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Bye bye Barnett

Posted on November 22, 2015 by

For over two years now, this site has been warning that the UK government will take the earliest opportunity it thinks it can possibly get away with to abolish the Barnett Formula, the funding mechanism which the No campaign sold as the biggest benefit of Scotland remaining in the Union.

formula

The Formula is hated almost everywhere else in the UK, by both politicians and the English (especially) public, who see it as an over-generous subsidy to the scrounging Jocks, and with the threat of independence theoretically removed after the referendum there’s very little protecting it.

Neither Labour nor the Tories – with just one Scottish MP each – would have much to lose politically from reducing Scottish funding by billions of pounds they could use to bribe swing voters in England instead. Barnett’s partial survival was the only solid commitment made in The Vow, but it’s set to be slashed by the Scotland Bill, and the smaller it gets the less resistance there will be to its total removal.

This week the House Of Lords made lots of headlines by highlighting the shambolic, half-baked state of the Bill, which hasn’t yet come up with a “fiscal framework” to replace the bulk of Barnett. But make no mistake – the Lords want it gone just as much as everyone else does.

We highly recommend that readers take a look at the Scotland Bill report published by the Lords committee this week. It’s not too long and it’s mostly written in accessible language. But by way of illustration we’ve pulled out a shortish section on Barnett.

lordsbarnett

As you can see, the weight of opinion is overwhelmingly against the Formula, and in favour of replacing it with a “needs-based” system that would by definition reduce funding in Scotland, a relatively wealthy region of the UK. The only voices speaking up for Barnett were woolly and grudging.

There can be no reasonable doubt as to what the UK government wants to do under the guise of “more powers” for Scotland. The Scotland Bill is no more than an attempt to do most of the job of killing Barnett without anyone noticing or kicking up too much of a fuss, enabling the final coup de grace to be made a few years down the road by a Prime Minister who wasn’t a signatory to The Vow.

(David Cameron, of course, has already announced that he’ll step down by 2020.)

That intention is barely even disguised. The calls for the Formula’s abolition are loud and direct, and come from all sides of the political spectrum – Labour and Tory, MPs and Lords, politicians and voters. We spotted the intended route for it years ago, and told you about it. But 55% of Scots weren’t listening.

A Scotland which remains in the UK will find itself robbed of billions of pounds. The UK parliament holds the electorate in such contempt that it feels able to discuss its plans to do so in full public view, and to even publish the discussions.

As we’ve said since (and indeed before) the referendum, “more powers” is the worst of both worlds – all the financial downsides of independence with none of the benefits. We urge all readers to draw the attention of their No-voting friends and neighbours to the facts before it’s too late.

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    1. 22 11 15 13:43

      Bye bye Barnett | Speymouth

    2. 22 11 15 15:24

      Bye bye Barnett | Politics Scotland | Scoop.it

    133 to “Bye bye Barnett”

    1. Steve Bowers says:

      Do you think those no voters will actually listen !

    2. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      If what they care about most is money, which seems to be the case, then why wouldn’t they?

    3. handclapping says:

      Needs is chiels as ding.

      Lets say there is a need that all UK subjects having a heart attack are got to hospital in 20 minutes. The cost of that is very different in Kilburn than it is in Kinlochbervie.

      Or people must be able to drive to work on at least 313 days a year costs a lot less in a suburb of Lincoln than it does for a cottage on the Lecht.

      The arguments to be had in defining “needs” are the reason Barnett still exists.

    4. call me dave says:

      Smith says’No detriment to either side’ so what’s the point?

      When the,futher diluted, Scotland Bill eventually gets through the parliamentary stages and is plonked on Swinney’s desk he should have it discussed in detail at Holyrood.

      Then have it voted out. Barnett remaining was the corner stone.

      PS:
      Kezia writes a Dear George letter re: Tax Credits. All her own words…Aye right!

      Reminds me of that old joke

      How do you know it was me that pissed in the snow?

      Well it was in your handwriting!

      Oh!

    5. James says:

      I know many No-ers whose biggest concern was remaining British, regardless of cost. I don’t see the scrapping of Barnett as being of any great consequence to them, so long as there’s tea and monarchy.

    6. Finlay says:

      The link to the Scotland Bill report isn’t working for me.

      “The resource you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.”

    7. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      How much simpler if Scotland just kept all its own revenue and decided how to spend it.

      Let this process serve as a warning to the woolly headed who still think there is a case for some form of devo something or other.

      The only logical choice for Scotland is simple,uncomplicated independence

    8. Ken500 says:

      Tax raising powers will raise £Billions in Scotland. Tax evaded through the City of London and paying off Westminster debts costs Scotland £Billions. HMRC is not fit for purpose. A complete and utter shambles. With major tax evasion. Scotland needs an Independent, fair and equal ttax system, immediately. Westminster has been illegally and secretly taken £Billions out of Scotland for years. They need to be accountable for the £Billions borrowed and spent in the rest of the UK , while Scotland pays off the debt,

      The Lords do not want Scotland to have tax raising powers because the Landowners and tax evaders (whisky co etc) will have to pay their fair share of tax. They want to delay powers to Scotland forever.

      Get rid of Trident through the Planning Laws. A danger to Scotland. Scottish Gov can support growth. Develop the Oil on the West, cut Trident and collect the evaded tax. Get every Unionist politician out of Scotland.

      If they cut Barnett – Scotland can cut payments for the HoL and all the other rubbish Scotland is billed for in the rest of the UK. Have a Navy based at Faslane creating jobs in Scotland. They can’t keep taking resources out of Scotland. Stay out of illegal wars. Get Renewable Grants from the EU and the CAP payments. Get the Oil tax reduced. It is counter productive and has cost Scotland thousands of jobs.

      Have another Referendum before Scotland is asset striped again.

      The HoL want to justify their existence. When it is a total waste of public money. They can only stop a Bill twice in any case.

    9. galamcennalath says:

      If there isn’t a pro-Indy majority (ideally an SNP majority) in May then any threat of Indy is removed and they will hammer Scotland hard. There is absolutely no reason why they won’t.

      This we already knew, but as Stu points out, they have reached the stage where they feel confident enough to discuss their plans openly!

    10. X_Sticks says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “If what they care about most is money, which seems to be the case, then why wouldn’t they?”

      Because the media won’t tell them the truth of it? It’ll be spun as some wonderful new solution that won’t have any financial effect on those that are well off.

    11. ClanDonald says:

      Replacing Barnett with a needs based formula was recommended by the Holtham Commission well before the referendum, it was in the public domain and many (like the Rev) suspected that this is what would be in store for us in the event of a no vote.

      But whenever the subject was raised we were faced with accusations of “Liar!” or “Scaremonger.” I remember Labour campaigners in particular on facebook and twitter repeatedly calling me a liar for suggesting such a scenario was on the cards.

      This is just one of the many reasons why I now hate SLab’s guts. I love how they still think they are going to win us all back. LOL!

    12. schrodingers cat says:

      no surprises

      I don’t think anyone here believed it would be otherwise

      barnet will disappear without a whimper and the msm wont even mentioning it

      what will have a far bigger impact on the people of Scotland is when Osborne directs austerity towards the pensioners. he will have no choice

    13. Grouse Beater says:

      “55% of Scots weren’t listening.”

      Why were No voters so purblind as to assume Osborne would protect Barnett when so strident in telling us he would not give us a share of our own pound?

      Retribution was on the cards from the minute the Indie Referendum was underway. Same as the Damien loan – the English parliament raised taxes in Scotland to pay for the loan impoverishing my nation for over 100 years.

      Removing the Barnett Formula is another version of that sanction.

    14. Bob Mack says:

      Rev—–“A Scotland that remains in the UK would find itself robbed of billions of pounds”

      Rev ,you could have written this DECADES ago, and it would still be true.

      We would be robbed of even more billions than before might be more accurate.

    15. Onwards says:

      Regardless of the original meaning, Barnett effectively provided partial compensation for the billions of oil money Scotland pumped into London, the benefits of which remain in massive infrastructure improvements.
      Now that oil prices are lower, the Tories will take the first opportunity they can to do away with it. Scotland is treated with the respect we deserve for voting No.

    16. bobajock says:

      So independence will see us floating off in our liferaft, but no longer bailing out the English superyacht. Barnett was their ‘float’ to keep us from sinking, but they are stupid enough not to see that its actually our handing over ‘all’ that keeps them afloat.

      This liferaft .. bugger .. its actually a large lifeboat, one that we can save Scotland with.

    17. JLT says:

      If they do this, then that is a platinum bullet in our arsenal should a second referendum take place.

      The way things are going, I’ll be bloody curious as to how the ‘Better Together’ campaign are going to sell the UK the next time round …because right now, they are handing the ‘Yes’ side some invaluable arguments to go forth with.

      But so be it. The people of Scotland were warned, and not only will they pay the price, but it now makes fools of those who advocated and backed the arguments of the ‘No’ campaign.

      As Bendy Wendy infamously said ‘…bring it on’.

    18. john rose says:

      Would a needs based system really cause a reduction in Scotland’s grant? I know that we have some wealthy areas, but we also have some of the poorest areas, and areas hit by the worst chronic health problems. One of the frustrations of westminster rule is that we are resource wealthy, but have shocking areas of extreme poverty in our midst. So surely a needs based system would only be to our detriment if it took Scotland as a whole rather than in subdivisions (and that’s a whole road that I don’t want to go down at the moment).
      John

    19. Macart says:

      Seems as though they’ve finally got round to setting up the dominoes. That gives the SG a little over four years as a timescale before someone knocks them over.

      Does anyone of those who voted no really believe that Westminster’s establishment parties, and I do mean all of them, won’t follow through on this? Do you really think your vote and your interests mean that much to them? In short who do you trust with your future, Westminster or Holyrood?

      As far as Scotland was concerned they were only EVER interested in retaining secure access to geography, resource and tax base end of. The democratic and practical needs of the population didn’t even cross their minds. THIS is all it was ever about for them. These people don’t see borders, or democratic rights. They don’t give a hoot about human rights and the idea of nationhood and self determination is all about what serves the need of the state, NOT the population.

      UNION? Their idea of unity of purpose, of common cause, is a wee bit different from that of the common man or woman and you better believe it.

      You’ve were used, abused and forgotten before the ink was dry on September 18ths ballot papers. Cameron’s ‘EVEL’ morning after speech should have been your heads up moment.

      Only you folks can reverse that result and head what’s coming off at the pass. Its not too late.

      So if you want to discover the true meaning of unity, of common purpose and common weal, we’ll be here if you need us.

    20. JLT says:

      Steve Bowers says:

      Do you think those no voters will actually listen !

      I agree with your argument in principle. Sure, there will be those, that no matter what, will advocate the Union until the day that they die. Those are the ones that you will always hear from.

      However, there is significant percentage of those who voted ‘No’, but NEVER say a word, that will be alarmed at all of this. This is the 20-25% that we need to convert. Forget about the 25% who proudly shout loudly about being ‘British’; they won’t be converted. They’ll be dragged kicking and screaming into an independent Scotland.

      But yes …I believe the silent 25% of the ‘No’s’ will be highly disturbed at this. In time, I believe we will create a document that can then be passed to people on-line or through letterboxes telling them exactly what the Union has reneged on after the Referendum. Once a second Referendum takes place (somewhere down the line for as long as the SNP can get a majority in Holyrood) then the next Referendum will be blood and thunder as the Unionists will scream hysterically in trying to silence what Westminster did after the first one. The next time round will be a more difficult sell for the Better Together team.

    21. David McDowell says:

      “the English (especially) public, who see it as an over-generous subsidy to the scrounging Jocks”

      There it is again: the propaganda firepower that proves we will never achieve our goal of Scottish independence by appeasing the media.

      You can never win a game where the opposition has the power to create and have believed whatever alternative reality they need to twist public perception in their favour.

      My solutions to this were all shot down in flames, so let’s hear from some of the big brains about what to do about it.

    22. galamcennalath says:

      Grouse Beater says:

      “Why were No voters so purblind as to assume Osborne would protect Barnett .. ?”

      IMO some were blind, some saw but didn’t care, and some were just stupid.

      Some are Tory BritNats and don’t see the world through Scottish eyes. To them, Osborne will be doing the right thing.

      Another group believed Labour would come to their rescue. While others in a related way, didn’t see beyond the referendum vote which they believed was all about Alex Salmond and the SNP.

      The more WM kicks out, the more Scots will become aware of the true situation.

    23. CameronB Brodie says:

      Of course, the bulk of need in the UK continues to be situated in England’s conurbations.

      Are the Welsh government that strongly ‘One Nation’ slaves to a labour movement usurped by English Socialism, or do they simply not understand the UK’s macro-economic?

      http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/HTMLDocs/AtlasOfDeprivation2010/index.html

      Sorry, I can’t find an atlas for Scotland.

    24. ArtyHetty says:

      Re; XSticks@12.24

      It could go like that. Also, what with the likes of my no voting graun reader friends, who want to help the English and give ukok another chance! They expressed anger at the Scotgov not raising council tax, they would ‘pay more’. They can well afford it, but can the working poor afford to pay more in c.tax, no.

      I suspect many people in England do not know what the Barnett formula is, I know quite a few in Scotland who don’t! When it is discussed though, via frenzied media, scrapping it will be viewed as just and fair by our caring sharing neighbours. I mean why should Scotland be better off, they want it all don’t they.

      Barnett will go. It will impact on everyone via services but we know who the middle class no voters will blame.

    25. mealer says:

      I don’t think the Scottish Parliament will accept anything so damaging.

    26. handclapping says:

      Hi Cameron
      Try the Scottish Index of Multiple deprivation

    27. David McDowell says:

      “it feels able to discuss its plans to do so in full public view, and to even publish the discussions.”

      They roll out everything in plain view because:

      1. They know most people are too stupid or too scared to object.

      2. Anyone who does object is battered down with: “It was all done in the open and the vast majority didn’t complain.”

      Thanks to our turncoat media Scots are kept in the dark about our history, our economy, and true wealth.

      People really need to wake up.

    28. ArtyHetty says:

      Ukok will wait until after our election in May to announce the scrapping of Barnett no doubt.

    29. CameronB Brodie says:

      P.S. I don’t think there has been enough time to make an atlas out of the 2015 deprivation stats.

      Also, on second thoughts, perhaps the Welsh have a very real grasp of the UK’s macro-economics, as Scotland has a lower proportion of families living in multiple deprivation than most of the UK.

      No friendship among the Celts them?

    30. ArtyHetty says:

      Just to say also that our neighbours South of the border, think that the deprivation in their areas should be matched by deprivation in Scotland (as if it isn’t) and I have heard English friends say as much. Very sad that they prefer that everyone should suffer rather than er try to fight the tory and red tory condoned cuts to our most vulnerable. Sickening in fact.

    31. Alastair says:

      My trust of the Lords is directly proportional to the number of SNP Lords and truelty indepenant Scottish cross-benchers.

      OT See Rob Halfon, Cabinet Minister and dep leader of the party, adultery and blackmail story strangled in the Sunday’s. Background in Guido Fawlkes.

    32. CameronB Brodie says:

      handclapping
      Thanks. I couldn’t find that the last time I went looking. I’ve got Joe-90 goggles now though. 😉

      http://www.sns.gov.uk/Simd/Simd.aspx

    33. Dr Jim says:

      If it wasn’t for the SNP this would never have happened

      Daily Record front page will say

      This newspaper warned of the dangers of putting the SNP in power Scotland, Scotland has been conned by Sturgeon they’ll say

      The Natz have driven us into poverty for their own political ends, they’ll say

      So, in short, no matter what happens, we’ll get the blame not the praise, or thanks for pointing it out

      Makes you want to shave your head, knock out some teeth, get an embarrassing tattoo of the Union Flag and frighten a child

      #I want to fit in

    34. Onwards says:

      Dave McEwan Hill says:
      22 November, 2015 at 12:06 pm
      How much simpler if Scotland just kept all its own revenue and decided how to spend it.

      Let this process serve as a warning to the woolly headed who still think there is a case for some form of devo something or other.

      The only logical choice for Scotland is simple,uncomplicated independence

      —-

      The case for further devolution is as a springboard to independence. It’s insulting to imply it is meant as a end in itself.

      The main reason independence is on the agenda at all is because we now have a devolved government with an SNP government. It rejuvenated nationalism, just as Tony Blair and others feared it would.
      http://www.theguardian.com/politics/wintour-and-watt/2011/may/06/snp-alexsalmond

      It makes me wary seeing arguments against further devolved powers because of losing the Barnett formula. In a way, it looks like we could be actually UNDERMINING the chances of independence by arguing for the current set-up with an implied continued subsidy.

      Are the chances of a clean break more likely if the impression is given that we are subsidised? (regardless of the good reasons for higher spending here)

      Or are people more likely to vote for independence if we do have further devolution where it looks like our economy could be vastly improved if we ran our own affairs ?
      (And with income tax devolution, we are another step closer.. making the leap look smaller.)

    35. heedtracker says:

      Its fascinating that the Treasury want to keep Barnett, simple and transparent and nothing to do with power devo is power retained.

      Any doubts as to what the Scotland Bill is designed to do, damaged Scotland economically, bring down SNP Scots.gov and end Scotland’s move to independence? Simply consult the the tory authors, like this dude

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

      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.

      Especially when he has a Cabinet Secretary for Welfare urging him radically to increase spending on social security provision in Scotland.

      All bubbles burst. All tides recede. Eventually. At the moment the SNP is, to many people, more of a cult than a political party.”

      If you vote NO for The Vow devo-max, you voted for the biggest fraud of your life.

    36. Bob Mack says:

      As in every sphere of existence,there are three types of human condition.
      1.Those who actively support something
      2.Those who actively oppose something.
      3. Those who sit on the fence,but will be swayed by concensus one way or the other.

      At the referendum the fence sitters opted to vote No probably because the economic arguments for yes were not convincing enough to make them take a chance.
      Finances for all groups is an important issue.
      Since the referendum much has changed already ,with more in the pipeline.The financial stability offered by a NO vote is evaporating before our eyes.
      People will see this, and is probably why the polls show the gap between YES and NO narrowing.

      Our job is to hammer home this message to friends,neighbours,work colleagues,and on the doorstep.
      We are winning, albeit it not at the pace some would like.

    37. HandandShrimp says:

      The Vow said that Barnett would remain. Alistair Carmichael did a tour of UK Civil Service work places before the vote and said that Barnett would remain….but

      Osborne is on the retreat on tax credits and policing cuts

      The OBR forecasts on the deficit could be shy by about 15% this year (good old OBR) and Osborne has far less to play with than he thought

      So will they be tempted to try and give us the worst of all worlds? Probably – but they will have little to play with at Indyref2 if they do.

    38. Foonurt says:

      As the Rev says in this article, money appears to be the key to most folks’ lives.

      Health, education and welfare were all deemed important to Scottish folk, surveyed just recently. Put an extra pence or two on tax, to contribute solely towards these important costs. And take money from health, education and welfare, to distribute among the other costings.

    39. galamcennalath says:

      heedtracker says:

      “If you vote NO for The Vow devo-max, you voted for the biggest fraud of your life.”

      Indeed.

      Yes, I know we all need to gently persuade NO voters to change their minds through presenting facts and polite argument – but honestly, sometimes you just feel like saying “you were gullible fools” (and that is the polite version).

    40. Foonurt says:

      Onward – George Robertson wiz chuffed wae a Scoattish Parliament, iz it wid see aff thoan nationalists.

    41. Robert Roddick says:

      Let’s get Independence and get rid of the Barnett Formula. We keep the benefits of all of our natural resources.
      There you are. Sorted. Why is this so difficult for the naysayers.

    42. Grouse Beater says:

      “Daily Record front page will say: This newspaper warned of the dangers of putting the SNP in power Scotland, Scotland has been conned by Sturgeon. The Natz have driven us into poverty for their own political ends”

      How dare this nation demand full democratic rights and structures!

    43. Clootie says:

      Unfortunately most people don’t know yet how bad it is going to get. They trusted the union!

    44. Macart says:

      @Dr Jim

      All through the referendum campaign, this site and a great many of the folk on it argued till they were blue in the face just what Westminster had in store for the ‘Union’ in the event of a no vote.

      People were warned what pooling and sharing meant. They were warned of the future of Barnett, the threat that the Scotland bill posed and the reality of what ‘the vow’ actually entailed.

      Those folk were laughed at, dismissed out of hand as cranks and woad painted loons and yet here we are. The real threat posed, wasn’t and never should have been the uncertainties of independence, but the absolute certainties of of continuing with an uncaring and criminally insane system of Westminster government.

    45. Ruby says:

      Finlay says:
      22 November, 2015 at 12:02 pm
      The link to the Scotland Bill report isn’t working for me.

      Ruby replies

      I like figuring out why links don’t work! Don’t laugh it could be worse there are people who spend hours playing ‘Bubbleshooter’

      The link in the article didn’t work because it had two spaces after Idselct/ spaces show up as %20

      It works if you remove the two %20 or you could just click on these links. It is a pdf so you will need to have pdf viewer enable on your browser.

      http://tinyurl.com/odpu35l

      http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201516/ldselect/ldeconaf/55/55.pdf

    46. Bob Mack says:

      @macart,
      Prior to the referendum you would have been seen as scaremongering. Today you have the evidence to show you were telling the truth. That carries weight.

    47. Grouse Beater says:

      Macart: People were warned what pooling and sharing meant.

      Fooling and scaring.

    48. DerekM says:

      but but we want it scrapped as well and independence put in place instead.

    49. Neil Cook says:

      For me the only way to stop the UK Government in their tracks is to stop funding the financial sector, stop buying these Isa’s, shares, life insurance, pensions etc. Better with a safety deposit box or hide it wherever you can. There whole political philosophy is based on the financial sector doing well with people investing for poor return whilst they pocket the bonuses!! I stopped years ago as they were just gambling with your money!! The next forecast of the oil companies is going to be abysmal as the profits are down as very little new projects since the manpower slash. UK government doesn’t realise that the profits of all the oil sector companies are going to be poor and the corporation tax revenues will reduce drastically and the financial markets will take a hit. This in turn will hit pension funds, investments etc so for me its get out now prior to next April. The abolish of Barnett is similar to thatcher’s policy in the 80s !! Don’t they realise we all cant be investment bankers !!

    50. heedtracker says:

      but honestly, sometimes you just feel like saying “you were gullible fools” (and that is the polite version).

      Voters aren’t fools for voting. Scotland wants devo-max by a huge majority.

      Red and blue UKOK tories totally deny Scotland devo-max, with extraordinary determination for obvious reasons and for decades.

      So UKOK tories kept devo-max off Scotland’s referendum ballot paper, then out of the blue, solemnly promised it all in the last week of their 2014 ProjectFear campaign, as we know via historic liars like the Daily Record crew of sneering spivs and ofcourse their greatest UKOK liar himself, Gordon Brown.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwfvL4jQVDA

      Was Scotland foolhardy to believe likes of Gordon Brown and historic 2014 fraud on Scots?

    51. Robert Peffers says:

      @CameronB Brodie says: 22 November, 2015 at 12:53 pm:

      ” … Are the Welsh government that strongly ‘One Nation’ slaves to a labour movement usurped by English Socialism, or do they simply not understand the UK’s macro-economic?”

      The answer to that, CameronB, is a resounding, YES.

      Even the closest thing we have to allies in the UK political spectrum, (Plaid Cymru), had their leader bleating that the Barnett Formula is unfair to Wales and that Wales should be funded on a per capita basis with Scotland.

      As the main basis for Barnett Funding is based upon the number and value of the functions devolved from UK/(English), ministries to the three devolved countries of the UK administrations then the simple fact that the three countries all have different functions devolved to them, by definition, shows that they must have different per capita funding.

      The facts are that N.I has more devolved functions and thus N.I has the greatest per capita funding. Scotland is next and Wales, with the least devolved functions, must have the least. Except, of course, for England that has everything, (plus extras), provided by the UNITED KINGDOM Ministries, (and those extras mostly coming from Government Reserves that we all contribute to).

      To my mind that indicates Plaid Cymru just do not understand the Barnett Formula. They are not alone – for from the very start of the Barnett Formula I have made a point of quizzing any UK Political figure I could get close enough to ask, “Could they explain the Barnett Formula for me”. To date that includes several party leaders, several PMs, FMs and Chancellors.

      To date I have had no satisfactory answers except from Alex Salmond, Stewart Hosie, and Margo McDonald. Two prominent members who waffled badly were Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling. Although both wafflers did attempt to answer, the answers were more confusing than clarifying and had obvious errors that did not make any logical sense.

      I believe it is safe to say the majority of the electorate and elected members are woefully ignorant of one of the most important concepts of how the United Kingdom is supposed to work. (but doesn’t).

    52. Onwards says:

      Foonurt says:
      22 November, 2015 at 1:30 pm
      Onward – George Robertson wiz chuffed wae a Scoattish Parliament, iz it wid see aff thoan nationalists.

      Aye, exactly. Look what happened there..

      The best thing the SNP ever did was changing the name from the ‘Scottish executive’. Calling it a ‘government’ raised people’s expectations.

      I suppose the same point applies with income tax devolution.
      Once people start paying their own taxes to Holyrood, that’s a big step towards being a ‘real’ government.
      More are sure to follow, then the final smaller step to being a normal country.

      Income tax is obviously insufficient on its own, but it is very important mentally – because it is seen as voters *personal* taxes. Holyrood will take on far more significance.

    53. steveasaneilean says:

      Lest we forget…

      David Cameron (Tory) – “[The Barnett formula] cannot last forever, the time is approaching”

      Alistair Carmichael (LibDem – at least he claims to be) and former Scottish Secretary – “We do want to see Barnett scrapped. We want to see that replaced by what we call a needs based formula.”

      Margaret Curran (Labour), Shadow Scottish Secretary – “I do believe that we should allocate public funding on the basis of need and it should not be around just a regional or a national demarcation around that.”

      The House of Commons Justice Select Committee – “The Barnett Formula is overdue for reform and lacks any basis in equity or logic. It creates controversy in all of the constituent parts of the UK. There is controversy in England that the Barnett Formula allows for higher levels of public spending in Scotland from the UK Exchequer and does not deal with different needs in different parts of England.

      We urge the Government to publish its position as a matter of some urgency and to proceed to devise a new formula which is needs based, takes into account regional disparities in England as well as in Scotland and Wales, is transparent and is sufficiently robust to enable long-term planning.”

      Local Government Association, England – “Council leaders in England are to campaign for Scotland’s block grant to be cut. Local government chiefs south of the Border say they are envious of the powers and funding given to a devolved Scotland and have revealed they will push for the UK Treasury to scrap the Barnett formula, the system that gives Scotland more per head of UK funds than it does to England and Wales”.

      The All Party Parliamentary Taxation Group – “The APPTG echoes the findings of the House of Lords Committee on the Barnett Formula in recommending that a shift is required towards a ‘needs-based’ formula, whereby a ‘dynamic’ and ‘simple, clear, and comprehensible’ system is used to allocate resources to the devolved regions ‘based on an explicit assessment of their relative needs’, calculated ‘per head of population’.”

      Ruth Davidson(Tory) – “Barnett was only supposed to be temporary… I do think that there will be a review of Barnett after 2014. The ground has shifted since devolution.”

      Lord Lang of Monkton (Tory) – “On the Barnett surplus, everyone knows that the basis of the present distribution of funds is out of date.

      We know that that, too, created an imbalance that can be put right. A fair-minded Scotland would agree. We need an up-to-date measurement of relative need in Scotland and elsewhere in the United Kingdom.”

      The Calman Commission – “The commission has decided major changes need to be made. Significantly, however, experts believe the change will result in a drop in Scotland’s budget – which could lead to cuts in service”.

      The late Lord Joel Barnett (Liberal), who devised of the formula – “It’s quite wrong. It clearly should not be based on per head expenditure but should be based on needs in particular areas.

      The amount of money going to Scotland on a needs basis by comparison, say with my own North West or the North East, is far higher than it should be, so it should be changed. They’d lose quite a bit in my guess, done on a proper needs basis”.

    54. jcd says:

      Grouse Beater 1.51

      “Macart: People were warned what pooling and sharing meant.

      Fooling and scaring.”

      Neat.

    55. Jimbo says:

      The British Unionist parties can do as they please with us. Regardless of what political hue the 59 MPs we send to Westminster, Scotland has no real political clout there – never has had, never will have. They outnumber us ten to one.

      Scotland’s only real solution to this pretence at democracy is independence.

    56. Iain More says:

      Every time a Naw bag whinges about something now, I just respond “Dont blame me as I voted Yes, tak yer moaning whining gob somewhere the sun disnae shine! You were telt last year until I was blue in the face now, !!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!! !!!!!!” That is being very polite about it. The rabies shots no longer work.

    57. Macart says:

      @ Bob Mack

      ‘it carries weight’

      It does, but it carries no satisfaction or comfort.Truth be told and feeling fairly sure of what is now occurring and what it points toward, I’d rather we had been wrong.

      How and ever, we weren’t then and we’re not now. The intended legislation for Scotland is a bear trap which will cripple the Scottish economy and critically hamstring our government. This can as we are aware be averted, but we’re going to need help. To be precise we’re going to need the help of those who voted to give Westminster one more chance and those who felt independence too risky at first time of asking.

      @ Grouse Beater

      ‘Fooling and scaring’

      Hopefully not second time round Grouse.

    58. Richardinho says:

      I’ve been trying to establish anywhere that the ‘No’ campaign absolutely stated that the Barnett formula wasn’t at risk. They seemed to have been fairly coy about it allowing the impression to be given that the formula would not be abolished without explicitly saying so, exemplified best with David Cameron’s vague ‘no plans on the horizon’ assurance concerning it. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10525927/David-Cameron-tells-Alex-Salmond-No-plans-to-change-Barnett-formula-if-Scots-reject-independence.html

    59. Yesitis says:

      This is another fine addition to the increasingly long list of Wings` articles for your ipad that should always be ready to be shown (when the moment is right) to the soft (or otherwise) No acquaintances in our lives.

      Thanks Rev Stu.

    60. Cadogan Enright says:

      Getting rid of the Barnett Formula would be a legitimate cause for Scotexit from rUK

      It would be hard for Unionists to argue that they had not guaranteed the Formula in their ‘fooling and scaring’ campaign

    61. heedtracker says:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07qCJms1-S4

      BBC vote NO Scotland con arteest in action, selling devo-max federal UKOK the vow, what they suddenly produced out of the blue and on one poll.

      Excluded, is the daily exit poll they were taking on a million? postal votes, opened and examined in front Project Fear crews across the country, without any public knowledge whatsoever.

      Also, creepy as UKOK fcuk

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-29359318

      The Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013 states that those attending the sample openings must not “attempt to ascertain at the proceedings in connection with the receipt of the ballot papers the outcome for which any vote is given in any particular ballot paper or communicate any information with respect thereto obtained at those proceedings”.

      Ruth Davidson announced the referendum result on BBC national tv 18th Sept. before poll result known, action taken by Election Commission, zero.

      Even red tory UKOK Glasgow Herald warns them-

      ELECTORAL administrators and returning officers for the General Election have been warned to keep the postal ballot secret and told that voting tallies by political agents is illegal.

      https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/fine-time#/

    62. Dr Jim says:

      In Westminster I think there are two camps of opinions on Scotlands finances
      There are those who know Scotlands contribution and don’t want it revealed, and those who think they know because they’ve been believing their own propaganda for so long

      But what both camps agree on is that Scotland shouldn’t be in control and that’s why the piecemeal power offer has been preferred

      It seems strange after all the shenanigans that Westminster are pulling that even the hard and fast haters of the idea of self determination for Scotland would rather we suffered for their idealogical standpoint

      Provincial newspapers like the Daily Record who have absolutely no relevance to the people of the rest of the United Kingdom take the view that Scotland, no matter the circumstances should be subservient to the will and power of the Voters of England and the Westminster Parliament

      I find that idea strange, in that, if a so called Scottish newspaper who’s sales are diminishing because the will of their readers is changing, refuse to recognise that fact, you then have to come to the conclusion that their business model is incompetent

      How many people does that newspaper have to lose before, or indeed if, it decides to stop this shaven headed Union Flag waving nonsense

      Scotland will be Independent even the haters know this, all we’re arguing over is the timescale, the Daily Records idea that one day the Labour party under someone, whomever, will turn the tide is complete and total delusion and they must by now know it, a bit like the Conservatives in the south the SNP will be in Government in Scotland for at least the next fifteen years

      Nicola Sturgeon will win all the prizes for being the bestest and wonderfullest and most lovednessest person humanity has produced since Jesus, so can I just say to the Unionist Press, when are you going to stop with the King Canute attitude

      You will, and are, losing

    63. Richardinho says:

      Gordon Brown though never lets you down. Here in a piece by the BBC’s Nick Robinson (no less) from 14th September 2014:

      ‘Gordon Brown is calling for three “guarantees” for Scotland to be “locked in” before voting takes place in the referendum on Thursday…’

      including:

      ‘..A guarantee that the Barnett formula will survive..’

      And in the impartial editorialising style that he has became famous for, Robinson adds the following comment:

      ‘Nationalists are likely to point out that there can be no such guarantees given that the unionist parties have not reached agreement on which powers to give Scotland in future.
      However, it is likely that the leaders of all three main UK parties will sign up to Mr Brown’s plans as they agreed to his timetable for further constitutional change.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-29203695

    64. Brian Powell says:

      A sizeable chunk of the Scottish population suffer from a severe case of ‘they wouldn’t do that’.

      The majority of Scottish Labour politicians suffered from a severe case of ‘we will win the Referendum, the 2015 GE in Scotland and in England, run the UK and all will be well for the Labour party, and the SNP will be completely screwed’.

      Unfortunately they didn’t suffer from any awareness that that might not happen and their constituents would suffer along with whatever happened to Scotland.

    65. dakk says:

      Many of those who voted No would be only to happy to see funds directed away from Scotland to England in the mistaken belief that this will ingratiate them with the English people.

      That kind of cringe and treachery is what we are up against.

    66. Richardinho says:

      BT campaigners were always happy to refer to the Barnett formula without mentioning the fact that it might not exist for much longer.

      In an article in the Guardian from 19th August 2014 in which Alistair Darling was trying to argue that spending on the NHS in Scotland had increased under the coalition government.


      ‘On the specific issue of NHS funding under the coalition, Andy McKeon, senior fellow at the Nuffield Trust, supported the former chancellor, saying:

      Alistair Darling is right to say there have been increases each year in the English health budget since the coalition came to power. The amount of cash has risen each year and this has kept the budget marginally ahead of inflation, meaning a very small rise in real terms. This will be reflected in the funding Scotland gets through the Barnett formula. Whether such increases continue for the English NHS will depend on the incoming government after the 2015 election.”

      http://www.theguardian.com/politics/scottish-independence-blog/2014/aug/19/scottish-independence-referendum-campaign-alastair-darling-accused-of-defending-nhs-cuts

    67. Fraser McNeill says:

      Explaining Barnett to people is key, how it came about, why it has been maintained and justification for its continuance. Deprivation and geography were and are the two core determinants.

      What has been evident for sometime is that if the Scottish Government used new tax raising powers, the amount raised would be clawed back by the uk treasury. In effect, no benefit and Scots would be paying higher tax rate.

      When the britsh establishment remove Barnett, and they will, the obvious counter is a second referendum.

      By 2016 Scots will have had seven years of cuts with no indication of them coming to an end plus the removal of Barnett which amounts to a further 20% cut. Scots will look at spending in London and HS 1 & 2, trident renewal, possible EU exit and the tories looking good for another ten years at westmonster, what other conclusion could you come to other than the union will end?

    68. Richardinho says:

      And just to provide some balance, here’s Jack McConnell admitting just before the referendum that the Barnett was probably under threat:

      http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13176455.McConnell_predicts__No__vote_would_sound_death_knell_for_Barnett_Formula/

    69. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “So surely a needs based system would only be to our detriment if it took Scotland as a whole”

      Which is exactly what it would do. For Treasury purposes the whole of Scotland is a region.

    70. Richardinho says:

      Sorry, I’m being stupid:I forgot about: ‘The Vow’:

      Try reading this without fuming:


      The joint statement also rubbishes claims from the SNP that the Barnett Formula for calculating Scotland’s budget could be changed to leave us less money for public services.

      It (The Vow) pledges: “Because of the continuation of the Barnett allocation for resources, and the powers of the Scottish Parliament to raise revenue, we can state categorically that the final say on how much is spent on the NHS will be a matter for the Scottish Parliament.”

      http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron-ed-miliband-nick-4265992

    71. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I know many No-ers whose biggest concern was remaining British, regardless of cost. I don’t see the scrapping of Barnett as being of any great consequence to them, so long as there’s tea and monarchy.”

      By a huge margin the main reason people give for voting No is the economy/finances of an independent Scotland. The hardcore “British till I die” vote is, as we found in our poll this month, about 30%.

    72. msean says:

      The Tories don’t see that no vote last year as just plain no to independence,they see it as a green light to do whatever they want,and they will.They have nothing to stop them.Even some Labour politicians want to end Barnett. The Barnet formula was always one of their grievances,and they have many.

      They have only been in power alone for a few months although it seems like longer,and they have years to go. Cuts can’t be made to affect only yes voters,no voters will be caught up as well.

    73. galamcennalath says:

      DevoMax seems a great idea. So is free pizza and ice cream forever.

      The problem with both is we need to get someone to agree to give them.

      Neither ever were nor ever will be on offer from WM.

      There is a difference, though. No one ever expected free pizza, but a lot people believed WM might give us DevoMax.

    74. Petra says:

      If they are planning to do away with Barnett I would imagine that would include Northern Ireland too. Wonder what they will have to say about that? What will their many No supporters who reside in Scotland have to say about that (and those who relocated short term from NI to vote), such as the marching flute blowing, drum bashing ignoramuses and those that were flying the Union flag, giving Nazi salutes and beating up women at Freedom Square on the 19th? Nought no doubt as it would seem that Scotland and its people being sacrificed like the proverbial lamb is a price worth paying to remain part of this despicable, corrupt Union.

    75. Gary45% says:

      Do you think EBC Misery Scotchsire, will run with a daily headline,
      “Scotland Gets Ripped Off Daily by Westminster”?
      No neither do I.
      All it would take would be the Scotchshire tea time news to admit this, and you would see a tidal wave change in opinion.
      Alas I see no chance of the establishments so called journalists doing what they are paid to do,
      “Report factual, unbiased news”.
      We have always known the way Scotland has been treated by some in the English quarters, subsidy junkies e.t.c.

      It is now time for the SNP to highlight the real economic facts about the Barnett formula, the mugs who sit opposite them in Holyrood, must be held to account, the fact that Scotland more than pays its way in the economy of the UK.

      No more wish washy pussy footing around the subject, its time to put the boot in.
      If we and the Government fail in getting this message across to the electorate, then its time to end the Scottish Parliament and we can all sit back and “take one”
      Remember Scotland is approximately 8.4% of the UK population and produces approximately 10% of the GDP “fact”.
      If we had voted for Independence we would have been so much better off.
      But we all know that.

    76. Gary45% says:

      Forgot to add, Call me Dave, “the pig abusers” wee jaunt into Syria will take this story away from the mainstream, so they can sneak it in the back door.
      Ozzy will also have an excuse for Fu*king up the budget.
      “We had to finance a war we never budgeted for
      and those Sweaty Jocks take all our money.” which in turn will ramp up even more hatred from Dan Sarf.
      Or am I being cynical?

    77. CameronB Brodie says:

      Robert Peffers
      Thanks. Also, as others have pointed out, there is just no comparison to the costs of governing Scotland and Wales. The different geographies of each nation probably the most obvious factor influencing this.

      My eyes tend to glaze over at this point, as I actually hate politics. Particularly in such an age of MWD (weapons of mass deception). 😉

    78. galamcennalath says:

      msean says:

      “The Tories don’t see that no vote last year as just plain no to independence,they see it as a green light to do whatever they want,and they will.”

      Without a doubt, yes.

      However what they didn’t expect was the surge to the SNP and continued growth in Indy support. They expected the SNP to weaken and Indy supporters to shut up and go away.

      I certainly hope they are making a big mistake by assuming they have a green light to embark on Project Hammer the Scots. May elections and how the Scotland Bill plays out will set the scene for what actually happens next. Hopefully, it may not be what the Tories planned.

    79. Petra says:

      @ Richardinho at 3:16 …… Daily Record Lies.

      The Daily Record had better get its act cleaned up and soon. They were the main players in Scotland behind ‘pushing’ for a No vote and used every dirty tactic under the sun to do so: More than anything by publishing THEIR last minute VOW. They’ve now got the chance to redeem themselves to some SMALL extent by informing the Scots as to what’s actually going on, on an ongoing basis. If not they could see themselves in Court sometime in the near future. They’ve been committing libel not just in relation to the detriment of say one individual, but a whole Nation of people.

    80. CameronB Brodie says:

      Perhaps even WKD, hic.

    81. Kennedy says:

      This has got to raise demand for independence.

      They lied and lied about Barnett. They even promised in the vow.

      Short term financial gain for wastemonster followed by ruin when Scotland leaves with it revenues.

    82. Ken Mair says:

      Link not working for me 404 🙁

    83. galamcennalath says:

      The Vow offered three things – the permanency of the Scottish Parliament, the continuation of Barnett, and lots of new powers.

      Looks like they are considering reneging on all three!

      OK, the powers aspect was woolly, but Barnett continuation and permanency of Parliament are straight forward delivery, Yes/No.

    84. Capella says:

      The repeated cry is for a “needs based” funding formula to replace Barnett. What that implies is that, no matter how much revenue Scotland generates, Westminster will take all of it then dole out a small amount back to cover what we “need”. London MPs will define what that amounts to.

      Sounds like a gigantic DWP run PIP system. All these Proud Scots will have to settle for the dole from George Osborne like benefit junkies!

    85. Onwards says:

      I’m sure there are some unionists who see the Barnett formula with slightly higher spending in Scotland as the price to pay for Scots remaining in the union.

      Do we really want to be in a position where independence supporters are making the same argument?
      Because that is how it could come across.

      If Barnett is gradually removed or reduced, then it is likely to happen whether we get more powers or not.

    86. Valerie says:

      I feel such disgust at how vile this UK gov’t treats Scotland, that I have to keep going back to the start of the piece. Such is my anger, I cant focus.

      Swinney has stated that Barnett is non negotiable, so I’m pretty sure this is the substantial change/grounds for indyref2.

    87. Valerie says:

      BTW, that absolute shite about changing to ‘needs based allocation’????

      Who the f$$k would fall for that? Needs based will be whatever they decide are needs.

      We see how they have ripped into welfare, so that people are dying and using food banks.

    88. Ruby says:

      Ken Mair says:
      22 November, 2015 at 4:05 pm
      Link not working for me 404 🙁

      Ruby replies

      Oh Goodie another link to fix! Which link?

    89. David says:

      I don’t feel any particular disgust for the behaviour of the UK government. They are, after all, really just behaving as we should expect. The Labour party or particularly the “great and the good” of the Labour Party need to shoulder most of the responsibility for the situation that Scotland now finds itself in. When are we going to get one prominent Labour politician to come forward and admit that they have been unable to secure or contribute to a fair, post indy ref, settlement for Scotland. How many set backs and under achievements do we need before SNP bad gets replaced by some form of common sense and decency. What is the point of Labour?

    90. Capella says:

      OT but still about the Lords.
      BBC Landward programme covers the new Land Reform Bill. Some good points raised. 30 mins
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b06pms6b/landward-20152016-episode-21

    91. Urbangril says:

      i have had a depressingly large number of “discussions” on Twitter with English voters who firmly believe that Barnett is charity from England to Scotland and to whom it comes as a big surprise that Scots pay taxes at all. It seems incredible but that’s what the media tells them.

    92. Foonurt says:

      The heids ah yoan arses doon sooth, urr burrlin lik ah peerie, tryin tae ootflank wurr Scoattish Government, in awe yoan wans thit votit aye.

      Bit thurr heidin up, ah blin-cloass.

    93. Ken Mair says:

      Scotland Bill link.

      I just deleted the extra spaces so works now.

      http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201516/ldselect/ldeconaf/55/55.pdf

      🙂

    94. Spooner says:

      “The Formula is hated almost everywhere else in the UK, by both politicians and the English (especially) public, who see it as an over-generous subsidy…”

      Is this an admission that we get a lot more back than we contribute?

    95. Wullie says:

      its time that the majority ref no voters lived in the world that they have created. Increase council tax, no free bus passes, no free eye tests, let the Snhs be privatised, no free prescriptions, etc etc.

      Its time the no voters paid the price for their stupidity, we yessers will suffer as well, there is no point whatsoever in trying to mitigate unionist venom.

      Let them reap what they have sown. Sadly I think that is what it is going to take to waken them up.

    96. Dr Jim says:

      The deceit was started the day and hour they named it “The block Grant” which implies “Gift”

      So the English folk have always believed they gifted Scotland money because we were too poor and had no economy of our own so you can’t blame Mr and Mrs average English person for reading the same rubbish newspaper drivel we get shoved at us on a daily basis

      Trouble is, some of their moronic politicians have come to actually believe it and the rest are happy to let them continue the same idea because it suits the purpose

      “Divide and Conquer” Art of War

    97. woosie says:

      That 30% of hard-core, union flag waving Cro-Magnons leave only 25% of the electorate who made the wrong indy choice, and who just might see sense now. Lets have the let-downs since the referendum exposed in simple terms, say in a full-page National column as a starter.

      Personally, I don’t want SOME tax-raising powers; we would definitely lose out, and expose the SG to all kinds of ridicule from the currently pointless opposition when targets can’t be met.

      Lets refuse to accept the Scotland bill, and press now for a second – this time transparent – referendum.

    98. Katrina MacGregor says:

      Can Scotland stop giving so much to UK Gov? If we give more than we get, why can’t we give less?

    99. louis.b.argyll says:

      Labour has no point, it is a blunt instrument.

      Experts, at misrepresenting our values.

    100. Ruby says:

      Dr Jim

      Mr and Mrs average English believe they subsidise Scotland but they are unable to say why they are so keen to do so and why their Prime Minister fought with every fibre of his being to ensure that they continued to have this extra tax burden.

      The NO voters who were desperate to remain in a Union with their brothers & sisters in England had no qualms about their brothers & sisters in England having to pay this extra tax.

      I have doubts about people voting NO for economic reasons. That is probably the reason they latched onto for voting NO but I’m not sure if that is why they voted NO.

      Could it be that NO voters & Mr/s Average English don’t really think much?

    101. Ruby says:

      Could it be that NO voters are having doubts and that is why the Alex Bell article was so popular amongst NO voters.

      It’s not pleasant having to come to the realisation that you made a big mistake and articles like Alex Bells helps ease the pain for a short time.

    102. Stuart says:

      Ha, ha, ha….

      “The UK parliament holds the electorate in such contempt that it feels able to discuss its plans to do so in full public view, and to even publish the discussions.”

      I think you’ll find that’s called democracy Wingsy, I mean just how dare they discuss things out in the open?

      But of course in Wanger land, this becomes ‘contempt’!

      Turning now to the rest of this badly written diatribe.

      So it’ll cost us billions if Barnett is changed, considering we subsidise UK and everything…

      How come one minute Scotland is just soooo wealthy, and the next it cannot survive a cut to Barnett?

      Dearie me..

      Make your mind up Wings, which is it?

      As at just what point did the Indy camp become such big fans of Barnett?

      Too feart of full on FFA?

    103. Finlay says:

      Thanks Ruby

      Some bedtime reading for me tonight!

    104. Ruby says:

      Stuart says:
      22 November, 2015 at 6:00 pm

      Too feart of full on FFA?

      Ruby replies

      It seems English MPs are all feart of Scotland having FFA and Scottish Unionists MPs are feart that FFA will lead to independence by the backdoor.

      Are you having doubts about voting NO Stuart is that why you are so angry?

    105. Ruby says:

      Sorry Stuart it wasn’t all English MPs who were feart to give Scotland FFA there was one who was all for it. I think he was called Sir Edward Leigh he initially looked like a good guy but then it turned out he thought FFA was a good ploy to get the Tories more votes in Scotland or some such nonsense!

      Finlay

      Enjoy! Hope it helps you get a good night sleep! Perhaps you’d better have a double dose of Horlicks before going to bed!

    106. Richardinho says:

      How come one minute Scotland is just soooo wealthy, and the next it cannot survive a cut to Barnett?

      The point is a promise was made by the three main Unionist party leaders to the Scottish people that the Barnett formula would continue and that promise has been broken and a cut in Scotland’s budget is likely as a result.

      Do Scottish unionists really not care about a potential cut in Scotland’s budget?

    107. heedtracker says:

      As at just what point did the Indy camp become such big fans of Barnett?

      Too feart of full on FFA?

      Too much depends of the size of the UKOK debt share. And its highly unlikely UKOK is good to make like nice with Scotland in an FFA deal.

      We already pay several billion for UK debt spent entirely in England only.

      And as we saw last week with HMRC pulling out of Cumbernauld and taking thousands of jobs to Croydon, UKOK is asset stripping Scotland by the day. This is despite UKOK threatening Scotland that NO vote would mean securing HMRC jobs in particular.

      Make your mind up Britnats, grovel for UKOK hand outs, or stand up and work for a better Scotland for everyone.

      This far right UKOK unionist will explain UK debt effect on Scotland but only half the reality Stuart.

      Kevin Hague ?@kevverage 2 hrs2 hours ago
      Old Wingsy really must think his followers are stupid – if they think for themselves they’ll see through his bluster

    108. Ken500 says:

      Barnet doesn’t have to survive. Scotland will get the Grant that it raises but it will be able to tax. I.e. put rates on tax evaders that pay no tax. A tax on land and landowners that evade tax. Or Whisky companies etc. At present tax is evaded through the City of London. It will bring in more tax.

      Get rid of Trident by not giving planning permission. it is a danger and health risk. They don’t base it in the rest of the UK because they don’t want the fall out. Don’t pay for it. Get it off the balance sheet. Have a Navy there with more jobs for residents. Develop the Oil on the West and get control of the oil tax. The tax is too high, especially with the price falling. Westminster is keeping tax too high and it is costing thousand of jobs in Scotland. He is deliberately ruining the Scottish economy.

      Osbourne has just spent £12Billion on jets to bomb people. On tick?

    109. Ghillie says:

      You are and were absolutly correct Rev Stu.

      I was warned by a unionist journalist that Scotland would be punished after the Referendum.

      He didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. But the tone of his warning wasn’t that this was bad but that we were bringing it on ourselves for having the nerve to poke our heads above the parapet.

      ‘Why, then,’ I asked ‘would Scotland want to stay in a union with a government like that?’

    110. Ken500 says:

      Scotland still has to get back the monies they are handing over. That’s all Scotland gets back now. With debt payments Scotland has to pay. Scotland will not have to pay debt payments it doesn’t borrow or spend. Scotland could raise more tax put up local rates on Land and Companies that tax evade and pay no tax. Establish tax offices and create jobs.

    111. heedtracker says:

      . put rates on tax evaders that pay no tax. A tax on land and landowners that evade tax. Or Whisky companies etc. At present tax is evaded through the City of London. It will bring in more tax.

      Scotland Bill does not permit tax on the rich though. Its explicitly designed to avoid taxation of the rich, placing everything entirely on PAYE workers. Look at the fury with SNP land reform, Mugabe, nazi’s/commies, landgrab etc

      Faslane was picked for Trident primarily because its a difficult target to nuke and far enough away from London in an accidental explosion. France uses Brest to pen their Trident but its like the coast of Sussex.

      Trident subs can’t leave Faslane without being seen as the Clyde is too shallow to submerge, so its not like its a some kind of secret sub pen.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-33226303

    112. Why should we be afraid of losing Barnett? It has long been held as unfit for purpose. It is inherently unfair, and has reduced the funding available to Scotland over time.

      Smith proposals are unworkable and give us a lose lose situation if we choose to use them. The danger in this situation is that we aren’t listened to in the assertion of an alternative and it is foisted on us. I looked at the formula after the referendum, and considered a fairer alternative.

      Central government has to be funded. If all tax revenues were retained in Scotland, then a %age based on the number of Seats held in parliament by Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish politicians.

      Reserved powers also need to be funded and should be costed based on a %age of population split and perhaps in geographical area in the case of home defence. Any additional shortfall in central funding should be met by the respective %age GDP of the constituent countries within the UK.

      Unfortunately, I couldn’t find appropriate figures to base my assessment on, available budget figures didn’t match population figures. My instinct is that by removing the link to public spending in England the amount of money remaining in Scotland would probably be greater than under Barnett.

      I’m sure better minds than mine have considered this problem, and perhaps there is a solution waiting in the wings. Isn’t this what we should consider, instead of feeling aggrieved at the demise of Barnett?

    113. Ken500 says:

      Scotland can increase land rates on Cameron’s father-in-law estate in Jura and the Daily Mail owner Lord Rothermere estate in Ullupool. Lord Thurso. etc. Raising more taxes. An increased council tax on higher bands etc. on £Millionare houses in Edinburgh and Queensferry. Extra business rates on businesses which evade taxes.

      Put a probition Notice on Trident because of health and safety issues and dangers to the local environment. Don’t pay for illegal wars and invasions. Once a tax system is up an running it will creat more jobs. Go for another Referendum when the time is right.

    114. Ken500 says:

      In is just increasing Council tax bands. Scotland can do that now. Increasing rates on business which don’t pay tax. Scptlabd can increase business rates now. Any lost revenues can be offset.

      Trident is a threat to life in Scotland. A council can put a probition Notice on dangerous activities now, which affect the environment.

    115. Ken500 says:

      Another higher council band tax band on Rubislaw Den.

    116. Christian Schmidt says:

      I think the key phrase in your article is ‘told you so’. And you are of course quite correct. But because you and the whole yes-campaign were shouting about this and many other scams by the no-side in real time, you (and the SNP government) cannot now say the voters didn’t know what they voted for in the refendum.

      Personally I think Swinney needs to be brave, increase income tax (and whatever else he can), and if that leaves Scotland still worse off (because of UK gov cuts, end of Barnett, or them just taking any support to despairing people back as ‘income’), then they can go back to the country and asked again, given the options as they now are, do you want independence.

      Tough on Scotland, but if the voters vote for a clearly economically second-best option, then in a democracy that what they get.

    117. willieThis iis payback says:

      This is payback for the temerity to even consider independence.

      Westminster under the Tories is in controland they are going to make it hurt. So suck it up people. This is what you voted for. A Feeble nation of forelock tuggers deserves nothing less.

      Enjoy the hurt and learn to grovel.

    118. heedtracker says:

      Another higher council band tax band on Rubislaw Den.

      South or North:D

      Taxation like this is not enough. England has 6th biggest GDP in the world and they got it by pumping half to three quarters of a trillion into their infrastructure. They don’t make that much a deal about it because that’s not how the UK sells itself.

      Much is borrowed as we know and Scotland will pay its share, like it or not.

      The only way out and up for the Scottish economy, fairer progressive taxes, higher wages, secure private sector jobs, is Holyrood having same controls of Scottish economy as the Treasury does now. Which is why the Treasury fought so hard against Scottish independence and wants to keep the Barnett formula as it is.

      Any loss of Scottish size economics is a big deal for England primarily for its ongoing high spend infrastructure progress, HS2, Trans Pennine rail link tunnels, Heathrow new runway.

      Its probably why we have tory boy unionists like that Kevrage, raging away at just the idea of FFA.

      FFA is a big break for Scotland and England will have to cut its coat according to its reduced borrowing capacity.

      Plus you have all kinds of bums and troughers in the Lords who can’t allow it all either.

      Surely they wont shut it all down?

      PR Holyrood versus one of the greatest troughs in the democratic world. How will it end?

    119. Scott Borthwick says:

      Capella says:
      22 November, 2015 at 4:22 pm

      The repeated cry is for a “needs based” funding formula to replace Barnett. What that implies is that, no matter how much revenue Scotland generates, Westminster will take all of it then dole out a small amount back to cover what we “need”. London MPs will define what that amounts to.

      Yes, and no matter how little of our own money we get back, it will still be called a subsidy.

    120. Janet says:

      Remember: Barnett is based on a highly selective multiplier. It excludes huge swathes of public expenditure in England, with the effect of reducing the overall size of the monies allocated to Scotland. The fact that there is a multiplier of 10-20% is meant to compensate for much UK expenditure taking place in London but of course is convenient, since it makes the Scots look “subsidized”.

      Next May, make it SNP/SNP.

    121. ronnie anderson says:

      Nobody who has been on this WoS site should be under any illusions that we would get anything from Westminster, this is another jaw jaw exercise , whitch they have been doing for years & will continue to do, they will lay waste to Scotland before we get Independence.

    122. Andrew says:

      In 1707 the Scottish people did not want Westminster rule. In 1979 the Scottish people voted for more powers. In 1997 the Scottish people voted for more powers for Scotland.
      The only time ever the Scottish people voted to be ruled by Westminster was 2014.
      Up till the referendum the Westminster government was always on a shooglie peg ruling over Scotland and made concessions because of it. Post 2014 they have a democratic mandate to give Scotland a damn good kicking. However much some people may feel they were mislead, many people knew and all the evidence was there before us. In order to understand a Tory spokesperson simply reverse the meaning of any statement. If you want to be ruled by a foreign government don’t complain when they take advantage of you!
      Soar Caesar!.

    123. Gary45% says:

      The one main thing that will come from this is.
      The establishment will skew the facts about Barnett, and as sure as the nose on your face the SNP will get the blame for having the nerve to stand up to Westminster.
      Mark my words the good old media will lay the blame at the SNP in the run up to next years election.
      But then again the establishment seem to forget us sweatys know how to use the internet.:)

    124. heedtracker says:

      The one main thing that will come from this is.
      The establishment will skew the facts about Barnett,

      They will block and then cancel completely, PAYE tax devo to Scotland.

      PAYE tax administration is the one giant step for Scotland that will only lead to the development of more and more progressive taxation powers and that cannot be allowed.

      What if Scotland does gain the ability to tax the super sonic rich among us, the queen might not purr, JK Rowling may take her half a billion and head off to Dumbledor, whatever that is.

    125. Robert Louis says:

      You know, if you asked ,say, a child of seven to solve the fiscal problems associated with these mythical ‘more powers’, their answer would be as obvious as it is simple, let Scotland control its own affairs, taxes and revenue. In other words, independence.

      All this nonsense about the Scotland bill, is such a waste of time. It can only ever do Scotland harm.

    126. heedtracker says:

      All this nonsense about the Scotland bill, is such a waste of time. It can only ever do Scotland harm.

      They consider Scotland a region, their region. They assumed under SLab it would remain like this forever. A mere region at the back of the UKOK que for everything, an arms dump and huge big plus in the current account, held in check by the BBC in Scotland regional propaganda unit, all the Scittish press, all owned by super rich tax evaders.

      Let the Labour right to reign over them return, for ever and ever. UKOK.

      Just ask this lot. The red and blue tory rewards are there for the taking, future Lady Dugdale of Knightsbridge, maybe that’s taken though, knightsbridge, not lady Dugdale.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-34076755

    127. ScotsCanuck says:

      lets cut to the chase, Nicola has to say “Barnett is our line in the sand” if this formula is diluted (or more likely) rescinded, we will go to the Scottish people with IndyRef2 on the grounds of “breach of Contract” in respect of The Vow (sic). I for one am pissed off with my Country being shafted by that weasel, Cameron, and his associated in-breed cohorts. Enough of the political “tide will turn” pish …. ACTION Nicola, NOW !!!

    128. Ken500 says:

      Bye Bye Barnett and good riddance. Scotland can have a fairer more equal tax system that is enforceable. A tax system that works. Tax raising powers the most significant development in Scotland’s history. Scotland can tax the tax evaders. Don’t get angry get even. Scotland can decide it’s own spending powers. Scotland is one it’s way to a better more equal society and another Referendum. The Tory Unionist are on their way out. Goid riddance Unionist politicians. You are finished in Scotland. Good bye and good riddance.

    129. Ken500 says:

      Scotland will be abe to get back at the Tory and Unionist liars after 300 Years. Revenge will be sweet.

    130. Kevin Evans says:

      I think we should crowd fund and buy tracks of farm land directly on the Scottish boarder next to England then advertise for volunteers to dig a big moat and finally separate Scotland from England.

      I jest of course

    131. Ken500 says:

      Vote out the Greens as well. They collude with the Unionists and landowners. Thry use their casting vote to vote with the ‘status quo’ – the Unionsts against their own policies. The Greens renege on their own policies and waste £Millions/Billions of taxpayers money. Against the majority wishes and the public interest. They are duplicitous liars. Never vote Green.They are untrustworthy liars.

    132. Grendel says:

      So by that logic, Drumchapel is but a hop, skip and a jump from Bearsden. Bearsden is doing alright, so Drumchapel should be given the the same funding. Yeah, sure.

      Barnett was weighted partially because of our rural population. Message to the Highlands and Islands: Prepare for a new round of clearances, we can’t afford you anymore…

    133. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Is this an admission that we get a lot more back than we contribute?”

      Not if you can read English, no.



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