenty of talented home grown people who can grow businesses here if the climate is right. It occurs to me that much of that talent is already exported because of enthrallment to the plutocratic analysis and the centralisation of wealth and power and employment in London, under current arrangements. I also notice that many small businesses in Scotland are in fact established by people from other parts of the UK, who have raised the capital by selling houses in London. In the neoclassical model there is a concept that govt spending “crowds out” private investment. I do not think that is true for various reasons irrelevant here. But I do think it may be true at the level of SME’s because one needs capital to get off the ground, and banks are notoriously reluctant to lend without sufficient collateral. A national bank could help with that, though I do not know if SG has the power to establish one at present. I suspect it could and should be done, though the necessity for a UK banking license might mean that it would have to be done in a different way.

    332. Fiona says:

      @yesindyref2

      To add: I know one seriously wealthy english person who lives in Leamington Spa. She buys her bread in London and has it sent…

      One wee anecdote to show the rich are just not like us…

    333. Will Podmore says:

      Remember the rules of debate on this site?
      “Show other commenters some courtesy.”

      Fiona wrote of me, “I had thought you were some kind of socialist however: do you not accept the concept as described by Marx? Or does it only apply when it suits?”
      We communists think that we all have to work hard to see reality clearly and that means seeing through the many lies offered to us by the ruling class. Bourgeois nationalism is just one of many forms of ideology opposed to Marxism-Leninism.

    334. Fiona says:

      @ Will Podmore.

      I did not write “Of you”. I asked you a question. It was not a discourteous question in any way.

      Perhaps you could now answer it?



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