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Something to do

Posted on March 22, 2016 by

Barring some sort of unforseeable apocalypse, Scottish Labour aren’t going to win the Holyrood election in May, so it doesn’t really matter what their policy proposals are – they’re never going to happen.

Nevertheless, it’s pretty much our job to examine stuff like their plan to “scrap council tax”, and it’s more fun than watching the news today, so let’s give it a go.


The chart above, taken straight from Scottish Labour’s website, represents almost the entire content of the policy. Rather than “scrapping” council tax, it’s a slight tweaking of it – the principle of a banded property-based tax, where people in lower bands pay proportionally more of their home’s value than those in upper bands, is identical.


The big selling point is that Labour’s slight tweaking of council tax is more progressive than the SNP’s slight tweaking of council tax, announced earlier this month.

(We should probably pause for a moment to note the comedy hyperbole of Labour’s description of “The SNP’s Discredited Council Tax”. Council tax was introduced by a Conservative UK government in 1992, and not repealed by either 13 years of UK Labour government or eight years of a Labour-led administration at Holyrood.)

But the details are extremely curious. Let’s look at some.


For some reason the plan has a cap, so that people in houses worth over £660,000 get hit much less hard, relatively speaking, than those in houses valued at just £300,000 or £360,000.


The cap will increase by 3% every year. The effect of that will be that the tax becomes more and more regressive, because a 3% increase with an artificial ceiling on it means that poor people will be paying proportionately more and more of their income compared to the better-off.

If your house is worth £100,000 in year 1, then after 10 years of 3% increases you’ll be paying £887 (an increase of £227). If your house is worth £1m in year one, your bill will go up from £3000 to £4032 – an increase of £1032, or four-and-a-half times as much as the increase for the £100K house.

Since people in £1m houses (and £2m houses and £3m houses, who’ll be paying the same in tax as the £1m house or a £660,000 house) tend to earn more than 4.5x what those in £100K houses do, then that’s a regressive tax, because poorer people are spending a greater and greater percentage of their money than richer ones.

There’s another odd detail.


The biggest gap between any two bands in Labour’s table is that between houses valued at £260,000 and £300,000. If your house is valued at just £40,000 more you’ll be a whopping £361 worse off, whereas if it increases in value by another £360,000 that increase will only cost you (relative to the SNP’s plans) a further £185.

The shorthand way of expressing that is that Labour’s plan most aggressively targets people whose houses are worth between £300,000 and £360,000 – in other words, precisely the people most likely to have voted No and voted Labour.

The point at which Labour’s plan starts costing you more than the SNP’s is if your house is worth £270,000. So it penalises those in high-property-value, No-voting cities like Edinburgh and Aberdeen, and hammers the “Morningside Reds” who kept the party’s only Scottish MP in his seat.

Amusingly, the plan would also see people in Band D paying £69 less than under the SNP’s proposals. Why is that amusing? Because a mere three weeks ago, Edinburgh citizen and Scottish Labour regional manager Kezia Dugdale was heard complaining bitterly about the SNP’s changes on the grounds that as a Band D resident she should be paying more, before putting forward a scheme which would SAVE her money:


It’s like the North British branch office is harbouring some sort of a demented death wish, pausing from shooting itself in the foot for long enough only to purge the few remaining people who still support it. But it keeps getting weirder.


We’ve read the above passage several times and we still can’t get it to make a lot of sense. Labour say that the revaluation required for the policy will cost £8.5m:


But the passage suggests that that revaluation will have to be undertaken EVERY YEAR, on a regional basis – an insane level of expense (and bureaucracy) at a time when council budgets are under extreme pressure.

It also means that people who happen to live in expensive areas will see their tax go up more than people in less prosperous ones, regardless of whether their own income has increased.

And the corollary of that is that councils with lots of low-value properties will receive less in tax, and fall further behind richer areas. So they’ll have to cut services, making their areas less attractive to live in, depressing property prices in a vicious circle.

Analysis by Dr Craig Dalzell of The Common Green, based on a report by land-reform campaigner Andy Wightman, suggests that Labour’s property tax would bring in £141m a year less than the current council tax. (The SNP’s proposals, while timid, at least bring in more money than at present.)

Labour has attempted to address this by suggesting councils should be given powers to introduce a “tourist tax” on hotels. That’s a good idea in itself, but it’s not going to do a lot for Castlemilk or Broxburn, and would also struggle to fill the gap overall.

So Labour are proposing a scheme which isn’t properly funded, which is increasingly regressive as time passes both to individuals and poorer areas of the country, which has an arbitrary cap on the richest, and which hurts Labour’s own supporters most.

As we said, they won’t get elected. Maybe for their own sake that’s just as well.

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  1. 22 03 16 15:43

    Something to do | Speymouth

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    Reformers Reforming Reforms | The Common Green

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  1. Arbroath1320 says:

    By the looks of things it looks like Jackie Baillie has been working out her “sums” on the back of a fag packet whilst using the BBC calculator to do her adding up. 😀

  2. Thepnr says:

    Slab policy wonks seem to have it all figured out. Shame they appear to have no common sense.

    The 141 million shortfall will be made up by not scrapping APD, you missed that Rev.

  3. Dr Jim says:

    It’s all down to the way the Yoon Media report it
    “Scotland will face higher income tax bills” No they won’t, Scotland will pay exactly the same income tax as it did the day before
    England changed the rules we didn’t

    Osborne jumps in the Thames
    John Swinney refuses to follow suit in Scotland

    Tourist tax? I can’t even begin

    If Kezia’s got any advisors they should be equipped with a handy roll of Gaffa Tape tae stick ower hur mooth

  4. al urquhar says:

    Baillienomics. Stupidity on stilts. I’m astonished.

  5. FifeJP says:

    I wondered if Labour were going to revalue every house in Scotland every year; looks like that’s what’s in their (cunning) plan.

    The announcement by Scottish Labour also includes “a Land Value Tax on vacant, economically inactive land”;

    Would be interesting to see if this analysis appears in the main stream media; but I guess we all know the answer to that.

  6. bobajock says:

    Labour – they got it right before, so they must be right this time.

  7. Arbroath1320 says:

    The 141 million shortfall will be made up by not scrapping APD, you missed that Rev.

    So how many uses does this make for Labour using the money from APD now Thepner. I’ have lost count is five or six? 😀

  8. Jim Bo says:

    Scottish Labour really are staggeringly incompetent in every way aren’t they. And just when we think they’ve plumbed the depths of ridiculousness and beyond, we find they’re only just getting started.

  9. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    @ Arbroath1320 says:
    22 March, 2016 at 2:03 pm
    out her “sums” on the back of a fag packet whilst using the BBC calculator to do her adding up. ?

    On the reverse side of a Tunnock’s tea cake aluminium foil, using a crayon?

  10. Iain More says:

    Bean counter Baillie has clearly lost most of her beans or should that be marbles. I almost choked on my pudding when Taylor announced that SLAB claimed their proposals would mean that a grand total of 80% of properties would actually pay less in Council Tax.

    I have to admit I do like the idea of the Naw bags in Aberdeen being rewarded for propping up the Union and the Morningside Reds getting a poke in the eye as well. I can only assume they didn’t consult the SLAB millionaire Cllr Willie Young about this.


    I don’t think Jabbas sums even made it to the back of a fag packet. I think even the BBC calculator has been hidden away as well.

  11. Arbroath1320 says:

    I bow to your superior knowledge of Baillienomics as al urquhar calls it BtP. 😀

    I don’t think Jabbas sums even made it to the back of a fag packet. I think even the BBC calculator has been hidden away as well.

    I think you have been talking to BtP there Iain re the back o the fag packet calculations. 😀

    As for the BBC calculator well yes you may be right. I think the last time she got her hands on it they had to send out for a new one cause she broke the old one. Don’t ask how … I just know she did! 😀

  12. Lollysmum says:

    Maths really isn’t their strong point, is it?

  13. Iain More says:

    There will of course be no serious analysis of SLABs bizarre proposals in the Brit Nat Press and Media. They make even Osborne look and sound competent in comparison. What a shambles!

  14. ClanDonald says:

    Can anyone confirm: does Labour’s proposal mean they’re planning on centralising the decision making process for rates of council tax from local authorities to Holyrood with LA’s only allowed to increase by 3% each year?

  15. Bob Mack says:

    Oh dear Oh dear Oh dear.

  16. Arbroath1320 says:

    Lollysmum says:
    22 March, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Maths really isn’t their strong point, is it?

    Well I think we know this as FACT Lollysmum. After all as the First Minister quoted here from one of Hollyrood’s committee’s (at about 3 mins) “My maths are shaky.” 😀

  17. Alan Macdonald says:


    That was a hard read for my simple brain but thats one hell of a good article. That was worth my donation alone.

  18. Onwards says:

    If the £141m shortfall is accurate, then that is incredible when Labour is arguing for more local democracy and constantly ranting about an over-centralised ‘one party state’.

    Already councils receive the vast majority of their budget from Holyrood. What is it now? 85%?

  19. Onwards says:

    Of course the figures don’t really matter to Labour.

    They just want to be able to campaign under a headline banner of ‘scrapping the council tax’.

  20. Kev says:

    So Labour’s plan is to scrap the “SNP’s Discredited Council Tax” and replace it with.. er.. an even more regressive form of the Council tax? Still, it won’t stop the BBC raving about it as some revolutionary master-stroke all the way to election day, yawn…

  21. Tony Little says:

    There is no obvious and easy replacement to the Council Tax / Rates. Perhaps LVT is the answer, but it seems to me that much basic ground work needs completing before it could be introduced.

    If I recall, the SNP moved away from a LIT as HMRC wanted to charge them a fortune o administer. Once we have IT powers, we will need some local Tax office, so when that is established, maybe LIT will make a return?

    In the meantime, I note that the bands rise in £40k increments until they reach £300k, then just two bands of £360k and £660k. Why is that? What was the rationale in the legislation to have these bands?

    If we have to retain some form of rate based on property values, why not have more variable bands based on the proportion of housed in certain bands? Some form of ‘bell curve’ of National housing? Split this by deciles according to price and have each council create its own property “bell curve” based on the actual property values.

    So ten bands, with a value representing 10% of property values in the council. Charge each one a fixed percentage (the same in each band) and wouldn’t that mean the highest value properties paying more?

    I need to think this through – just initial thoughts.

    But the bottom line is that local taxation is NOT as simple or easy as people like Patrick Harvie pretend it is.

  22. You’re welcome for the graphic on the percentage levied. Happy to contribute even if only by a little. I kind of wish I made a graph to illustrate the change in percentage levy with rise in property price but I suppose it’s a little overkill.

    Anyway, to be blunt both plans aren’t great but the Labour one is spectacularly inept. Capping the max payment makes any kind of levy pointless. Not to mention the percentage levy seems like they threw a dartboard at a collection of numbers for each band.

  23. Martin says:

    They’re not even trying anymore are they?

    This is woefully bad, even by the very low standards we judge SLab by

  24. Doug Daniel says:

    The more you look at it, the more careless the policy seems, which makes it pretty obvious that this is just electioneering, not a serious attempt to reform local taxation. Even the name is daft – “Fair Property Tax”. Are they taking lessons from George Osborne and his “living wage” which isn’t actually enough to live on?

    It’s difficult to see how this is anything other than an expensive rebranding of council tax. At least council tax is easy enough to understand, which is one of the main reasons it’s so hard to get rid of it.

  25. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Looks like we may need another one of Doug Daniel’s splendid graphs to explain it all…

  26. Iain More says:

    Read it through again and I just noticed that SLAB have two band F’s – WTF!

    It seems that tables aren’t their strong point either.

    Of course they want a yearly re-evaluation because it provides jobs and cash for their Brit Nat cronies of that I have no doubt. There will be nothing fair about the re-evaluations either of that I am also sure.

  27. heedtracker says:

    The other end of this is Andrew Kerr? of BBC Scotland explaining to BBC Politics lunchtime show today that May “region’s” election in his Scotland region, is all entirely focused on high earners NOT getting latest UKOK tory tax cut, for highest earners, thanks to SNP.

    But then up pops Dugdale and Wullie Rennie attacks on SNP NOT hiking tax enough and as much as SLab and SLib will. Ruthie Babes says there’s now a big sign on non Scottish border what says dont come to Scotland.

  28. Dr Jim says:

    I don’t know what Kezia’s making all this fuss for
    When she wins the election and gets the FMs chair and all her power she can do what she likes


  29. Macart says:

    Note to policy wonks – That is how you discredit a policy. 🙂

  30. Chic McGregor says:

    Erm, according to readily available data, page 43 in the following pdf which took about 5 mins to find:

    Bands A to E account for 87% of the households in Scotland
    Bands F to G only account for 13%

    So even if all of Band A to E paid £68 less (the lowest rebate figure) and all of bands f to G paid £450 (the highest extra tax figure) the councils, as a whole, would still be worse off over all. The total take reduces. They will like that – not.

    Of course it is a lot worse than that in reality.

    If we take the average ‘saving’ for bands A to E i.e. £81
    And the average ‘extra tax’ for bands F to G i.e. £309

    Then the councils over all, will collect over £30 less per property on average.

    Strange policy from a party which has consistently bleated on about councils being under funded by the Council Tax.

  31. Onwards says:


    The SNP seem to have found a nice way to take on Ruth Davidson.

    Getting around the ridiculous non-devolution of the personal allowance, they have set a ZERO rate of income tax, and are promising to take more low earners out of paying income tax by 2021.

    So when Ruth Davidson tries to rant about Scotland becoming the most highly taxed part of Britain, she will have to make clear she is talking about the wealthiest only. Everyone below the higher rate will be paying less income tax.

  32. asklair says:

    Land value tax or land value tax would mean only one tax, no vat, no national insurance, no income tax, only one tax. Try hiding land, developers and large land owners would leave the country, but they could not take our land with them, thats why no government will introduce it. There is nothing new about this method of funding our society, but the ruling establishment and their masters will not allow it to happen.

  33. Thepnr says:

    @Chic McGregor

    Exactly! Guess that’s where APD comes to the rescue in making up the difference.

  34. heedtracker says:

    Onwards says:
    22 March, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    I’m a low info sound bite voter/sucka. so all I heard was Ruthie Babes say, SNP put big sign up saying dont come to Scotland. Which pretty much ties in with the usual red and blue tory world bollox that takes the piss out of their Scotland region, and always on the BBC. Funny that.

  35. Macca73 says:

    If this was a football game you’d bet for the side in Red to score an o.g. every single week!

    Can someone please tell me how to stop them even being in post when they are wasting taxpayers money quite dreadfully!

  36. Stu, your insightful observation is that they know that they will not be in power to implement any of this guff; ergo they can say what they like.
    I note that BBC is trailing their ‘leaders’ Debate’ this Thursday 24th March.

    Will Glen Campbell as ‘chair’ (no don’t laugh) work on the same assumption? No point in challenging the Unionist Manifestos…they’ll never be in power. Whew !

    Will it be a rerun of ‘Hang On a Minute’ Brewer’s risible Leaders’ Debate in the run up to last year’s UK GE where he, Murphy, Davidson, and Rennie attempted to pile into Nicola Sturgeon, shouting down her responses to the ever increasingly shrill and frantic heckling from the Unionists and Pacific Quay Labour’s Mouthpiece Primus?

    Will Glen have a copy of the White Paper, and will he have distributed the barbs among the Unionists to throw at Nicola as she responds to questions from ‘an invited but balanced audience .

    (75% Unionists, ex/failed Labour and Tory politicos, Lib Dem Think Tankers, and so on.)

    Wee Wullie will get the ‘£15 billion black hole if we had been Independent, £ 500 million shortfall in Education budget, and the zillions of College Places the SNP Scrapped’, line to take.

    Ruth will burp on about Farming Subsidies, and the oil revenue forecasts, and Kezia will bang on about it being the SNP’s fault, well, the SNP’s fault for everything.

    Glen Campbell will interrupt NS at every opportunity while quoting GERS, the ‘respected’ IFS billions and billions of pounds shortfall come independence report, and ‘the independent’ OBR forecasts of doom and gloom for basket case Scotland this year.

    All four, and the plants in the audience will demand the date of the next Referendum, and brand the FM a liar because the last one was supposed to be a ‘once in a lifetime’ event.

    The finale of course will be hospital waiting times, and the GP Recruitment crisis, and Willie will pitch in with the Mental Health Crisis.

    Kezia’s offerings will be greeted with wild cheering and wild applause, and Ruth will wave a piece of paper in the air.

    No mention of Tory cuts, Trident, the delayed Chilcot enquiry, IDS resignation, the poor and disabled as untermenschen will be allowed. these are ‘THE WEE THINGS’ which need not trouble the ‘not genetically programmed’ intellects of the serfs in the Scottish Colony.

    It will be the usual put up farce from Pacific Quay’s Unionist Broadcasting House..
    What about fruit machines in bookies and a pint at Parkhead on a family day out? What happened there?

  37. handclapping says:

    Vote for me!

    Every foodbank will get free green cheese. We will fly to the Moon and collect it for nothing.

    I also have vetinary policies; all sheep will be genetically programed to bleat SNPBaaad.

    Vote for me!

  38. Proud Cybernat says:

    Thans for this, Rev.

    It just makes me wonder how ‘robust’ Labour manifesto proposals were when we last voted to give them the keys of Holyrood? The difference these days is that we now have this interweb thingymajig where their proposals (and those of all parties) can be analysed, scrutinised and, in Labour’s case, thoroughly debunked in minutes.

    IndyRef#1 woke us up. The interweb with people like Stu, Bella, Newsnet, Common Weal et al, are keeping us educated and informed.

    And because of that there is simply no way back now for the London Labour Party in Scotland.

  39. orri says:

    The reason there are two F’s is because they’ve nominally chosen to split the current band. Looking at the list even if the cost they quote is an upper limit my own house would be dropping a “band”. Given that I’d probably want a new valuation as would others. The whole point of Council tax bandings was to peg houses to the price they’d fetch when it was introduced. All Labour seem intent on doing is returning to the state we were in prior to the introduction of the poll tax where one of the excuses was that Scotland was long overdue a re-evaluation.

  40. Chitterinlicht says:

    Labour MSPs are going to down oceans of Irn Bru to make up £141M in sugar taxes.

    Two FFs in table about sums them up – ‘the not very good party’

  41. Ken500 says:

    Don’t let Unionists/Greens get their hands on any more money to waste on their grotesque projects the majority do not want. They waste £Billions.

    The majority do not want a land tax. That could put up the price of houses and food and could harm exports.

  42. sensibledave says:

    … As discussed on a previous thread, Council Tax is just a rubbish tax and should be scrapped. The tax exists to pay councils for the local services it provides to the its resident population. Those services are for “people” not “properties”. Yes, properties are a “clue” to what services might need to be provided – but that is all.

    As has been discussed ad nauseum, it is quite possible that two identical houses in the same street may home a Mum, Dad and two young adults brining in four salaries in one home, whilst next door, an old couple live on a small pension.

    Arguments about whether a tax is progressive or regressive are redundant once one accepts that reality.

    Council tax should go – and working, tax payers in an area should be paying via a local income tax levy.

    Its obvious but no one has the nerve to do it.

  43. Cherry says:

    Seriously have they always been so inept? How many years of this slabber shit did we as a nation SWALLOW. I’ve never really been bothered with politics, just got on with life trying to raise children and survive till the next wage came in.

    Since the 19th September my whole focus changed when I began to see what I had been blind to. These people are without conscience. Anything they do they do it knowingly. Personally I’ve swallowed enough of their shit and they can’t disappear from our lives quickly enough.

    SNP X 2 EU IN

  44. Skip_NC says:

    Greetings from Raleigh, North Carolina, where we have a fairly simple property tax. It is based on a percentage of value, with revaluations every four or eight years. There is no cap on the tax to be paid and it applies to business real estate as well as personal real estate. Businesses also pay tax based on the value of assets used in their business and individuals pay an ad valorem tax on their cars. There is no cap. For instance, consider the tax bill of former US Vice Presidential candidate, John Edwards:

    Now, this system does not get around the inherent unfairness in taxing improved property. Clearly, a local income tax is more progressive, but surely a strictly percentage-based system is the next best thing?

  45. Ken500 says:

    Why should Scotland have to pay a Trident/illegal wars tax, ‘loss leading’ cheap alcohol tax, a tax evasion tax, a 60/80% Oil tax, a tax on loan repayments Scotland dorsn’t borrow or spend. = £13Billion.

    Vote for SNP/Twa. Vote for Independnce.

  46. TheeForsakenOne says: “I kind of wish I made a graph to illustrate the change in percentage levy with rise in property price but I suppose it’s a little overkill”

    Consider me an overkiller:

  47. heedtracker says:

    sensibledave says:

    Yes sensibledave, lets means test council tax now. You berk.

    Anyway sensible, its just another glarung example of just why Scotland needs to get as far away from yoons like you, one of countless examples too.

  48. Ken500 says:

    People on low incomes do not pay the Council tax. Students, elderly and the vunerable. Exempt.

  49. Inverclyder says:

    sensibledave @ 4:06pm

    That would be something like a Poll Tax.

    Remind us how that went down in Scotland again.

  50. Ken500 says:

    If Osbourne wants to cut the Deficit/debt. Why doesn’t he cut, HS2, (£70Billion x double) Hinkley nuclear power station (£25Billion x double) and Trident (£170Billion). The biggest waste of taxpayers money.

  51. Andrew Mclean says:

    I bet you are one of the guys who when seeing the sign, don’t feed the birds continue to throw bread! Now all that happens is they get the attention they are starved of in their own environment, and before you know it you have a whole flock, and as our good bread is too rich for them they start shiting all over the place!
    Now that’s not sensible is it! 😉

  52. shug says:

    But will you hear this analysis on the BBC or during a good morning Scotland interview with Mr Brewer or Tokyo Kay
    I think not
    We will hear how labour have a shiny new proposal to replace the bad snp system

  53. schrodingerscat says:

    The majority do not want a land tax. That could put up the price of houses and food and could harm exports.

    bollox, the majority dont even know what a land tax is…including yourself.
    the introduction of an lvt has been part of the snp manifesto many times over the years

    large amounts of land coming onto the market would lower the cost of land for building of houses, thus lowering house prices.

    agricultural land value is very low and generally unavailable. the value of all crops grown is subsidised to the hilt,

    So what if the duke of atholl, the largest sheep farmer in europe, has problems in the sheep market? boo fuckin hoo, the only profit the hills and sheep make he keeps for himself

  54. Tam Jardine says:

    I have not really got my head round this- so slab want to raise a tax on tourists AND oppose reducing APD. Can I suggest if they really truly want to radically reduce the numbers of tourists visiting Scotland they could consider increasing APD well above its current level. In fact, why not close the fucking borders to tourists altogether!

    Jesus – if you own a B&B or work in hospitality you could always vote for slab if you want to have a lot more free time.

  55. Sinky says:

    shug at 4.48 pm

    We had “expert analysis” from former Labour Councillor Richard Kerley on BBC Radio Scotland Newsdrive at circa 4.45pm.

    Of course his political affiliation was not disclosed.

  56. Fireproofjim says:

    Got to agree with every word of that, for once.
    Local income tax is the answer. It is fair and cheap to collect and immediately gets rid of the anomaly where the widow living on her own pays as much as, say, four wage earners in an identical house.
    Local sales tax is a possibility too, and both these methods have been used for years in many other countries.

  57. galamcennalath says:

    The big budgets for councils are education and social work. There is absolutely no logical connect between these ‘people’ expenditures and property values.

    Other items, like environmental, roads, etc are property related.

    It seems sensible to me to separate local service which are property based and apply a property tax.

    Then use central funding through additional income tax to pay for education and social work.

    Let’s face it, though. The SNP don’t want to frighten any horses before independence is achieved!

    Labour can do and say what they want.

  58. Legerwood says:


    Reports today that oil price has risen 50% in the last couple of months.

  59. shug says:

    Bet we do not see this analyses on the BBC or hard questions from Brewer or Tokyo Kay
    Usual soft pedal and shove it out of sight with a headline of labour to get rid of bad snp tax
    Laughable it is

  60. heedtracker says:

    Sinky says:
    22 March, 2016 at 4:57 pm
    shug at 4.48 pm

    We had “expert analysis” from former Labour Councillor Richard Kerley on BBC Radio Scotland Newsdrive at circa 4.45pm.

    Right click google Kerley and he goes way back into SLab glory days, first up,2566523&hl=en

  61. Dr Jim says:

    Prof mental Gallagher says Good Christians voted NO but Baad Kafflicks voted YES

    There’s nothing to say about this man that he doesn’t express all by himself

  62. davidb says:

    If Kez is on £60k the taxpayers are being treated very unfairly indeed.

  63. heedtracker says:

    davidb says:
    22 March, 2016 at 5:20 pm
    If Kez is on £60k the taxpayers are being treated very unfairly indeed.

    Scottish councils are still that last great bastions of UKOK yoonery but a lot of Scots have had to pay up and watch every one of them piss away billions on garbage, that Edinburgh tram for starters.

    I’m from Aberdeen, another hotbed of hard core yoon WTF are they doing, but it goes much deeper than merely yoon councillors vomiting money over each other.

  64. Helena Brown says:

    Always made me mad that those folk like her Madge paid only a little more for Balmoral than we were paying for our hardly top of the range 4/5 bedroom. We shall be paying £100 a year more for the wee two bed butt and Ben next year but for a civilised society it is worth it.

  65. Clootie says:

    Kezia has responded by saying “…it is so better than the SNP regressive thingy”

    A BBC spokesperson agreed that she had silenced her critics with a sound financial arguement.

    I now understand why we have so many clips of her in a primary school setting. It is not, as I thought, a photo opportunity. It is in fact her FE class for hard sums.

  66. ScottishPsyche says:

    The only fair method of taxation is that based on ability to pay. How to assess that best though? How to get tax from those who have their wealth in assets?

    Our land has huge inequalities in health and opportunity between rural and urban as well as income based. These have effects well beyond the lifetime of the individual and can blight the very life of the communities.

    The ability to alter a bit of income tax is not the radical powers we need. I would have welcomed something more courageous with regard to Land Reform but again, maybe more courage will come with the return to power by the SNP in May. However I just don’t get the howling hypocrisy from Slab for whom the status quo was their comfortable fiefdom for so long.

  67. Jim says:

    If brains were taxed, Kezia would get a rebate.

  68. Ken500 says:

    Land in Scotland costs £5000 an acre. A house can be built on a quarter an acre. – £1,250. Anyone can buy it. How does more land coming on the market market make that cheaper. it would just devalue land for everyone. It could create negative equity. The value of land is in planning permission ie change of use. Making £1,250 into £100,000. The value is what’s on it or how it is used.

    The Duke of Athol would be delighted to sell land. If anyone wants it.

  69. schrodingerscat says:

    I would have welcomed something more courageous with regard to Land Reform but again, maybe more courage will come with the return to power by the SNP in May.

    hear hear

    then again, if we are to launch indyref2 after an eu out vote, then yes2 would be slaughtered by the unionist media on the issue of lvt tax reform. that is why it was delayed until after indyref1

  70. With all the reductions in council tax that Labour are proposing how does labour reconcile that with the Labour Councils who are continually moaning about not having enough money in and blaming the SNP/SG for not being able to increase the council tax?

  71. Ken500 says:

    Ruth Davidson talks nonsense, ‘Higher taxes’. Osborne has been taxing the Oil sector at 60/80% for 5 years while the price had fallen 75%. Osbourne’s higher taxes has cost Scotland thousands of jobs and lost Scotland £Billions of revenues. Trident £170Billion dumped on Scotland.

  72. dakk says:

    ‘I’m from Aberdeen, another hotbed of hard core yoon WTF are they doing, ‘

    Think yourself lucky.

    I raise you with the Glasgow west end enclave of Jordanhill as unified undisputed World Champions of Yoonery.

    Not that I could afford to live there,I hasten to add.

  73. heedtracker says:

    Sarah Smith there on national BBC tv news putting the UKOK boot in to Sturgeon on Scotland “paying higher taxes than rest of yew kay” but no mention of what ever it is SLab are doing with council tax.

    Sarah also does her thing to camera outside on other side of Clyde from her several hundred billion quid glass box studio. I’ll never understand the brilliant minds of British propagandist, on very a dull dank Glasgow evening.

  74. Ken500 says:

    Labour will need more taxpayers money to revalue all the houses in Scotland. Has this really been thought through?

  75. Croompenstein says:

    Anyone got any idea who this mad tory is having a go at George Kerevan…

  76. Dorothy Devine says:

    OT but I hear that we Scots are the FATTEST in Europe – so we are too wee , too poor , too stupid and too fat to be independent.

    I don’t believe it!

  77. Ruby says:

    JamesCaithness says:
    22 March, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    With all the reductions in council tax that Labour are proposing how does labour reconcile that with the Labour Councils who are continually moaning about not having enough money in and blaming the SNP/SG for not being able to increase the council tax?

    Ruby replies

    Any shortfall in CT will be made up with ‘tourist tax’ 🙂

    Well at least I think that is what they are proposing. I am probably not the best person to answer your question as I really struggle with ‘Keziaspeak’

    Sprechen Sie ‘Keziaspeak’?

  78. Valerie says:

    Thank you Rev. A clear, incisive analysis of a pile of SLab keech. Not an easy task.

    The bloody madness of even hinting at annual revaluation is enough for the architect’s of this crap being sectioned under Mental Health legislation. It would be more efficient to just burn some money.

    A tourist tax???? Nope.

    The SNP proposals may be timid, but I’m sure this is a deliberate strategy, until they have a better foothold in the local councils. There is a huge information deficit due to their being excluded from key information about systems, and capability of change etc.

  79. Robert Louis says:


    Apologies if somebody has already mentioned this, but is anybody up for a crowdfunder to purchase the great seal of Robert the Bruce, King of Scots.

    Apparently a private individual ‘owns’ it (how??), and is going to sell it to whoever for 150k.

    Imagine purchasing this for Scotland (apparently the person who allegedly currently ‘owns’ it wants to remain anonymous)

  80. Valerie says:

    @Robert Louis

    I would have thought the Scottish Museum in Edinburgh might have funds to purchase this type of thing??

  81. Arbroath1320 says:

    Legerwood says:
    22 March, 2016 at 5:08 pm


    Reports today that oil price has risen 50% in the last couple of months.


    You are right Leger oil certainly HAS increased by around 50%. Around January 11th it sat at $28.63 a barrel. Today it is sitting at $41.86.

  82. Still Positive. says:

    Croompenstein @ 6.44

    Sorry, no idea who he is except a rabid Tory. However, George Kerevan, an economist, pulled the Chancellor’s plans apart and got his measure in one. Suffice to say the Tories didn’t like it so attacked GK, as did the woman who spoke after GK.

    Their arrogance knows no bounds – Tory ideology trumps professionals of whatever hue.

    SNP x 2 EU In.

  83. Ruby says:

    Croompenstein says:
    22 March, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Anyone got any idea who this mad tory is having a go at George Kerevan…

    Ruby replies

    I love trying to solve these puzzles.

    Is it Chris Philp?

    12 mins in

  84. Orri says:

    Didn’t notice at first but the proposal is to charge each household based on its value. They miss out the detail that the £3,000 cap is reached at around £400,000

    There are no bands in there proposal. Nor do they explain how individual councils set the rate and if it’s only the £450 that they can adjust.

  85. Skintybroko says:

    So highest tax in uk, but to counteract that we have free prescriptions, free eye tests, free tuition etc, I am more than happy to be taxed higher than the rest of the U.K. If it means we can keep what’s good about Scotland and maintaining a fairer society.

  86. ScottishPsyche says:

    I see there are some really dumb conversations going on just now on Twitter asking why the SNP are not doing what they said they would in 2014 or 2011 or 19oatcakes.

    We are not independent.

    Do Yoons not understand that decisions adapt to the circumstances? Everything changed after 2015. We are constantly having to do a dance around Tory budgets which change every 5 minutes – George Kerevan was really effective this afternoon and seemed to rattle the Tories and their façade of a ‘long-term economic plan’.

    Why do the SNP have to use new powers if they do not fit into their overall plan? Wasn’t the whole point that Smith only gave away the powers that would cause the most headache anyway?

    Isn’t it more sensible to work out what is going to be most useful in context? After all we are still stuck in the UK and cannot ignore that. Greens and Slabbers seem to want us to act as if we are independent ignoring any ramifications.

    It does seem as if the Greens have given up on anything more than what is on offer from Smith. Independence is really not a priority for them.

  87. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    O/T – a post I did a wee while ago in ‘off-topic’.


    There are still a handful of peeps who told Ian B that they would be at the get-together on Saturday in Waxy O’Connors but don’t seem to have returned to ‘off-topic’ since so haven’t asked for a personalised badge in ‘Quarantine’.

    You have just over 24 hours to claim your badge for Saturday. The badge list will close at 11.59pm tomorrow night.

  88. heedtracker says:

    Nothing much in C4 news there, Sturgeon bad quick mention, ends with weather forecast for England only.

    Rancid the Graun tonight, usual once a week/Scotland news black out but Libby Carrel puts that stinky UKOK spin, SNPbad, “yoons say vote yoon and we’ll hike your tax, shock”

    Rancid The Graun sez

    “Even though the SNP is on the brink of a winning a second successive overall majority at the Holyrood elections in May, Sturgeon’s stance represents a calculated risk. It is likely to disappoint centre-left voters, including new leftwing SNP members, but Sturgeon and her finance secretary, John Swinney, will calculate that their overall policy portfolio and track record will secure many of those votes and help secure aspirational and middle-class votes.”

    That sneaky creepy “Even though” is pretty good for that crew. Not sure who rancid The Graun identifies as “aspirational” in their Scotland region.

    But cue rancid’s Steve Bell level of who the hell do they think they are anyway raging bigots BTL, of an evening, sorry British evening:D

  89. K1 says:

    Heed, These pundits just spout unadulterated punditspeek, they’re talkin’ tae themselves, speculative claptrap dressed up in analytical language.

    All they do is reveal their ignorance about what is actually happening in Scotland:

    Real Democracy in Action.

    They cannae fathom it, so it must always centre around their own narrow interpretative references which confirm their own biased ‘take’ on SNP’s strategy.

    This isn’t ‘reporting’, or even correct analysis of what is taking place in Scottish politics, this is mere opining. Or whingeing as we’ve come to know it.

    They aw just keep trying to convince themselves:

    ‘Any day now…aye, any day now the SNP’s vote’s gonnae collapse, just give it a wee while longer, the left’ll hate that, the middle will see through this, the centre’s really the right…’

    On and on they whine in their attempts at undermining and avoiding the reality…

    We’re not going back to voting Labour. Ever. Again.

    You mean ‘Great’ British evening…of course 😉

  90. Almannysbunnet says:

    The unionist opposition parties are run like newspapers. It’s all about the headline. They have been getting off with it for years, “get the headline out nobody is interested in the detail”. It used to work.
    We now have a switched on, activated, cynical SNP electorate that reads every detail. We are not interested in corporate media bullshit or snake oil salesmen politicians. Being truthy doesn’t work anymore, move over and let us run the country you so hate.
    SNP x 2

  91. Fred says:

    Anent the duke of Atholl, his grace lives in Africa & only inherited the title & an auld kilt, certainly no land or sheep. The Cat is possibly thinking of the duke of Buccleuch & Queensbery, this double duke owns every fuckin thing! 🙂

  92. Ruby says:

    Something to do!

    If you are struggling to find things to do can I suggest you might

    Unmask the BOO

  93. call me dave says:

    Sturgeon is facing criticism from opponents on both the left and right after unveiling plans for modest cuts to income tax if the SNP returns to power after May’s Holyrood election.

    Iain Macwhirter: Tories are torn asunder but not by Corbyn

  94. Onwards says:

    sensibledave says:
    22 March, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Council tax should go – and working, tax payers in an area should be paying via a local income tax levy.

    It’s obvious but no one has the nerve to do it.

    There is a reason why property based taxes are so hard to move away from for councils. They are stable, predictable and hard to avoid.

    Local income tax has plenty of disadvantages too.
    In Scotland we would need the cooperation of HMRC to administer it with added costs.
    And it looks too much like simply paying higher income tax.
    Somebody paying 40% tax might end up paying 45% tax.

    Regardless of the fact they might be effectively paying that anyway when you add council tax, it’s the perception that matters.
    It really could make Scotland look like the most highly taxed part of Britain, and could act as a disincentive to new investment.

    Staying in an expensive house at the moment is still optional.

  95. David Mills says:

    If there making saving for 80% of scotland and applying a cap so that high value property won’t see Hugh increase where is the increase funds for local government coming from or are thay going to ratchet up income tax even further than they had claimed

    This idea make fag packet economics look thought out.

  96. cearc says:

    call me dave,

    The Macwhirter piece is a hoot.

    Penultimate paragraph. ‘ The voters know what Labour stands for …’!

    They do? This’ll be the party who didn’t bother to turn up to vote against tax cuts for the better off then?

    Granted that was after he wrote that piece but..

  97. crazycat says:

    @ Fireproofjim at 5.00

    Local income tax is the answer. It is fair and cheap to collect …

    Having recently attended a talk by a man newly-retired from a senior position in HMRC, discussing all the options for local government funding, I can’t agree with you there.

    While we remain in the UK, HMRC would charge a significant sum to administer any such tax (and it seems that only they could do it). There are also problems with people who have more than one property – do they pay two lots of LIT?

    Before I stopped working, I lived in council area A, worked in council area B, and was on the payroll of an employer based in council area C. Whose LIT should I pay?

    And so on. I doubt if there’s a single tax that would be truly equitable; I suspect a combination of property-based and income/asset-related taxes would be required.

  98. Sandy says:

    I must agree that it is the SNP’s fault that Keiza makes such of an ass of herself during debates. SNP-BAD!!!

  99. Robin Barclay says:

    Ian More

    “I have to admit I do like the idea of the Naw bags in Aberdeen being rewarded for propping up the Union and the Morningside Reds getting a poke in the eye as well. I can only assume they didn’t consult the SLAB millionaire Cllr Willie Young about this.”

    Gee thanks Pal, being a yes voter from Aberdeenshire I find that these increases as I have stated before on this forum, should not be penalising people just because of where they are born and raised.
    Yes W Young is a tool (know him personally)and can’t wait to see him thrown out next year in the local elections.
    Please refrain from singling out any area in future if you want us all to pull together to make our dream a reality.

  100. sensibledave says:

    To Heedy and others …

    ScottishPsyche at 5:49 pm Wrote: The only fair method of taxation is that based on ability to pay. How to assess that best though? How to get tax from those who have their wealth in assets?

    The whole concept of of progressive taxation is based around an individual’s ability to pay a tax. The size of one’s house might be a clue to “ability to pay” – but it is not an accurate measure and there are therefore all sorts of anomalies.

    How much one earns is the closest indicator of ability pay – not the property you live in. Perhaps an income tax levy together with some sort of property tax – where the proportion of property based tax increases based upon a property’s value and rises steeply as we get into the “mansions” area.

    Lets be honest, the only reason we have Council Tax (or household rates as they were called) is because that is what we have always had – not because it is the best, most appropriate, method.

    Again, although this next statement is probably a waste of time, this, in my view, should not be a party political issue. The objectives are agreed by everyone (i.e. to fund local councils). It should not therefore be beyond the wit of man to come up with a cross party solution where the objective is agreed and people’s ability to pay is the major consideration.

    If a political party wants a sort of wealth tax based upon the value of someone’s property at the high end of the scale – then that is fine – but it doesn’t need to be an integral part of raising the money currently raised by Council Tax. It can be a separate tax.

    As for those that are against an income tax levy because it might look like they have put up tax rates – then that is just politicking rather than a sensible objection. I believe that voters would/should be quite capable of understanding such changes.

  101. I suspect a significant proportion of the population will get a distorted message that the SNP is raising taxes.

  102. Fred says:

    Where would we all be without the English colonial mentality keeping us right. Captain Waggett ur whit?

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