The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

The torn coupons

Posted on December 14, 2017 by

The revealing reaction of the Tory benches in Holyrood to Derek Mackay’s deft budget changes in tax, which ensure that 70% of Scots will pay less tax than they do now, and the lowest 55% of earners will pay less income tax in Scotland than they would if they lived elsewhere in the UK (and get better public services for it), while still generating extra money overall from slightly increased rates on higher earners:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 14 12 17 15:56

    The torn coupons | speymouth

251 to “The torn coupons”

  1. Macart says:

    Oh, neatly done Mr Mackay. The Tories will be fit to be tied. How’s Murdo fairing?

    Also interesting to see how Labour and the Greens vote on the budget eventually.

  2. jimnarlene says:


  3. Proud Cybernat says:

    Just brilliant!!

    Anyone know if you pay tax by Self Assessment in Scotland if the funds go to Holyrood or WM?

  4. heedtracker says:

    What a bunch. Check the coupon on my Slovene girlfriend especially:D

    Whatever will the nutty professor tell his chums in Pacific Quay tonight.

  5. Jean Sessor says:

    What a blinder! Well done!

  6. call me dave says:

    Derek Mackay did a good job using the powers of Scotland. 🙂

    Leonard’s pre-written speech is still being spoken but it has been completely scuppered and is irrelevant. Leonard looks thankful that Derek intervenes to give him more thinking time.

    Harvey shimmers into the limelight to share the credit on basic rate payers who work. Seems generally supportive.

    Fair enough… 🙂 Nibbling some popcorn from last week.

    Ian Gray knows the games up for Leonard by the look on his face there.

    Wullie Rennie…Na! No listening.

  7. Welsh Sion says:

    Off topic – so apologies.

    Seasonal Greetings to my Scottish pro-independence friends. Here’s a carol (admittedly written more in hope than expectation, but you never know …) composed by myself. Enjoy!


    Hark! the Herald journos sing

    Hark! the Herald journos sing:
    “Scottish Indy’s just the thing!”
    Joy at home and mercy mild
    No and Yessers reconciled.
    Joyful let our nation rise;
    Join the triumph of the ‘Ayes’
    With th’angelic host proclaim:
    “Scotland’s re-born to much acclaim.”
    Hark! the Herald journos sing:
    “Scottish Indy’s just the thing!”

    [With acknowledgements]

  8. call me dave says:

    Jings! Soor plooms all round for the big unionists today.

    They didn’t expect this wrinkle in the budget.

    Derek… What’s he like… very competent, throwing their figures right back at them. Hope folk are listening.

    James Kelly financial spokesperson. Phhhtt!

  9. Old Pete says:

    BBC pushing there usual bad SNP message. Listening to shouty Richard Leonard, I thought Kezia was bad but he is worse. Derek MacKay putting Mr Shouty in his place.

  10. Valerie says:

    Just incredible Davidson is evading any questions etc. Is that idiot Murdoch the financial spokesman?

    No matter, it’s shite anyway.

    Looks pretty clever moves by Derek Mackay. Sickened this morning that Ross Thompson asked in HoC this morning for a debate on SNP taxation.

    Just weary of the constant insults, but that’s their whole aim.

  11. ronnie anderson says:

    Ah telt ye’s there wid be ah Laughter Curve this afternoon & delivered withoot ah sip of Whisky weil done Derek Mackay .

  12. Petra says:

    Ha, ha, ha. Good one Derek!

    And since the Tories are (normally) so cocky maybe they could demand that Treeza May hands over the backdated VAT money of £130 million, the £500 million that Hammond has just cut from our budget and the £2.9 billion equivalent of the £1 billion NIrish blackmail bung (or is it the backfired bung?). Then they could ask their Better Together LibDem mates to part with the £800,000 that they owe Police Scotland.

    That lot should cover lifting the pay cap, pay for care / nursing homes that are closing down, a few bob to the Councils, mitigating the impact of their horrendous boss Big T’s austerity cuts and so on.

    That’ll keep us going until we win Indyref2 next year and get our hands on our resources, such as our oil revenue.

  13. Doug Bryce says:

    Utter Genius,

    A deliberate trap has been neatly side stepped. Scotlands tax raising powers were always limited by design to be the visible income tax, rather than the less obvious VAT or fuel duty. The idea was to give Holyrood just enough rope to hang itself…

    The irony of course is that unionist MPs are opposed to tax changes designed specifically to mitigate Westminster austerity and spending cuts. Simultaneously they demand SNP spend more on Education / NHS . You could’t make it up…


  14. galamcennalath says:

    Excellent piece of work there, from Derek Mackay.

    Scotland’s highest earners to pay extra £164m in income tax
    The Guardian

    Hundreds of thousands of Scots set to pay more income tax

    Income tax rises for people in Scotland earning over £24,000 a year
    Sky News

    … and so on. No one headlining on the TAX CUTS for most people. And most Scots will pay less tax than they would in England.

  15. Nana says:

    Well done Derek Mackay. Hilarious seeing the reaction on the Tory faces

    Watch an animation setting out Scotland’s Draft Budget for 2018-19

  16. David Mooney says:

    You could see Prof WATP Tompkins furiously leafing through the budget document. No doubt trying to come up with a flaw he could get all shouty about. Good luck with that.

  17. Dan Huil says:

    Since polls say most Scots would welcome an increase in income tax for higher earners, Mr Mackay delivered a sound budget. Fairness is always on the Scottish public’s mind. British nationalists couldn’t care less about fairness.

  18. Onwards says:

    Cool with this, apart from the additional rate which should have stayed the same as England.

    As much as everyone would like to see the ultra wealthy pay a bit more, these are the type of taxpayers we need more of in Scotland.

  19. Andy-B says:

    Well done Derek Mackay, now lets watch as the unionist media twist and contort the budget into something very, very bad.

    In the eyes of the yoons, the SNP cannot be seen to do anything right, nor be lauded in any fashion.

  20. Robert Roddick says:

    It was a bit obvious that Fraser, Leonard and James Kelly and others, were simply reading speeches ( not asking questions ) which had been prepared in advance of even hearing the Budget speech.

  21. Marcia says:

    Rabbits out of the hat and political foxes being shot. Opposition(s) wrong footed again.

  22. John says:

    Well done Derek , a cracker , the Unionists are tearing their hair out ,they were , out – smarted , out – manoeuvred ,out- classed , in every area you care to mention . Keep up the good work Derek and Nicola , we will soon be back to a large majority government ! .

  23. Dr Jim says:

    Well crafted deft and as fair on everybody as you could get
    The Tories will shout a penny is too much, Labour will shout a penny’s too little, Lib dems will just shout something about mental health that they don’t mean because they only think it’s a vote winner, the Communists, I mean the Greens will shout about the rich not being taxed to death and more money for councils because they’ve not got enough councillors for their plan to take over from the inside

    So all in all a perfect use of the measily tax Powaahs by Derek Mckay today

    Nobody loses which is as good a result as a big sigh of relief all round

    I was watching Kezias face throughout, she certainly has a low opinion of Richard Leonard, to be fair how could anybody have anything else

    The man’s an incompetent Nitwit

  24. orri says:

    Just remember,

    No Representation without Taxation.

    In order to get a vote in Scotland or stand for election in Scotland then you should need a Scottish tax code. So come indyref2 things might be different.

    Two edged sword though as this might entice lower paid workers in the rUK to register in Scotland so as to save a wee bit of money.

  25. Albaman says:

    Best put-down of James Kelly ever !.
    The man’s a real thick’o.

  26. geeo says:


    That tiny increase you speak of will come in handy when indyref campaign starts and those folk are informed that they can….

    a) stay in the union and expect much bigger tax increases as WM continue to slash the Scottish budget…or,

    b) vote for independence and have tax reduced again , as Scottish revenues flow exclusively to an indy Scottish parliament.

    By introducing a small increase now, within a narrow demographic, it should focus minds in indyref2.

  27. Can we take anything seriously on Finances from the Yoons who have nominated Murdo The Queen’s Eleven Fraser, James ‘who put the ‘controversial’ in OBF Act debacle? Kelly, and Alex Coca Cola Hamilton as their Finance Whizz Kids?
    There is a view that Leonard is going to self combust any minute now.
    He is way way out of his depth.
    Del Boy was almost enjoying himself as he swatted the Bunglefuckers to his left and right.
    The calibre of Yoons of all hues is alarmingly bad now.

  28. geeo says:


    Good point about Scottish tax codes for indyref vote, certainly a good discussion point.

  29. One_Scot says:

    Sky News telling lies about the SNP budget,

    You could not make it up, well obviously you can if you are Sky or any other unionist media news outlet.

  30. geeo says:

    Loved when Derek informed Leonard how a microphone worked…!!

    Comedy Gold…!

  31. Clootie says:

    …yet I sense mis-reporting Scotland will run a SNPbad version!

  32. galamcennalath says:

    It a pro civilised society budget, and anti Tory budget.

    Tories always being in the opposite side from civilised society!

    We tend to forget just how far right the UK Tories are by European standards. In the EU parliament they don’t align with normal right parties, the Tories are in the European Conservatives and Reformists political group further out on the right.

    Normal right leaning parties, like Christian Democratic Union in Germany, Repubicans in France, or Fine Gael in Ireland, align in the European People’s Party.

  33. maureen says:

    That’s the first time I have watched the budget and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Derek knows his stuff! Fairly took the wind out of the other lots sails

  34. Golfnut says:

    ‘re Sky headline.

    Should that not be £33k, or have Sky actually got something right?

  35. Bob Mack says:

    Great budget. Taking a little to do a lot to improve services we all rely on. Now the pressure is on Labour and Tory councils ,or coalitions of the same ,to look at Council Tax hikes to boost their finances. Lovely.

    I have no objection at all to paying extra, especially considering how little it actually is.

  36. Golfnut says:

    ‘re Sky headline.

    Nope, Sky fake news. Just read Nicola’s tweet. Every body below £33 k will pay slightly less tax.

  37. Proud Cybernat says:

    Live from Pravda Quay – Scottish Budget Special
    with Jackie Kim Ono

  38. heedtracker says:

    Other end of this? squeeze slave wage corps for the Living Wage. Its probably the holy grail of corporate greed NO NO’s but even so, your average big corp CEO earns at least 300 times more than the minimum wage in 2017!

    That’s a totally made up fact, so I will ask google, like what mad old trout Teresa now tells opposition MP’s at the endlessly shite PMQ’s.

    Oh sorry, its a secret, a very tory teamGB secret.

  39. Brian McHugh says:

    Omwards at 3:49pm… I have heard that ‘Tory’ argument about scaring away the rich (ie. over £150,000 earnings pa) a million times. The truth is that anyone who is earning that amount, is not going to chuck their job, move their business and run away from Scotland to say London to have to sell their £750,000 Edinburgh home to buy a £4.5million equivalent… all for a few quid extra in tax.

  40. manandboy says:

    The Tories at Holyrood are upset because in their greed driven politics, Derek McKay is sending taxpayers cash in the wrong direction.
    The Tories in Government are like the Mafia in business – everything is a front for corruption, fraud and illegality. Oh, I nearly forgot, they’re both a bunch of criminals.

  41. @Jack Collatin

    `The calibre of Yoons of all hues is alarmingly bad now.`


    think a lot of the high up yoons are planning their escapes out of Scotland,they can see Independence looming and don`t want caught this side of the border when Indy comes,

    those Scots who collaborate/collaborated in the continuing Westminster Project Fear campaign to rob our country of our precious resources and subject our most vulnerable citizens to the evils of Red/Blue Tory Austerity, will be named and shamed,

    there will be `no` amnesty.

  42. Proud Cybernat says:

    “Eleven rebel Tory MPs joined with Labour to defeat the government.” – BBC Radio 2 news (5pm).

    Nope – no mention of the 35 SNP MPs that helped bring that defeat about.

    BBC lying (by omission) feckers.

  43. galamcennalath says:

    Scot Finlayson says:

    a lot of the high up yoons are planning their escapes out of Scotland

    Yes, they certainly seem to be. However, they haven’t thought that one through. With growing English Nationalism, they may not be as welcome as they expect. During IndyRef2 and after a win, there will be full on anti Scottish venom from the media down sarf. What are the chances of them getting elected down there afterwards? Ziltz.

    There best plan is to into quiet retirement in Scotland!

    One aspect which I sometimes wonder about … which Unionist politicians will try to continue their political careers after Indy? And what/who will they stand as representing?

    iScotland will need a spectrum of parties, but honestly, I think it would be best for our future if past Unionists just disappeared off the scene and let people who put Scotland first get on with nation building.

  44. wull2 says:

    In order to get a postal vote in Scotland then you should your Scottish tax code and your social security number should be required, if you are found not have declared the truth then you will be prosecuted.

  45. mike cassidy says:

    Scottish tax basics here.

    “If you have a PAYE code, and you are a Scottish taxpayer, from 2016/17 onwards, your code should have the prefix “S” – it is an “S” code, for example, a typical tax code would be S1150L. “

    Re an indyref2.

    Easy to identify those working here but not paying tax here.

    Basically, no Scottish tax code – no vote.

  46. galamcennalath says:

    wull2 says:

    to get a postal vote in Scotland then you should your Scottish tax code and your social security number should be required

    Indeed. A Tory activist admitted to me that her son lives and works in London, but is registered to vote at her house in Scotland, because she says, “his vote is worth more here”. She thought it was clever. She couldn’t understand why I thought that was totally immoral.

    There will be others trying this trick.

  47. dakk says:

    Human filth.

  48. galamcennalath says:

    @me and @wull2

    … actually, I would go further and say that you can’t be on the electoral roll in Scotland and not have a Scottish NI number. I would make it be known that voters are being randomly checked and anyone casting a vote in Scotland but clearly not a resident will be prosecuted to the maximum.

  49. Macart says:

    Sky still putting negative spin on the budget then.

    Who knew?

  50. heraldnomore says:

    OK, brief summary of the Scottish/UK tax position, both within Self Assessment and otherwise.

    Firstly Scottish tax rates apply only to earned income – ie wages & salaries, freelance profits and pensions. All other income – ie interest, dividends and rentals etc remain taxed at UK rates.

    For the earnings liable to Scottish taxes remember the first 10p is still a UK charge and thus only the difference, 9p/10p/11p/30p and so on stays in Scotland.

    Now imagine someone with mixed income sources, say salary plus rentals, then allocate tax rates to give lowest total. And it’s not just the rates, but the starting point for the higher rate that’s different.

    The calculations are going to be fun, and when eventually we’ve tinkered some more over the next few years it will become impossibly complicated and the only solution will be to let Scotland tax all income for all residents. Mind you we’ll be independent by then and have our own system anyway, but complicating the process is a great move.

  51. manandboy says:

    Indy2 must be under independent administration and control. That means beyond Unionist Council reach, including fleets of Council vans uplifting ballot boxes before driving off into the night.

    A child could work that out so why not our politicians?

  52. winifred mccartney says:

    No representation without SCOTTISH TAXATION – sounds perfect to me – so all those holiday home owners you can sing for the indy2 vote. And to all those working somewhere else and not paying Scottish tax but registered to vote here – No vote for you either.

  53. One_Scot says:

    STV News – Colin Mackay, ‘Someone had to take the hit someone had to suffer’

    Was almost expecting him to come out with. ‘People will die’. Jeez, what are these Yoon journalists like?

  54. pipinghot says:

    Do away with the postal votes altogether and count the ballots locally. Does away with retirement home vote gathering and vans driving off with ‘sealed’ boxes. Five year residency clause too.
    My new UKIP/Tory neighbours voted for this mess in london and then moved to Skye to watch the shit storm from afar. No guessing what they would vote in an indi ref.

  55. Hamish100 says:

    Seen a comment from a guy in Carlisle laughing that he works in Scotland but pays his tax to hmrc in England. Still he can’t get the benefits of Living here unless he moves when he retires and jumps into this Country. He should then pay a tax supplement.

    Nice one Derek

  56. call me dave says:

    Sky News… no news Scotland and not even a mention on the scrolling banner thingy.

    But all is well as Big Brian on shortbread grudgingly assures the Pacific Quay link that it is likely a deal will be done with the Greens.

    However Ruthie on Big Auntie tv still telling Laura K. that over half the working population will pay higher taxes.

    No ordinary person interviewed so far was against however…maybe not enough time to get the usual suspects in front of a microphone.

  57. Breeks says:

    I liked the idea somebody suggested a few days ago. NO postal votes. Everybody goes to the polling station and presents photographic ID in order to vote. NO pooling together or transportation of unopened ballot boxes, they are counted in the polling station and never once leave the direct line of sight of election observers.

    It was inspiring to see Catalonians cheering on their elderly voters who managed to make their way to the polling station.

    If all the skullduggery and dubious activities of 2014 should count for nothing else, let it be the justification for a radical tightening up of electoral protocol to stamp out abuse, and even where abuse is not proven but merely suspected.

  58. Jason Smoothpiece says:

    Is it fair of this annoyingly competent Scottish Government to do this stuff, in the full knowledge that it angers the wasp chewing British red and Blue Tories.

    I agree with Lord George Foulkes they are doing it on purpose.

    To the several posts earlier absolutely yes if you don’t pay Scottish tax you don’t get to vote in Scotland. The five year rule is also attractive.

    Now that the budget is almost over the matter of greed initially in the public sector but eventually the private sector needs reviewed.

    I would like to see the difference between the top and bottom pay scales in any organisation to be a maximum difference of 8.

    The top of the tree gets paid no more than x8 what the bottom of the scale gets, including the company cars and health insurance etc.

    Put that in the manifesto watch the sparks fly.

  59. HandandShrimp says:

    The Baillie abacus has just exploded. 🙂

  60. Tam Fae Somewhere says:

    With the implementation of more differences between rUK and Scotland it does feel that we are separating slowly from rUK.

    Feels good!

  61. Fran says:

    @ Proud Cybernat

    Only PAYE goes to Scotgov. Self-employment earnings still go to WM. That’s a lot of money.

    Also, I pay tax for my company car and car fuel, that also goes to WM

  62. Ken500 says:

    The electoral roll is based on council tax system. Non residents in Scotland should not have a vote. Second home owners should not have a vote. If they are registered elsewhere. EU citizens cannot vote in a GE. (Although they pay tax). The registration has been updated. No postal/proxy votes would mean offshore workers etc would not have a vote. Everybody does not have photo ID.

  63. Onwards says:

    >Brian McHugh says:
    “The truth is that anyone who is earning that amount, is not going to chuck their job, move their business.. all for a few quid extra in tax.”

    True for people already here, but it could be the tipping point for new investment locations.. inward investment.. Choosing for example between Edinburgh or Manchester. It’s only 1% increase in personal taxation, but it’s about the perception really.

    Will just have to wait and see the effect, but it could also be politically damaging, especially if some wealthy individual makes public this being a factor in not investing here.

  64. PictAtRandom says:

    “Mysterious object detected hurtling through our solar system swept for radio signals, but scientists have found no evidence it is anything other than rock.”
    (The Girniad, 14/12/2017)

    Greetings, Roodlings! Yes, that was a very clever Budget that could almost have been drafted by a lawyer from Drumchapel Centauri. Of course, you realise that we had predicted this in advance?

    Now I have come to tell you that your puny organisation is 620 light years away from actualisation.
    You have failed to master the Warp Factor!


  65. heedtracker says:

    Will just have to wait and see the effect, but it could also be politically damaging, especially if some wealthy individual makes public this being a factor in not investing here.”

    Compared to the ongoing and escalating Brexit corp flight back in to the EU zone?

    Look at that secret tory/Nissan deal, for example.

  66. pipinghot says:

    Most of the offshore workers that were my mates did not live in Scotland

  67. Marcia says:

    “…if some wealthy individual makes public this being a factor in not investing here.”

    Really? Let them find over £9000 pa for tuition fees for their kids, pay for prescriptions etc…

    They would save money by coming to Scotland. £1000 is loose change to the wealthy. It is good the poorer are having a tax cut.

  68. Gfaetheblock says:

    So what will this mean. Employers will need to pay more for professional staff to counter the extra tax that these will need to pay, making recruitment harder, increasing the brain drain, and making business less profitable in a stalling economy. However, employers will show wage restraint on the lower paid, as they are getting a freebie from the state, so they can get away with paying less.

    Upshot of all of this, the only companies that will be attracted to Scotland will be those with a high proportion of low paid jobs, rather than higher paid professional jobs. Hardly the way to grow an economy.

    Deft, aye right!

  69. K1 says:

    Free prescriptions, no tuition fees, free bus passes, I think anyone with a brain in their heid would work out ‘all’ the added benefits of locating to Scotland rather than just the 1 percent increase in personal taxation?

    If some wealthy person quibbled over a bit more tax and made it public ‘that’ would be the ‘politically’ motivated reason they would be doing so? To make out the SNP are ‘bad’?

    It is still all about getting the facts out there and ramming it home that the vast majority of people in Scotland are not having their tax increased and if someone who say earned the top 150K salary complained about paying extra tax and didn’t balance out the benefits in terms of lower house prices combined with all the other advantages of living in Scotland, then I think a lot of folk with just think: oh do fuck off with the ‘woe is me sob story’ of ‘I’m well off but I resent having to pay extra tax’ pish. Don’t come to Scotland then, we don’t want to attract greedy bastards who are too thick to realise what a good deal they are getting living in our country?

  70. Reluctant Nationalist says:

    It’s all very understandable what Mackay has announced (very brave creating a new rate smack-bang on the median income level), but can someone help me understand how people earning between £13,851 and £24,000 – who currently pay 20% tax – are going to be better off after the change to the new bands, in purely scottish tax terms? I don’t think it’s a bad thing that they’ll be in the same situation, btw.

  71. R4 says:

    I cannot imagine that some high earner living in a £300,000

    mansion in Scotland is going to move to a similar priced

    room and kitchen in London for the sake of £1000 tax saving.

  72. starlaw says:

    companies looking to move personel to Scotland will look at things like Education for their children. Health care, schools etc. For their business needs they will want ease of transport and shipping, Airports, water supply, electric and gas supply. It is all here.

  73. K1 says:

    Anyway, when we are independent Nicola as well as giving each of us our own unicorn* will also give every citizen a cash bonus from the oil taxes that will then be pouring into our coffers. Don’t think we need to worry about the so called ‘wealth’ of Scotland being diminished by a tax increase from those on 33 grand or more running away from Scotland then? LOL

    *in a colour of your choosing

  74. Albert Herring says:

    @Reluctant Nationalist

    Because they’ll save on the 19% band. They only pay 20% on earnings above £13,851.

  75. Reluctant Nationalist says:

    @ R4


  76. Marcia says:

    Reluctant Nationalist

    For each pound between the two figures you would pay one pence less than at present.

  77. stewartb says:

    “Will just have to wait and see the effect, but it could also be politically damaging, especially if some wealthy individual makes public this being a factor in not investing here.”

    “Some wealthy individuals” will always choose to make public their negative views on an increase in income tax, even a modest rise. In the USA, the richest individuals have been very successful in exerting enormous political power to change government tax policies to the detriment, in the view of many progressives, to the country’s democracy, environment and society, as well as its economy.

    And some of these wealthy individuals in Scotland and the UK may well make public their views for ‘political’ rather than commercial or economic reasons. However, when considering the relative attractiveness of different locations for an investment many, many more issues will be factored in to any SERIOUS investor’s options appraisal.

    Given the challenges that face any government which has the responsibility to facilitate sustainable economic growth – complex and difficult anywhere – to achieve this with the very limited fiscal, and no monetary, powers available to the Scottish Government should be an almost impossible task. Candidly, in my view, the present Scottish Government continues to work near miracles with the powers Scotland has been allowed.

  78. One_Scot says:

    Because of the new band, 19p Starter rate from £11,850 to £13,850.

    Man you really are reluctant.

    Google two minute search.

  79. John H. says:

    Matt Frei Channel 4. Usually fair in other matters, makes an exception for the SNP. First he berates Derek McKay for not putting taxes up enough. Then he scolds him for putting taxes up and scaring off big business. Dear dear dear.

  80. Reluctant Nationalist says:

    Thank you, Albert.

  81. One_Scot says:

    Just out of curiosity when you say ‘Nationalist’, do you mean Scottish or British?

  82. Gullane No4 says:

    Waiting for the ‘nominated’ nurse to do a ‘those SNP [bad word] have just given me a pay rise so I can move into a higher tax bracket and pay more tax’ story.

  83. Legerwood says:

    If someone earning over £150,000, management level, is put off coming to Scotland because of the extra tax they will pay, around £1500 pa, then that person is not worth the salary they are being paid. Anyone at that level who just looks at the ‘higher tax’ mantra and bases their decision on that is not much of a manager. Someone at that level whether professional and/or management should automatically look at the whole package that would accrue from relocation to Scotland.

    That package would include:
    Lower cost of equivalent, or better, houses. This would give them a handy profit when they sell up down south.
    No tuition fees for their offspring – saving at least £9000 per annum.
    Their children leaving uni with less debt. Average debt of a student graduating from a Scottish uni is £11,500 against £32,000 in England.
    No prescription charges. Even the better off get ill just less frequently than the less well off.
    Better NHS
    All round better quality of life in Scotland
    And for their business- highly skilled, highly qualified workforce.

    The Unionist parties will push the higher tax angle at every opportunity which must be countered at every opportunity with the pluses that accrue from staying in Scotland or relocating their business or professional practice to Scotland.

  84. Legerwood says:

    John H. says:
    14 December, 2017 at 7:39 pm
    Matt Frei Channel 4. Usually fair in other matters, makes an exception for the SNP. First he berates Derek McKay for not putting taxes up enough. Then he scolds him for putting taxes up and scaring off big business. Dear dear dear.

    I think Mr McKay had the best of him though giving a robust response to the questions asked

  85. Ian Brotherhood says:

    re image at the top…

    Someone tweeted a similar photo earlier today with the caption:
    ‘Worst. Advent. Calendar. Ever.’


  86. Reluctant Nationalist says:

    Nothing to do with reluctance One_Scot, just thick.

    I’m not reluctant anymore, far from it. It applied to Scottish, though, but it could really have been any nationality – it was my reluctance to be labelled a nationalist of any sort; but not now. Can’t be arsed to register under a new name.

  87. Thepnr says:

    Very good budget, for the many and not the few. So why are Labour whinging? I understand why the Tories are whinging as they would prefer to put more money into the pockets of their supporters rather than spend any of it on services that 100% of us benefit from.

    Selfish and always have been, not too difficult to spot the selfish Tory poster on Wings either is it. That’s not a question.

  88. mike cassidy says:

    Richard Murphy drew attention to this examination of whether people did move when taxes went up.

    The Myth Of Millionaire Tax Flight

  89. Joemcg says:

    I concur with other posters on here. The postal vote system either MUST be tightened up or scrapped altogether. That is where we lost the vote with that huge 70% of 800,000 ballots a no. In my opinion there was something seriously dodgy going on. Trying to avoid the R word here.

  90. Peter says:

    Aye the Tory’s will be gutted, that their fiscal ” TRAP ” never snared it’s pray.

  91. heraldnomore says:

    Fran, you’re badly mistaken. See my comments further up the thread. Taxes after first 10p on all earnings and pensions of Scottish residents, whether PAYE, self employed or car benefits go to Scotland.

  92. pacman says:

    There is a saying, which despite what a few football managers would like you to believe is actually Arab in origin, which feels apt here that is ‘The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on’.

    There is no doubt that in the coming days and weeks the dogs will bark furiously but once this budget starts stabilising the economy and public services, the Scottish people will make up their own minds about this budget.

  93. Inbhir Anainn says:

    On the subject matter of voting in Scotland there is a good article on the Business For Scotland website:

    Scotland’s Government has now appointed Edinburgh-based Wallet Services, as their partner to strategically plan the blockchain rollout across public services. Wallet Services clearly have the knowledge, capabilities and drive to make these advances.

  94. Robert Peffers says:

    @Breeks says: 14 December, 2017 at 6:32 pm:

    “I liked the idea somebody suggested a few days ago. NO postal votes. Everybody goes to the polling station and presents photographic ID in order to vote.”

    Stop talking utter pish, Breeks. Are you actually seriously suggesting that genuine ill & disabled people be disenfranchised instead of just making everyone who applies for a postal vote provide proper proof that they are physically unable to get to a polling station?

    As to preventing people originating in other countries who choose to be Scottish that is downright idiocy. My late wife and I, many years ago, were in the Royal Mile during the Edinburgh Festival. I spoke to a bearded shopkeeper wearing full Sikh dress but with a tartan turban and a tartan sash.

    To my great surprise the person called me by my name and it emerged that he had been in my class at school in Leith in the late 1940s early 1950s. His Sikh family had been Leithers for hundreds of years. There are few people in Scotland that can trace their Scottish roots down both male and female lines without some non-Scottishness in their gene pool.

    Both my grandmothers haled from Ireland, one an RC from the south and one a staunch protestant from the north. I can, however, trace my male line right back to the early 1600s in North Fife as they were former farming landowners.

    Place of birth is not proof of nationhood. For example Englishperson Cliff Richards, the pop singer, was born in India. The only official organisations that used place of birth as proof on nationality were the sporting bodies and even they no longer do so.

    There is no place in the YES movement for racists – if you identify yourself as Scots then you are Scots. We are inclusive not exclusive. Call Scotland your home, register to vote in Scottish elections and pay your tax as a Scot and you are a Scot. It isn’t where you began that matters it is where we are all going TOGETHER that matters.

    You can be born in Scotland, live all your life in Scotland and still identify yourself as British. Which is, in fact our actual problem with still being tied to the Westminster Establishment that, when all is said and done, identifies itself as the de facto Parliament of England but imagines it is actually Britain that is the problem.

    There is no actual Parliament of the Kingdom of England and there has not been one since the last day of April 1707. So tell me Breeks, who has been running the Kingdom of England since 1 May 1707? Here’s a clue for you – it calls itself the British Government but is titled the Government of the bipartite United Kingdom. So how come a bipartite union of kingdoms runs only one country directly?

  95. Petra says:

    ITV News: Their report on Scottish taxation was fair enough, but I just loved it when they ended by saying that, “the rest of the UK may follow suit now.” If they do Big Mooth Rooth will be left with a Big Red Face.

    In thinking about it, the vast majority of people in England and Wales are probably wishing that they had the SNP running the show down south. Forget about Ruth Davidson. Typical Tory. Nicola Sturgeon for UK Prime Minister……………………. Hands off, you’re no getting her.



    Paisley Daily Express: Mhairi Black is backing the Federation of Master Builders suggestion of creating homes from empty spaces above shops on High Streets across Scotland. Estimated to be between 300,000 to 400,000 houses.

    “Gordon Nelson, Director of FMB, said, “Councils in Scotland need to be more proactive in incorporating the conversion of spaces above shops and vacant retail space into their local plans. Not only will it free up space within our existing buildings for much needed homes, but it will also revitalise our town centres.”

    ‘Renfrewshire Council was given £11.7 million for 2016-17 under the Scottish Governments affordable housing supply programme to help alleviate the town’s housing shortage.”

    Just waiting for the Scottish Tories to bring this up at Westminster next week. Another of THEIR ‘novel’ ideas.


    Indyref2: Over and above everything that’s been mentioned already I’d like to add that exit polls are a MUST. Experts state that it’s the ONLY way of detecting ‘fiddling’ of computer software. Postal votes were also dumped amongst regular polling cards. That should be banned if postal voting isn’t. We should also take a closer look at the NIrish procedures, such as their postal vote form, as mentioned by someone on here recently. And we should contact the Polish company (on Craig Murray’s site previously) that sends a team into the country six months before the vote to, for example, monitor media bias. That might force the propaganda machine to watch it’s step. Cramp their style.

  96. Thepnr says:

    Derek McKay palyed a blinder here, let’s be honest with the only tax available to him to minimise Tory austerity and their savaging of the block grant he was handed an unexploded bomb.

    Today he managed to defuse that bomb by both making the majority and lowest paid in scotland slightly better off and raised more money for public services.

    This has to be for the better, there will be few complaints even from the most wealthy who will have to pay a small amount in extra tax. The truth is that taxes for the highest paid really need to rise across the whole of the UK so as more money can be put into the hands of those that need it most.

    They will spend that money not hoard it in Offshore bank accounts, this would boost the economy. Neo-liberalism is one giant steaming pile of poo that makes a whole country poorer but the richest even richer.

    Not just bad politics but very bad and idiotic economics.

  97. Robert Peffers says:

    @Jason Smoothpiece says: 14 December, 2017 at 6:37 pm:

    “The five year rule is also attractive.
    Now that the budget is almost over the matter of greed initially in the public sector but eventually the private sector needs reviewed.”

    Not a bad ambition, Jason and …

    “I would like to see the difference between the top and bottom pay scales in any organisation to be a maximum difference of 8.”

    Ah! There it is – the bit where the logic goes wrong.

    First identify why there is such a large difference now and that will point you to the cure. I’ve explained it quite often here on Wings and it is this – The Labour party were in power and they changed the main tax take from direct taxation to indirect taxation in the full and certain knowledge of what they were doing.
    The top of the tree gets paid no more than x8 what the bottom of the scale gets, including the company cars and health insurance etc.
    Put that in the manifesto watch the sparks fly.

  98. Macart says:


    They’re upset because it was a pretty sound budget. They’re upset because they have no alternative budget to offer. They’re upset because they have no alternative policies to offer. They’re upset because they are reduced to sniping from the sidelines with playground childish politics. They have neither the courage or the imagination to chart their own course and hold it up for comparison and why? Mainly because they are not in charge of their respective parties.

    They are merely local branches of UK parties and their budget and policy decisions are made elsewhere.

    The Scottish government made a decent fist of producing a budget from a reducing handout. They made a decent fist of a bad deal. Most folk need to bear in mind that Scotland is NOT in charge of its own economy. UK gov is in charge of the economy. The wealth creating taxes and competences are held by UK gov. What Scotgov does is dispense funds to pay for devolved competences and latterly mitigate someone elses’ car crash handling of the economic powers. That would be mainly successive Conservative and Labour governments. The same folk whose local spokeswonks are girning from the sidelines.

    It’d be an even better budget if mitigation was not involved right enough, but then it’d be a nice change if we were totally responsible for our own economy.

  99. Robert Peffers says:

    @Jason Smoothpiece says: 14 December, 2017 at 6:37 pm:

    “The five year rule is also attractive.
    Now that the budget is almost over the matter of greed initially in the public sector but eventually the private sector needs reviewed.”

    Not a bad ambition, Jason and …

    “I would like to see the difference between the top and bottom pay scales in any organisation to be a maximum difference of 8.”

    Ah! There it is – the bit where the logic goes wrong.

    First identify why there is such a large difference now and that will point you to the cure. I’ve explained it quite often here on Wings and it is this – The Labour party were in power and they changed the main tax take from direct taxation to indirect taxation in the full and certain knowledge of what they were doing.

    Many of the top economist of the past have stated that indirect taxation transfers the main burden of taxation from those most able to pay onto those least able to pay. So when Labour changed the system to indirect taxation they knew full well what the consequences would be. VAT, Road Fuel Duty, Alcohol Duty, Tobacco Duty and such like indirect taxation, and the fact that VAT was applied also to services, was clearly meant to transfer the main taxation to the most poor from the most wealthy.

    Of course the Conservatives embraced the idea completely and thus, even while Westminster tells us, “We are all in these austerity measures together”, that the rich have more than doubled their personal wealth while the poor are starving to death or freezing homeless on The UK’s Streets with disabled people being driven to death by their own hands due to these austerity measures.

    You cannot be subjected to austerity while more than doubling your personal wealth and that is the truth of why the gap between the rich and poor cannot be prevented until the taxation system is changed.

  100. pipinghot says:

    Robert Peffers : At which point are they choosing to be Scottish?
    They may choose to live in Scotland but Scottish is a frame of mind. I think you should stop talking pish.

  101. Petra says:

    Derek did play a blinder whilst juggling with the poisoned chalice, but let’s get our Westminster caps on again. Right now they’ll be planning to make even more cuts (started already – £500m down), decimate our economy any which way they can, in time for the next budget. Indyref2 is a must for next year and not around the summer holidays. Let’s cut down on, as an example, the English students that rented accommodation for a few weeks to enable them to register to vote.

    And for newcomers on here the poisoned chalice (setting you up to fail) relates to the fact that Holyrood has control over 20% of economic levers and 15% of piecemeal welfare powers. Up until 2016 they had control of 7% powers overall.


    @K1 at 7:32pm …… “Freebie Unicorn.”

    I’m submitting my order now K1 for a blue unicorn with a white cross on either side. Hoping it’ll be unique, lol.

  102. Dr Jim says:

    No doctors note
    No postal vote

    There ye are and it rhymes nicely

  103. Bob Mack says:

    My neighbour is complaining about paying more tax on his not inconsiderable earnings. He drives a one year old Mercedes S class 4×4, and his children both have horses at stables.

    He brings in caterers for family functions. I laughed at him when he told me it was going to cost him an extra £400 a year.
    I think he was offended, but you know what? So am I.

    Mrs Thatcher created these parasites who want every entitlement but none of the dues, and they live on in her name.

    I think our future conversations may be brief, but more likely non existent.

    Well done SNP. ( from a true Socialist).

  104. heedtracker says:

    And for newcomers on here the poisoned chalice (setting you up to fail) relates to the fact that Holyrood has control over 20% of economic levers and 15% of piecemeal welfare powers. Up until 2016 they had control of 7% powers overall.”

    Great point. And its something that always needs a good airing, elections are always about the economy.

    If yoon culture in Scotland wants one thing more than any other, Holyrood turned into a Travelodge aside, its to see Scotland’s economy slump and England’s economy boom.

    Ergo, stinky olde The Graun slams in to the budget today with,

    Severin says the SNP are bad and

    “The fiscal commission also cast a shadow over Mackay’s upbeat speech by warning that the Scottish economy faced a continuing squeeze: it would grow by less than 1% a year until 2022, compared with average UK growth forecasts of 1.5%.

    Susan Rice, the commission’s chair, said: “Our forecasts point to a subdued outlook for economic growth in Scotland, driven by slow productivity growth and exacerbated by demographic challenges.” That would cut future tax revenues.”

    Its always the economy stupid. Referendums are another kettle of yoon fish all together?

  105. Tinto Chiel says:

    Derek Mackay’s Budget: frankly, I was pleasantly surprised by his skill as a relative newcomer to the post and by his imaginative answers to the obvious Yoon pitfalls. His investment plans were also encouraging and innovative.

    As usual, I keep asking myself the question: what could be done for Scotland if all the levers of our national economy were under our control?

    Super Soaraway Scotland, really, which must never be allowed to happen, of course.

    Poor wee pettit-lip Tories…….


  106. Fred says:

    Kezia’s just back from the Jungle & the new Slab leader is more “Carry on up the Jungle!” “Oh Jungle Bells, Jungle Bells!”

  107. Thepnr says:

    @Bob Mack

    Your neighbour sounds like a right slimeball, well done for laughing. I’d like to think that’s what I’d do too 🙂

  108. Liz g says:

    Pipinghot @ 8.54
    Being Scottish for the purposes of a vote is a Tax code now my friend.
    And that’s what we’re discussing
    Where have you been….in a cludgie dealing with verbal diarrhoea? (I recommend education, works every time)

  109. Liz g says:

    Tinto Cheil 9.17
    Totally agree I’ve been very impressed by the way he has handled all the questions.
    I thought that they would struggle to top John Swinney,but this guy is has really stepped up!

  110. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Robert Peffers Well said Robert , we have discussed voting criteria many times on WoS & it always strays into as to who is eligible to vote. Separatists are amongst us & will continue to spout their shite Be Alert Wingers .

  111. ScottieDog says:

    Well I’ll be paying more tax but don’t have a problem with it. I’m going to get the fecking moans of colleagues over the next few weeks who’s kids are privately schooled no doubt.

    I long for the day when the primary purpose of tax In Scotland isn’t revenue but instead to discipline the population to use its new sovereign currency.

  112. pipinghot says:

    @ Liz g

    Robert Peffers says:
    14 December, 2017 at 8:20 pm
    @Breeks says: 14 December, 2017 at 6:32 pm:

    “I liked the idea somebody suggested a few days ago. NO postal votes. Everybody goes to the polling station and presents photographic ID in order to vote.”

    Stop talking utter pish, Breeks. Are you actually seriously suggesting that genuine ill & disabled people be disenfranchised instead of just making everyone who applies for a postal vote provide proper proof that they are physically unable to get to a polling station?

    Aye it fucking sounds like it doesn’t it.

    Polite, aren’t you

  113. Bob Mack says:

    Happy days. Murdoch is selling Sky in its entirety. Now we only have to deal with Disney propoganda. Onward and upward

  114. Sinky says:

    Completely wrong footed Murdo Fraser who didn’t have the intelligence to amend his prepared script

  115. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Bob Mack (9.13) –

    Ooooh-er, that neighbour of yours sounds like the sort of chap who radicalises otherwise reasonable citizens – you did well not to rattle his baws.


  116. pipinghot says:

    @ronnie anderson
    What a load of crap your last post was, fine…. lets just leave everything as it is shall we regarding voting and who gets to vote. Give you something to whinge about when we loose the next one ” Separatists are amongst us & will continue to spout their shite Be Alert Wingers”
    Not so sure about you IMHO

  117. Al Dossary says:

    Scottish Tories – what a bunch of 2-faced bastards.

    Let’s see how happy their small business owning supporters are this month and next when they realise that there is a 7.5% / 32.5% or 38.1% Dividend tax to be paid to HMRC for 2017/2018 depending on which tax bracket they fall into.

    Not a bloody peep from the MSM about it since it was first announced. Long overdue – as previously a Husband & Wife could pull up to some £70k per year in dividends between them without paying any tax on the dividends.

    I guess the Yoon self employed will however take some solace that their dividend and corporation taxes go straight to the treasury rather than Scotland.

  118. Liz g says:

    Pipinghot @ 9.43
    Only up and until I have a reason not to be.

    Why are you quoting another poster to me?

    Tax Code’s…. and Scottish voters was the point the observation and advice was by the by,you will either take it or not…..disnay matter tae me….it was just a wee hint from a Tax Coded Scott to (potentially ?) another.

  119. Thepnr says:

    Having “control” of income tax is no way to manage a countries economy, you only have the option of making the best out of a bad hand.

    Take corporation tax, in the UK it’s currently 19% and due to fall to 17% in 2020. Are these companies suffereing from UK government austerity? It seems now.

    Austria 25%, Belgium 34%, France 33%, Germany 23 to 33%, Italy 28%, Netherlands and Spain both 25%.

    I’ve been selective here in picking the largest countries and most comparable with the UK. Just what is wrong in taxing companies more and leaving less to be given out in dividends to shareholders.

    We all know that Shell had £112m REBATE this year in the UK yet in Norway Shell paid £2.7 Billion!!

    What’s going on? I’ve no idea but it would appear as if austerity is for only one group. We are not “all in it together” far from it. The only way Scotland can even change things for the better is by becoming Independent.

    This is a tremendous country with great natural resources, a highly educated workforce, great drive and imagination. I don’t think that it’s impossible to dream that an Independent Scotland would be one of the best countries in the world to live.

    I believe that now but I know we can be ever better. Just grasp the Thistle!

  120. Liz g says:

    Ronnie Anderson
    Och Ronnie is that you being a troll again!
    Been a while eh….
    Better be careful though, I might have to be impolite again… LOL and I Mean OL

  121. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    orri @ 16:08,

    Agree there. (Not too surprising, since I’ve said the same before. =grin=) And would appear be feasible now, as it couldn’t be last time.

    But residence is also still required. On the sound principle that you must be able to feel the consequences of what you vote for. Which is why qualification for registration has to be thoroughly policed. And long before the event, too.

    galamcennalath @ 17:23, 17:28,

    It’s not the attempt to vote which should be punished, but the deliberate attempt beforehand to register incorrectly. “Malice aforethought”. So the kind of wheeze you mention just becomes impossible.

    (And also be able to be properly punished, if attempted, as wull2 @ 17:07 mentions. No mere “slap on the hand” and told not to do it again. It just takes one to get sent down for everyone to really get the message.)

    Postal voting is indeed dubious, but it has nothing to do with ballot boxes, it’s because it creates a worrying loophole to “personation by proxy”, underhand persuasions, etc.

    All of which are already illegal, BTW, but detectable? Enormous efforts are made at election time to verify the accompanying signature, but that’s it. It’s like making sure the boat is watertight above the waterline, but not looking down in the hold!

    However, out of fairness, postal voting should, as in the past, be available to those with a justifiable need, and with appropriate supervision. If kept to a bare minimum, it becomes much easier to assist neutrally and thus police.

    (OTOH, the “ballot box interference” muttering that some keep on harping about is a total red herring. For conspiracy theorists only. That is just not the issue. Focus, peeps, focus!)

    Accurate registration is the Biggie.

    winifred mccartney @ 17:54,

    That shouldn’t be happening even now. Overseas residents can’t vote in local elections, and it’s that roll which was used at indyref1. (They can vote in UKGE’s though. Don’t know about ScotGE’s.) Students can register in two places, and that might be correct for local elections, but not for an indyref.

    But to repeat ad nauseam (sorry!), it’s rigorous registration that’s essential. The process has been tightened-up somewhat of late with individual registration, but one suspects there’s much still to do. It remains the responsibility of local authorities, so some may well – for their own reasons – not be too picky. That has to change.

  122. pipinghot says:

    Liz g
    You, like the minority of people on this forum are too far up your own backsides.

  123. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    Aye, well done Derek Mackay making the best of a bad hand and totally wrong footing the BritNat Politicians and their lackeys in the media.

    Given that Holyrood only has control over 20% of economic levers and 15% of token welfare powers I’d love to see what he’d do with 100% of these powers.

  124. Marie Clark says:

    Well I quite liked young Mr McKay’s budget, clever chappie isn’t he. The fact that the yoons faces are tripping them, and the MSM is peddling their lies shows you that he got something right.Eh. The problem, as usual, will be getting the correct information out to Joe Public. Oh for a neutral MSM.

    Ronnie Anderson, you being a naughty wee troll again, dearie me.

    Liz g, I see we have a real charmer here tonight, and so polite with it LOL.

  125. galamcennalath says:

    Robert J. Sutherland says:

    It’s not the attempt to vote which should be punished

    My understanding is it is acceptable to be registered to vote in two different areas, but illegal to vote in a general election from both.

    My point, and others too, is that because of the tax system it is now possible to know if someone earns their living primarily in Scotland. That could/should be used as eligibility criteria to vote in IndyRef2.

    There’s a lot of talk of second home owners. They should never be on the electoral roll at their holiday residence. As you say, that comes down to accuracy and checking by the local authority.

    As far as postal voting alleged irregularities in IndyRef1, I’ve always felt that a thorough statistical analysis of the raw data would throw up anomalies, if any significant ones existed. I’m surprised nothing seems to been carried out.

  126. Liz g says:

    Pipinghot @ 10.04
    Aw see now your getting personal….. Do you no understand the Rev’s rule’s either?
    Well I am no here to teach you, try guessing what they say aboot personal attack…..and I will at least tell ye when yer “actually” getting “hot”!!!

  127. heedtracker says:

    Something for Rock to chew on:D Scotland Leaves the UK behind, no less. Soon, soon…

  128. Liz g says:

    Marie Clark @ 10.22
    But so precious with it don’t ye think?

  129. galamcennalath says:

    Postal votes are not just about infirmity, sickness, and away on holiday.

    Lots of people have postal votes because they just can’t be near home on polling day.

    Scottish MPs for instance. It might be absolutely essential to be in WM on the day of a vote in Scotland.

    I’m not against postal voting, but we certainly need strict oversight.

  130. jfngw says:

    O/T but there is nothing I can add to the budget comments that hasn’t been said. Although the Rep. Scot table that indicated that Scots on £30K will be paying £40 more than those in England seemed a bit strange. Not sure how you can be paying less tax up to £33K but still more than rest of UK when they have not changed the tax rate (basic allowance look the same). Media seem to be going out of their way to make the tax increases as big as possible.

    The revelation in the National that England football games are being classified as Scottish productions. This from a media that will not cover a live Scotland game. It’s an example similar to how WM allocates cost to Scotland that have no benefit here.

    And there is a substantial number of Scots who think this is a good deal being in the union, blinded by the flag.

  131. pipinghot says:

    @ Liz g
    Liz g says:
    14 December, 2017 at 9:30 pm
    Pipinghot @ 8.54
    Being Scottish for the purposes of a vote is a Tax code now my friend.
    And that’s what we’re discussing
    Where have you been….in a cludgie dealing with verbal diarrhoea? (I recommend education, works every time)

    People that live in glass houses……

  132. ronnie anderson says:

    @ liz g
    Marie Clark
    It brings oot the real Trolls diznt it lol .

    I’ve been on WoS that long , it’s hard work making up shite when you know different lol.

    Hugs .

  133. stewartb says:

    Petra @ 8:59 pm

    You wrote: “Derek did play a blinder whilst juggling with the poisoned chalice, but let’s get our Westminster caps on again. Right now they’ll be planning to make even more cuts (started already – £500m down), decimate our economy any which way they can, in time for the next budget”.

    I agree. I think many here have recognised the fiscal trap that the British Nationalist parties have contrived to weaken the ability of a Scottish Government to protect our economy and public services. I’m sure it is not that the SNP fell unthinkingly into the trap: the SNP had little option but to accept the new tax powers from Smith and the Scotland Act that were on offer and do with them the best it could.

    However, the more successful the SNP Government is in circumventing the worst effects of the ‘trap’ – as demonstrated in today’s budget – the more urgent it is for the British Nationalist parties to find new ways to ramp up their pressure. And of course, Brexit will add further downward pressure on Scotland’s economy. Will the poorly informed (majority?) in the Scottish electorate suss out all that’s going on and why?

    There must be a growing urgency to land the fatal blow on the SNP: the great hope of the BritNats must be that an IndyRef2 can be avoided before the next Holyrood elections which will reject the ‘unpopular’ SNP. (Spinning out over time Brexit uncertainties and transitional arrangements, coupled with ‘jam tomorrow’ promises.)

    Labour or the Tories in place of the SNP? In doesn’t really matter in the big picture: the threat to the Union will be removed (or at least postponed). Scotland will be back in its UKOK box.

  134. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    galamcennalath @ 22:24:

    My understanding is it is acceptable to be registered to vote in two different areas, but illegal to vote in a general election from both.

    Only for students, I believe.

    Because they uniquely have home and away addresses. (Not to be confused with people who are temporarily away, or people who are registered as overseas voters.) Though I’m willing to be corrected on that. But if so, that ought to be corrected also.

    And indeed even they, as you say, are only allowed to vote in one place for general elections at least. But for such non-local “transients” the residence element is dubious for elections with long-term constitutional issues such as an indyref.

    But I suspect we all pretty much agree about that.

    The Scottish element from the taxation aspect is also new, and I think we all agree about that also!

  135. Shinty says:

    Bob Mack -Mrs Thatcher created these parasites who want every entitlement but none of the dues, and they live on in her name.

    This and a thousand time this!

    Most of my friends & family members can’t see the wood for the plank in their fucking eyes.

    Apologies but ‘effing’ just doesn’t quite cut it these days.

  136. pipinghot says:

    @ronnie anderson

    “I’ve been on WoS that long , it’s hard work making up shite when you know different lol.”

    Don’t worry ronnie anderson, you are still doing well in that respect

  137. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @pipinghot –

    Oh dear…looks like you’ll have to let your steam off elsewhere, eh?


  138. Jason Smoothpiece says:

    Robert Peffers @8.40

    Robert I apologise but I’m not sure what point you are making.
    In fairness I have had a bottle of Amarone, excellent stuff.

    I was making the point that we are happy to pay excessive wages to some, often unremarkable people, but very often the hard working ordinary folk are expected to manage on very little.

    No one, absolutely no one should be paid 10 or 300 times The wage of their co-workers.

    Fully agree with your point regarding indirect taxation.

  139. Robert Graham says:

    A bit late and o/t

    I have just watched Labours new talking head doing his bit in Holyrood, by f/k if ever a guy was uncomfortable in his own skin, totally unsuitable for public speaking, it’s him .

    I used to think Kezia was useless , this guy takes stupidity to a whole new level, every Moan under the sun ,every heart wrenching plea to mitigate cuts that his Labour Party voted for at Westminster , takes brass neck cheek to the extreme, he must believe everyone suffers from short term memory loss, we remember what Labour did at Westminster , Labour once again attempts to rewrite history.

    Patrick Harvey seems to live and operate in a total dream world where there not only are money trees, but indeed whole money forests everywhere , Enjoy your day in the sun Patrick the votes you borrowed from SNP supporters will not be available next time, we have long memories Pal .

  140. Liz g says:

    Pipinghot @ 10.34
    People that live in glass houses……
    Are freezing in the winter
    But likely to be Pipinghot in the Summer.

    But comment on the obvious is boring don’t ye think?
    We’re done here my friend.

  141. Thepnr says:

    On the eligibility to vote business FWIW here’s my tuppance worth.

    I’d be worried that being seen to change the rules for a second Indyref would provoke a bad reaction. Cheats they would cry, “your rigging the vote” and to an extent that would be true if new rules such as 5 year residency was introduced.

    I’m definitely not saying that the Scottish government shouldn’t look at this as I think it must but only in clamp down on areas where abuse might be possible.

    There has been much said that I totally agree with, postal votal should be clamped down on and anyone requesting such a vote must have a valid explanation such as being infirm or working offshore even out of the country. Plenty Scots work in England during the week and only make it home at weekends for example.

    These people are entitled to a postal vote though evidence of their circumstances showing they require a postal vote should have to be provided.

    I very much agree with the idea of a count at the polling station rather than a central area. In this way the ballot box never leaves sight of all the representatives of the various groups throughout the day. This is definitely a great idea.

    Only after this count should the ballot boxes be sent to the central area for final tallying, I don’t see why this is not possible after all the postal votes are all counted days before and added to the final tally. They are not counted again.

    Yes time for a change to the system but be careful when thinking it’s OK now to exclude people because they’re incomers or not Scottish enough.

  142. mike cassidy says:

    Inbhir 8.15

    Here’s an archived link to that blockchain digital voting article.

    The future, apparently, is ‘secure’ voting by smartphone!

    Read the comments below the article for some clarity because the person being interviewed comes over as someone who has smoked too many britcoins to make it back to Planet Analogue.

    Maybe too soon – if at all – for an indyref2.

  143. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    me @ 22:36,

    As has been discussed before, it would also be desirable and not unreasonable to set a residence qualification period of (say) 5 years for everyone over 21 (=16+5), but that level of refinement is probably not possible to achieve without first being independent.

    However, simply getting the right people on the roll, no more and no less, is absolutely essential, and is one of the cornerstones of a functional democracy.

  144. David Caledonia says:

    Question time will soon be starting, i will tune in mostly cause i like a good laugh, i will be watching it in my bed while reading spartacus , written by the late great James Leslie Mitchell, who was scottish btw
    Yes i will be going to bed with spartacus, a man who fought for freedom with his life, i bet he would have loved a postal vote, or any other kind of vote for that matter, you appreciate a vote when you read what the likes of Wallace and Spartacus had to go through to get their freedom from tyranny and evil

  145. TheWasp says:

    All Tory panel on Question Time tonight

  146. galamcennalath says:

    The Independent reporting …. ” Theresa May has implicitly accepted EU plans to postpone Brexit trade talks until March, amid concern that the British Government does not know what sort of trade deal it wants from the process. “

    Well, one faction doesn’t want much of a deal at all. Somewhere between nothing and a basic deal covering tariffs on manufactured goods, would suit them fine.

    Others probably want a bit more, but if they reject full single market membership then I fear there won’t be anything between that and a basic Canada style deal.

    Will they have accepted the reality by March. Nae chance.

  147. mike cassidy says:

    here’s the blockchain link.

  148. Sinky says:

    Sad when once respected Scottish newspapers resort to misleading Daily Mail / Express type headlines over the Scottish budget.

    Absolute rubbish for Herald to claim “One Million Middle Class Scots to pay more tax” when the average annual pay for Scots is £26,000 and would not mean paying any more tax.

    Scotsman puts negative Tory spin on headline when majority will pay LESS tax than in the rest of the UK.

  149. ronnie anderson says:

    It wont be long before John McDonald grasps the advantages of a lower tax rate , it will be in the Labour Manifesto wont it John .

  150. TheWasp says:

    I lasted five minutes of QT and had to switch it off. Nicky Morgan being harangued by the poisonous Oakeshotte for betraying the PM and the will of the people, and long-bailey of the red tories also being the victim of Oakeshotte who is being urged on by the audience full of brexiteer black shirts,and unrestricted by the smirking dimblebum

  151. Lenny Hartley says:

    Dean Lockhart Tory MSP has just said on STV news that if the Scots economy had grown at same rate as UK Economy over the last ten years GDP in Scotland would be 3billion pounds higher , so that’s 3 billions pounds extra to spend on the economy. Who are these utter useless illiterate non entities, I had never heard of him before , is he there financial spokesman? , if so even makes James (I’m no sitting down) Kelly look good. I’m not even going to go there with Scotland being part of the UK economy , nor the fact that Oil Revenues and Whisky exports etc are counted in the “UK” economy and not under Scottish GDP.

  152. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Thepnr @ 22:48,

    There isn’t really a problem with postal votes for adults working away. They are autonomous and self-reliant, and will vote according to their own beliefs. Which is fair enough, and all we can ask.

    The problem lies with the vulnerable. People whose vote can be influenced or otherwise effectively purloined, eg. the elderly (whether in their own place or not) and generally others living in houses of multiple occupation who may be under the undue influence of someone else.

    There is no possibility of ensuring a secret ballot for such people unless their votes are cast under the supervision of a “travelling electoral officer” or somesuch other trusted neutral.

    Or, as some others have suggested, having suitable assistance to attend a polling station in person like most others.

    Can’t agree about this ballot box thing, though. These things are all sealed until the count, and cross-tallied separately. (The lists crossed-off as people are given ballot papers.) If there was any interference of any kind, it would have been uncovered by now. And there have been no such cases. Period.

  153. pipinghot says:

    @ liz g
    regarding the ‘poetry’ don’t give up the day job.
    I rarely comment on WOS but as a long term lurker it seems to be becoming a wee private club for yourselves. The rules, as you have referred to ask not to call others trolls which I have been called this evening.
    This will be my last ever post here, I thought my points were and are still valid and my yes voting friends agree but don’t visit this site.
    Please reflect on this fact, if you do not agree with what another poster says, this does not automatically make them a troll. Enjoy your wee club.

  154. Jock McDonnell says:

    re #bbcqt

    give them the hardest possible Brexit, it’ll hurt them like fuck, but its what they want

  155. Mark Fletcher says:

    Question Time tonight is brutal.

    English Nationalists, with foam-flecked lips and eyes bulging, out hunting in packs, baying for blood.

    It’s frightening.

  156. Joemcg says:

    Robert j Sutherland re the student question. I know of at least 20 students from all over Europe Poland,Kazakhstan, Armenia, Wales, England, Ireland, Spain and many more that voted no. Common denominator? They don’t live here anymore and are not coming back. How infuriating is that? They have contributed to shafting all of us and coming from independent countries too. That’s fair eh?

  157. heedtracker says:

    pipinghot says:

    Is it a coincidence that you’ve farted yourself into the online btl ether today, of all days, BIG Scots budget day wise?

    Haste ye back:D

  158. Liz g says:

    RE the postal vote
    It has to be said (and I know a fair few)
    Some of the younger generation are happy to vote by post,but for whatever reason.
    Are reluctant to get their lazy arse to the polling station?
    In the fullness of time education should be able to change that…but we don’t have that at the moment.
    I don’t think the postal vote should be restricted.
    But I do think that registration should be tightened up and the easiest way to do that is through the Scottish tax codes?
    A sort of No representation with Out Taxiation.
    I do wonder if it’s possible to link a commitment to pay tax in Scotland for a time period…EG…
    Mibbi a year …. to register?
    Does anyone think that this is workable and could it be done quite quickly?

  159. Les Wilson says:

    During Indy 1, there was talk of the use of machines that could write your signature perfectly. I was not sure they even existed.
    Apparently they could take your signature from a document ie a voting paper, and put your signature on another voting paper, marking a different result than you did originally.

    However, here it is, and likely to be more advanced now, other videos on the subject near this one.

  160. Thepnr says:

    @Robert J. Sutherland

    I’ve never for a moment believed that the ballot boxes in Sep 2014 were tampered with. The reason I bring it up is that with the Catalan elections due in one weeks time just why have the Spanish government BANNED international observers?

    This is very undemocratic and downright suspicious under the circumstances. You know what I think, the British state if they believed it was possible to lose a second Scottish referendum then they might just go to any length to prevent that.

    A referendum or election is only ever fair and true if there is no interference. A count at the polling station in front of all representatives cannot go wrong and neither would it be difficult.

    So what’s wrong with that in your opinion?

  161. Joemcg says:

    The million dollar question for me is why did the postal vote percentage not mirror the actual ballot?70%?? It’s unbelievable. I don’t buy this older people explanation either when people use that method for a variety of reasons. Bear in mind that was enough to win the vote.

  162. heedtracker says:

    Why though, were indy ref1 postal votes open and examined, as they were recieved? We know, that this was done everywhere and enough of it was done to give and enable Colonel Ruth the actual result, which she then announced, live on beeb gimg tv, before the polling stations closed.

    Also, why are the postal votes opened and examined in front of reps from either side of the campaign?

    There was NO exit polling indy ref1 day, as we all know, but opening every postal vote coming in, in front of reps from boths sides, is a giant rolling exit poll, for what was 3 weeks of actual indy ref1 voting by post, before 18th Sept 2014?

    And then in the last week, the great The Vow fraud exploded out of the Daily Record, promising devo max, signed by Cammers, Milliband and some other twerp.

    Opening and examining postal ballots is called I think, Sampling by the EC Why and why is there no actual totals of sampled ballots published, of their sampling conduct and practice and why are the reps of both sides present, to record each ballot paper.

    Even if each rep is told to NOT record the ballot paper results, they still have the human capability of long term fcuking memory.

  163. Les Wilson says:

    Thepnr says:

    In the UK observers are reserved matter,confirmed to me by the SNP at Indy1. Next time we should not play the Westminster game and invite them in, unlike Catalonia we have been a country for a very long time.
    If they Westminster refuse we should defy them and ask why they would refuse, what do the have to hide.

  164. George Wood says:

    I despair at this website sometimes. We still have people perpetuating the myth that we lost last time because of ballot rigging and we appear, incredible though it is, to have people advocating getting rid of postal voting for all but those with sick notes.

    How could anybody seriously believe we were winning the last referendum? We were ahead in one poll and at best neck and neck with a week to go. The stark staringly obvious inevitable drop in the Yes vote in the run-up due Yes supporters bottling it was going to make it impossible to win from that position.
    No voters were far more likely to vote than Yes voters which was also going to make a Yes vote impossible from that position. I didn’t watch the vote, because there was no point we were bound to lose.

    Regarding postal votes, my mother (voted yes) had one because she was in hospital. However my two sisters who were visiting her each day could only get away on holiday at that time so they had their first postal vote (both yes) and because they were on holiday, I had to move to Dundee for two weeks to spend my holiday doing the visiting in their place and had my first postal vote.
    Some of my work colleagues were first time postal voters, because their job means they spend lots of time travelling abroad.

    We would not have been able to vote if people on here had their way.

    Imagine the chaos at polling stations, if this were implemented

  165. Liz g says:

    Thepnr @ 11.24
    As a kid I thought that the votes were counted at the polling station and I thought that it didn’t make any sense when I first found out that they weren’t.
    I agree that the polling station in front of everyone who wants to be there is the obvious place to count them.
    The local people should be first to know how their own wards voted.
    If that’s inconvenient for the TV election night programming too bad!
    And as far as I can see they (media) are the only ones who would be inconvenienced by a local count.
    But those boxes should not be out of sight of the local reps

  166. galamcennalath says:

    Remember, taxpayers, tax given to Holyrood finds its way to just causes like health, education, local services. Unlike tax to Westminster some of which which goes on WMDs, illegal wars, and Brexit fiascos!

  167. Jock McDonnell says:

    Is that Danny Alexander in drag ?

  168. heedtracker says:

    Some of my work colleagues were first time postal voters, because their job means they spend lots of time travelling abroad.”

    Yes but once you do get a postal vote, there is no mechanism or obligation to give it up. You can take your postal vote on polling day but once you get one, that’s it. Its all on you, the trust.

    This alone leaves room for a lot of problems.

  169. Andrew Gordon says:

    I am so pleased with the balanced and diverse panel on Question Time along with the mild mannered and representative cross section of our UKOK society, What the F***********K
    Please oh please get me out of this asylum, and just as an aside Derek Mackay, home run out the park!!!!

  170. Joemcg says:

    George, no voters were more likely to vote than yes? I would say it was the opposite.

  171. TheWasp says:

    George Wood @11.40

    Video posted the day after indyref showed yes votes deliberately placed in the no pile at Alloa town hall. The postal vote percentage cast for no was eyewateringly high in every area, mostly in the 75% to 94%. I am no conspiracy theorist but it sounds like a conspiracy to me.

  172. mike cassidy says:

    Lizg 11.16 and others.

    You really do need to look at the blockchain idea.

    See my post at 10.49.

    And the archived link again.

    If implemented, people will be able to vote ‘securely’ by phone.

    Which would presumably appeal to a lot of young voters at least.

    This video explains the basics of blockchaining.

    No, I haven’t a clue either –

    but clearly the SNP are interested in the possibilities.

  173. Derek Henry says:

    Bank Of England plays politics ?

    Look at these comments from a Bank of England official.

    The Bank of England is putting the United Kingdom on alert. Should the UK keep borrowing money, as Corbyn’s Labor Party has advocated, there will be a “Venezuela-style” economic collapse that will devastate normal citizens. A senior Bank official has warned that the UK’s economy would be unlikely to survive borrowing any more cash. Richard Sharp, a member of the Bank’s Financial Stability Committee, claimed an extra £1trillion had already been borrowed since the 2008 financial crisis, and any more could see the economy collapse in the same quick manner that Venezuela’s did.

    A Venezuela-style collapse????

    This is unbelievable stupidity. Mind-numbing stupidity. Or very clever indeed and will just about say or do anything that keeps a lefty our of power.

    So the UK will go bankrupt because they shift numbers back and forward over 2 columns on an excel spreadsheet that are headed reserves and Bond accounts. Labour should be asking for Richard Sharp to be sacked.

    After all it is just a simple reserve drain.

    Venezula debt was in $’s something they can’t create from thin air and not the monopoly issuer of.

  174. Petra says:

    Over 15 years ago software had been developed and was being used in the US (and elsewhere?) to rig elections and it was undetectable. How sophisticated would that software be now? The only way that one could determine, to some extent, if that had actually happened was to hold exit polls. No doubt some people will consider me to be doo-lally but I wouldn’t rule out anything under this Westminster Government, as they’d stop at nothing to hold onto Scotland, imo.

    Additionally in the lead up to the Referendum people like Jim Murphy were popping over to the US and holding secret talks, as per Assange. What was that all about? Why was the leader of the English Labour parties accounting unit in Scotland holding talks with people in the US in 2014? The implications of us winning, issues relating to Trident and how the Referendum could be scuppered?

  175. Bob Mack says:

    The problem ultimately with independence trying to win does not lie with vote rigging. The problem lies in trying to wean a population off the need to support something they have personally experienced all their lives.

    It is important to recognise that many Scots view their heritage in terms of the UK rather than Scotland. Their history revolves around a common experience of language ,values and helping in conflict. These are powerful bonds which are difficult to break especially in the older generation. However,they can be broken. It is important to realise that you are asking people to put aside a lifetime of “programming”, to believe what you believe. Even trying to deprogramme those who has been involved with a cult or religious group, isn’t easy, and often they have only been involved for a short time span.

    The real answer to indy lies in giving sound knowledge and deprogramming belief systems cultivated over generations.

    Only then ,or when a generation has passed can we hope to be free.

  176. ronnie anderson says:

    JHC they couldn’t make Brillo’s programme any more ridiculous if they tried another Brian Rix resurrected script .

  177. mike cassidy says:

    Here’s a report on blockchaining a voting system from the New Scientist.

  178. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    George Wood at 11.40

    You appear to have missed most of the point. The postal voting system in the UK is a “recipe for large scale fraud” according in 2008 to the EU Commission. It is most certainly that and returns from five constituencies in Scotland of over 95% of the postal vote supports that statement. Over 95 % is physically impossible.

    I know of two residences in this area which contributed a total of eight postal votes from people who had not lived in Scotland for over a decade and in fact for over twenty years in one of the cases.

    It is ridiculously simple to register for a vote and then get a postal vote and then after you have it it is on register for ever. Over worked staff at council offices with lots of other tasks check addresses and register postal votes at them with nothing else really required and they were avalanched pre referendum with literally hundreds of thousands of applications.

    Postal vote applications sit on council computers for up to two months and are readily accessible to the powers that be

    I really have very little time for ingenues who believe that the UK establishment wouldn’t fiddle the postal vote if it had to. Of course it would. The stakes are holding the UK together

  179. Derek Henry says:

    I’ve been a SNP voter all my life. However, I think this day will be remembered as the day the SNP destroyed themselves.

    By raising taxes in the Scottish budget today have the SNP walked into the bear trap set up by the fiscal Conservatives and the Kelvin comission ?

    The Tories have starved Scotland of the £ which it can create at will and from thin air any time it chooses until it has come to the point that Scotland has to raise taxes just to survive.

    It is the SNP’s own fault in my opinion for asking for these powers in the first place when they didn’t know how the monetary system operates in reality. They had no idea how to answer the currency question and got themselves into a right mess.

    The tories have duely obliged and forced them into their trap. Now the Tories will watch and see how much the taxes raise and cut that from future funding to Scotland.

    Starting an ever ending story of cuts and tax increases in Scotland. Probably ending up with the destruction of the Barnett formula.

    The right wing London metropolitan elite will be raising a few glasses tonight because they know what happens to political parties that keep raising taxes. They’ll be cheering that now different parts of the UK will now be competing in a race to the bottom. That never ends well for working people.

    I just hope those people who didn’t vote for Scottish independence know what they’ve done. Scotland could have been independent now with their own central bank that floats its own currency just like New Zealand and could of created as much currency as it ever needed. Instead they are now being held to ransom by all political parties that don’t want Scottish independence.

    Anyone watching the Scottish budget today and knows how the monetary system actually works would quickly see what it is like to be a currency slave. With Scotland’s slave owners being the Bank Of England and HM Treasury. They’ll just keep turning the tap off more and more like the Eurozone did with Greece.

    Starve the country of what it needs until they get the people they want running it and then they can privatise it. Sound familiar ?

    Privatisation is like asking Macdonald’s or KFC to fit you any kitchen you like and then they charge you for using it for the next 100 years. Putting that price up every 5 years.

    The SNP might have come away with a score draw in todays battle. But for me they have definately walked into a well designed trap and will ultimately lose the war.

    A very sad day indeed.

  180. Onwards says:

    Legerwood says:
    14 December, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    If someone earning over £150,000, management level, is put off coming to Scotland because of the extra tax they will pay, around £1500 pa, then that person is not worth the salary they are being paid. Anyone at that level who just looks at the ‘higher tax’ mantra and bases their decision on that is not much of a manager. Someone at that level whether professional and/or management should automatically look at the whole package that would accrue from relocation to Scotland.

    You’re correct of course. It’s the full package that is looked at in deciding where to invest. But we also have to remember for exporting companies, Scotland has EXTRA costs for getting goods to main markets. And owners, directors etc might prefer the big city lights of London.. sending kids to Oxford, Cambridge or whatever. It’s just this very top bracket that concerns me.. with the decision makers.
    Higher personal taxes might just be the tipping point in otherwise finely balanced decisions. Remember the top 1% pay a big chunk of overall taxation, as well as the jobs involved with new investment.

    This was the trap that was set with limited extra powers. No way would Scotland be allowed to compete effectively.
    Look at Ireland bending over backwards to avoid taking Apples billions in corporation tax by comparison.

    Will just have to see how it all pans out in the longer term. Of course, far more voters in the lower brackets will pay less, so politically it could pay off in the short term.

  181. Hamish100 says:

    Re postal votes.

    There should be a ban on the tories trawling through care and nursing homes filling out ballot papers for the residents.
    Ayrshire bad for this.

  182. heedtracker says:

    The simple solution is that each postal vote only applies to one election or referendum. Anyone who wants a postal can reapply for one, within a reasonable time scale, before each polling day.

    If its too much work now, why?

  183. Liz g says:

    Mike Cassidy @ 11.54
    I will take a look Mike.
    While the youngsters I am talking about were saying that it would be better to vote online.
    And they do almost everything online……
    A family member who is a programmer has said to me in the past ,when I rainiest this with him, did say that there’s no such thing as a secure online voting system.
    And there’s no likely to be for many years to come
    Infact it would open the vote up even wider to outside interference?
    He is someone who’s judgement I trust so I would be very unlikely to back an online system at the moment..

  184. Derek Henry says:

    The biggest mistake the SNP ever made was going for independence because some people wanted to see it in their lifetimes.

    Instead of going for Home Rule which would have won by a landslide at the time.

    So here we are with powers that are not fit for purpose and never will be until we get our own cental bank with our own currency.

    Anything else is just a white wash.

    We will now lose those middle class areas that we used to win by a baw hair.

  185. crazycat says:

    @ Thepnr

    I very much agree with the idea of a count at the polling station rather than a central area. In this way the ballot box never leaves sight of all the representatives of the various groups throughout the day. This is definitely a great idea.

    Only after this count should the ballot boxes be sent to the central area for final tallying, I don’t see why this is not possible after all the postal votes are all counted days before and added to the final tally. They are not counted again.

    I agree that we should be perfectly capable of emulating the Catalans in conducting counts locally and with observers.

    My understanding is that the Catalan system counts the votes for each candidate/option at the polling station, and then some central place adds all the scores for each candidate/option to produce a final result.

    This is similar to the results from each referendum count being submitted to a central place to derive the overall result.

    That is not the same as what happens to postal ballots, however. The pre-poll verification counts only the number of valid ballot papers, not what is written on them. The papers are taken to the count and mixed in with polling station ballots (the number of which has already been established and checked against the total on the marked register). Only then are the actual votes totalled.

    So postal votes are “counted” twice, but what is “counted” is not the same on the two occasions. (Ballots enumerated versus votes counted.)

  186. ronnie anderson says:

    12.28 U lost me at the Kelvin commission , fast flows the Kelvin down to the sea ya floater .

  187. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Derek Henry 12.08

    Nonsense. You appear to have
    (1) missed the point that the SNP has just cut taxes for 70% of Scots and
    (2) a significant majority of Scots voters when polled supported the rising of taxes to fund essential services.

    I suspect that extra taxation around £1.34 on anyone taking home £1000 a week will very soon be the non issue it actually is

  188. Derek Henry says:

    Of course, far more voters in the lower brackets will pay less

    And these are the people who you have to knock on their door with a car and drive them to the polling station and then drive them back home afterwards.

    They just don’t care about voting as much as the middle class and our pensioners.

    The tories are now going to pick up more seats in more middle class areas after this. They were only lending us their vote while we froze council and income tax.

    Let’s see how it plays out but today is the day the SNP put a fork in themselves. All I see is a downward spiral from here.

    They walked into the trap head on and I can’t see anyway they are ever going to get out of it.

  189. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Derek Henry at 12.17

    More utter infantile rubbish. What exactly is “home rule”?

    You mean we should have voted for devolution ignoring the inconvenient fact that we already have it?
    See no sign whatsoever of you being ” a SNP voter all my life”

  190. Thepnr says:

    @Derek Henry

    The SNP have REDUCED taxes for 55% of the population you halfwit.


    Funny that you should pop up by backing the view of Derek Henry.

    I’ll tell you this and listen closely more than 95% of Scots earn nowhere near £150,000 and nbone of them will be weeping tonight for the £100/month extra they’ll pay to support our public services.

    See the guy that empties your bins or the nurse that takes away your bedpan, well they are getting something more in their pay packet and less tax to boot. That’s what this budget achieved.

    It’s only fair eh, that those with the biggest wallet pay a bit more and those with least receive a bit more don’t you think?

    It is Xmas after all.

  191. George Wood says:

    @Dave McEwan Hill

    Unless you get this fantasy out of your head and concentrate on what matters and convince more people than last time to vote Yes, we will lose again.
    We don’t have the time or energy to pursue conspiracy theories that have no evidence other than a lot of people used postal votes in the most important vote in Scotland’s history. This was not a council election and as such a huge turn out was expected and you would expect postal votes to be really high and indeed higher than the polling station numbers, because of the people who use them being most likely to vote.

  192. Derek Henry says:

    We’ll see Dave, We’ll see.

    I hope I’m wrong but remember this day.

    Like I said a score draw today but you haven’t even contemplated what will need to happen the next time with even less money from London.

    The Tories and British establishment are just going to keep cutting and cutting and will now take stuff away because they’ll say we can now use our taxes.

    Until we are voted out of power.

    A viscious cycle has just begun. They can now do a Greece on our ass and just keep turning the tap off slowly.

  193. Thepnr says:


    Re counting of postal votes, I knew I had that wrong right after posting. They weren’t counted but bundled into batches of 100 Yes and No bundled together.

    Postal votes couldn’t be counted on the premises of receipt and only at the final count due to the time differences between receipt. Thanks for putting me and others right.

  194. Derek Henry says:

    The SNP have REDUCED taxes for 55% of the population you halfwit.

    Yeah, yeah I know. The ones that don’t vote.

    Don’t forget a large proportion pay less than anywhere else in the UK now.!!!!

    Whoopeedooo, the race to the bottom has started that never ends well.

    So please tell me what will happen at the next budget and the one after that and the one after that ?

    Just sit back and watch and learn what the Tories and the British establishment have in the pipe line now we have done this.

    You are about to be blind sided. It was a bear trap I don’t know how you couldn’t see it. It was big enough.

  195. Derek Henry says:

    After the budget speech was finished about 20 tories stood up and ran out of the chamber.

    They couldn’t contain their exceitment.

    I’m surprised they weren’t shouting ” they’ve done it”,” they’ve done it”, ” they’ve done it”, ” they’ve done it”

    They’ve walked into the trap. Give us a decade and they are finished.

    Hell the tories virtually dared the SNP to do it.

  196. Robert Graham says:

    It appears we have been joined by a double act tonight .

    One called George and one called Derek

    Both f/kn idiots.

    In my humble opinion

    It’s way too late to argue with idiots in the end they always win because they are too stupid to fathom out they really are as stupid as their arguments, it’s like going in never ending circles. Pointless .

  197. Thepnr says:

    @Derek Henry

    Your at the wind up Derek LOL. Well you can I couldn’t care less for your drivel. I aint buying it and I very much doubt anyone else reading Wings will.

    See pay attention here and listen, I vote SNP and I’m as happy as Larry at the budget they produced today and so are most others that support Independence as evidenced by the comments.

    Read the heading to this article and apply it to yourself. Only difference I would use in your case is “Torn faced Tory”.

  198. Derek Henry says:

    The home rule we were going for was everything apart from 3 powers. It would have won by a landslide at the time.

    If you think Nicola rules Scotland you are deluded she runs nothing more than a county council.

    We are currency slaves. That have no control whatsoever over our currency. As the budget has just highlighted with big flashing red lights and sirens.

  199. Thepnr says:

    @Derek Henry

    I think you’d have felt better in the morning if you went to bed an hour ago. When you read tomorrow what you have written tonight I’d think you’ll be just a wee bit embarrassed at the arse you’ve made of yourself.

    Go have a lie down, believe me that’s good advice as you’ve lost the plot.

  200. Derek Henry says:

    Let’s see how it pans out.

    I hope I’m wrong and wrong in a very big way but I suppose we’ll soon find out.

    Let’s see what the Tories and the British establishment do now we are raising our own revenues outwith the UK parliament and started a race to the bottom.

    It will be interesting if nothing else. The bear trap was just chapter one.

    Take comfort and sleep well on the score draw today. I fear it won’t last.

  201. Brian McHugh says:

    Thepnr, I think you nailed that 🙂

  202. Derek Henry says:

    Well see Thepnr, we’ll see.

    All the best.

  203. Brian McHugh says:

    Derek, seriously mate, in what way is taking steps to make taxation more progressive, a race to the bottom?

    You do sound like a Tory.

  204. William Wallace says:

    “I think you’d have felt better in the morning if you went to bed an hour ago. When you read tomorrow what you have written tonight I’d think you’ll be just a wee bit embarrassed at the arse you’ve made of yourself.”

    Makes a change fae it being me. 😉

  205. Thepnr says:

    @William Wallace

    I doubt there’s anyone here that is not guilty of the same thing.

  206. mr thms says:

    A wee thought, just because it was so thorough, but the White Paper Scotland’s Future’s Chapter on Finance and the Economy looks as if it was written recently, and not 2013!

    “Until such times as tax rates are changed by a future Scottish government, they will remain the same as the prevailing rate in the UK. Future Scottish governments may wish to vary tax rates and/or thresholds for a variety of reasons. However, there will be no necessity to do so to pay for current spending.

    In addition to increased flexibility in relation to tax policy, independence will allow the tax system as a whole to be re-designed based on a clear set of principles and to better link to complementary areas of policy such as welfare. Independence will provide an opportunity to design a Scottish tax system based on specific Scottish circumstances and preferences”.

  207. Liz g says:

    Derek Henry @ 1.14am
    Are ye no forgetting something Derek?
    Yon Mandate!
    None of us here have any intention of being in the Union in Ten years.
    And my reading (between the line’s admittedly) of today’s budget is…..neither do the SNP.
    Do you think for a New York minute that the SNP don’t now or didn’t then see the potential trap within the shiny new powers?
    Yes what you described could in theory happen, but only if Westminster are in charge long enough!
    Now was the time to demonstrate that Holyrood can find a different way forward.
    They can and will manage a Tax system that’s fair!
    Otherwise when they call Indy ref 2 they would have been wide open to accusations of being unable to deal with they little power’s they have and would be lost with anymore.
    This trap because of the mandate now works the other way too.
    I agree if we were looking at it taking Ten years for Indy ref 2,Westminster would try to defund us,and force Holyrood to squeeze more tax out of the Scot’s.
    But they simply don’t have the time now.
    These are the modest tax change’s that most people will get on board with and all we need to do now is get Westminster’s ability to control the rest of our money gone.
    This is where the time spent demonstrating (to coin a phrase)
    Strong and Stable government, pays off.

  208. Liz g says:

    William Wallace @ 1.22
    Well since your being “relatively” well behaved tonight William!
    Why don’t you jump over to OT and tell me how things are going in Wallace Towers….?

  209. mr thms says:

    The comparison between Scotland’s expected growth and the UK’s growth is not right.

    The capital accounts for a big chunk of the UK’s growth.

    Two things need to happen when making a comparison, the UK figure should exclude Scotland and London.

  210. CameronB Brodie says:

    I hope this makes their coupons set.

    Brexit’s impact on public services must be a priority in negotiations, urges CIPFA

    CIPFA (the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy) highlights that, as Brexit will have profound legal, technical and financial implications for public services, the impact on the sector must be kept in the foreground as the UK renegotiates its relationship with the EU….

    The Brexit balance sheet Perspectives
    Weighing up the public sector costs

    ‘The unprecedented levels of uncertainty around the future path of the economy arise principally from the uncertain consequences of the Brexit vote’

    Beyond Brexit

    That poses fundamental questions. Whatever the many imponderables facing the post-Brexit economy, it is clear that we will have to do one of the following three things: cut spending further on areas other than health and pensions; substantially cut or reform our health and pension systems to reduce spending per person; or increase taxes to cover the increased demands for spending on health and pensions. There really is not a fourth alternative.

    Some things could make this easier – higher rates of economic growth prime among them. Also very handy is a high level of immigration. Immigrants tend to be relatively young and hence pay a lot more in taxes than they take out in services and benefits. To the extent that we follow policies that limit growth and immigration, we will bring the difficult political and economic trade-offs more clearly to the fore. Over the past 40 years, we have made space for more spending on health and pensions by cutting spending on defence, industrial support and housing very dramatically. We have effectively privatised a lot of spending on higher education. From our current vantage point, it is not clear what the equivalent changes could be over the next 40 years. In this uncertain economic climate, it is time we started looking beyond the current decade and a half of austerity and started planning for the next half century.

    Integrating Ethics: Ethical Decision-Making

  211. Dr Jim says:

    I was in Glasgow today and it was pouring down heavily so I jumped into a taxi to go home because I hadn’t taken my car because I was on jury duty
    I spotted a homeless guy sitting soaked through to the skin while stopped at traffic lights I immediately jumped out of the taxi felt in my pocket but the only money I had was a £1 coin which I duly gave the lad, the young fella turned to to look up and thanked me even though you could see he was clearly exhausted and done in with the freezing cold

    I jumped back in my taxi and felt immediately ashamed that that’s all I had on me for his thanks

    Now I don’t know what problems this guy’s got but I do know he’s got them so for all the miserable Labour and Tory wasters who talk a lot but do nothing, that guy and many others are sitting on our streets with nothing

    Folk like that young lad are going to die this winter give them a quid and keep them alive till we can build enough houses to put them in and it’ll make me feel better for having a warm house to go to and a taxi to take me there and a bank card to pay for stuff because I’m respectable

    One day this young lad might pay us back by becoming our carer or get a good job and contribute to society and pay us back that way all for the price of a £1

    Good value I think for the price of a Mars bar

  212. Al Dossary says:


    “Retirement home farming” – immediately after that clown was elected in Banchory as an MSP (I can’t even remember his name – you know, the one who allowed May to use a wee hut in his fiefdom for a press conference) I did a wee search for retirement homes / properties in the Banchory area.

    I stopped counting at 1000, a combination of nursing homes and retirement villages. And guess who’s “compamy” builds a lot of them lol. He’s built his own little rotten borough up there.

    Don’t even start me about Aberdeen – a huge % of the workforce is either incomers from the NE of England commuting weekly. No need to guess which way they voted. I hated Aberdeen city with a vengeance – right up until on an office based stint I started drinking in some of the lower class establishments with the locals. Then I started to see the real Aberdeen rather than the Middlesboro-ized version.

    Edinburgh, St Andrews, Glasgow’s West End and to a lesser extent Aberdeen & Stirling. Huge numbers of little darlings who were not quite clever enough for Oxbridge or London’s leading Universities coming up to Scotland to lend their temporary residence to the fucking Tories of all people. It must sicken them to see Scots on the same degree as them getting it for free! GOOD – GIRUY.

    St Andrews – walk in to Tesco Metro and right beside the checkout on the shelves are more bottles of champagne than I have ever seen in my life. In a bloody Tesco Metro! Ones things for sure, they’re not being bought by wee Senga or Shaun from the cooncil estate.

  213. Onwards says:

    There is probably a political calculation that Labour is more of a threat at the next election than losing seats in Tory leaning areas. Getting the greens on board is a factor too.

    But this will cost SNP seats in certain areas for sure. Wealthier folks might SAY they don’t mind paying slightly higher taxes to maintain services. Many are genuinely ok with it. But a significant number will vote differently.

  214. Onwards says:

    It seems impossible to maintain the relatively large Scottish health and social care budgets forever by making up the difference in higher income taxes. The gains for low rate payers make for a good soundbite, but are tiny in reality.
    Eventually economic growth is going to fall behind.

    An alternative could be to set fixed percentages for spending in the bigger budget areas.
    If cash spending on the Scottish NHS has to fall because of Westminster cuts, the Tories at Westminster are more likely to get the blame. Assuming the percentage of the budget remains unchanged. Income tax powers in isolation were always set up to be a political trap.

    And Ruth Davidson has to explain where she would divert money from instead.

  215. William Wallace says:

    @ PNR

    What is this life is you cannae make an erse o yirsel fae time to time 😉

    @ Liz

    I will try this weekend. I am having problems wi the fatigue the now. Keep crashing oot fir nae reason. It’s doing mah heid in.

  216. Capella says:

    Derek Mackay is a star. His response to James Kelly even made Kezia laugh. But the Tories looked positively venomous whenever the camera swept over their doom laden benches.

    Was their 3rd place in the polls depressing them? Is Ruth’s planned escape to Westminster causing tension in the ranks?
    Tory austerity and BREXIT chaos are taking their toll.

    Labour are also in the doldrums pollwise. Their own dismal record in office trails after them like the ghost of Xmas past.
    If it wasn’t for relentless puffing by the BBC neither of these parties would have a hope of winning a vote.
    Unfortunately, the media has already analysed the Budget to death before it even happened. They will have to dredge up some “experts” to generate more negative spin. I’m sure they are equal to the task.

    Torn coupons indeed.

  217. Ken500 says:

    Minimum pricing will take the health bill/social care bill down. Public money should only fund ‘total abstinence’ proper counselling rehab. Not services which advocate ‘sensible’ drinking. Or drinking wine with a meal? For people with addition problems that does not work. Kills people. Methodone long term is just a substitute for heroin and worse.

    ‘Sugar tax’. Other countries have done it. Finland etc. Healthier diets mean less health care.

    Not all wealthier people are greedy bastards. They want to pay their share. If it is fair.

    Cookett and Young. Greedy bastards. Voted out they still keep coming back.

    To hear a MSM report the proposed changes. Just a bunch of lies. It really is a disgrace. Blatant lies about the tax changes and the unemployment figures.

    Sectarian sports clubs should not be supported with public money. Unequal and unfair. They should be shamed.

    Brexit is stopping economic growth. Contracting the economy in Scotland. Causing inflation. Blame the Tories – unionists for their disastrous policies. Bring back FPTP. Get rid of the lot of them. They changed the electoral system without authority. Bastards. Scotland loses £20Billion a year to Westminster mismanagement and misappropriation.

    Illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion. Hinkley Point, HS2, Heathrow and Trident. All a total waste of money. With credible, feasible cheaper alternatives. The Tory slush fund. Milking the public purse.

    Just vote SNP/SNP. Vote for Independence. For a more prosperous, fairer more equal, peaceful country.

  218. Ken500 says:

    A residential requirement (3 years?) would get rid of people passing through. Students etc.

  219. Macart says:


    Heh. Full on spin, rinse and repeat mode for the yoon meeja this morning Nana. Now don’t go looking beneath the line when you’re out there gathering material, or you’ll need eye bleach.

    They’re positively fizzin’ and so far as I’m concerned that’s a good sign. 🙂

    Anyroads, kettle’s on kiddo.

  220. Nana says:

    Good morning Macart

    I have my safety glasses firmly taped on this morning, so far they are working well!

    The loons and yoons will be screeching no matter what.

  221. call me dave says:

    Derek Mackay up early on radio shortbread this morning to face Gary on his budget but it was no contest really.

    Even with the help of big Brian, (probably still in his pyjamas), did nothing to stifle Derek in full flow squashing their puny arguments.

    Meanwhile Murdo and Dick lie in their beds while auntie with a kilt play their sound bites in a vain hope some are still listening to the unionist mantra.

    Thankfully Wee Willie has lost traction for the moment in the shortbread handbook.

    Morning all. 🙂

  222. Robert Peffers says:

    @Hamish100 says: 15 December, 2017 at 12:10 am:

    “There should be a ban on the tories trawling through care and nursing homes filling out ballot papers for the residents.
    Ayrshire bad for this.”

    I have been involved, until recent years, in volunteer work in homes, hospices and hospitals since the late 1940s. First around Edinburgh and then mainly in Fife & Perth and Kinross.

    Without doubt the main offenders in fiddling postal ballot in institutions has been Labour.

  223. Naina Tal says:

    Aye, Call Me Dave, Thought Derek MacKay was brilliant on the so-called BBC wireless this morning. Just ploughed right on with his answer in spite of repeated attempted interruptions. Would be great to hear all SNP MPs and MSPs do the same thing. Just talk right over the interviewer when they try this crap.

  224. Robert Peffers says:

    @Dave McEwan Hill says: 15 December, 2017 at 12:25 am

    “Nonsense. You appear to have
    (1) missed the point that the SNP has just cut taxes for 70% of Scots and
    (2) a significant majority of Scots voters when polled supported the rising of taxes to fund essential services.”

    Nail on the head there Dave McEwan Hill.

    However, I suspect that Derek knows that but had to get his SNP BAAAD! bleat in anyway.

  225. Hamish100 says:

    Derek Henry
    You sound like rock.

    Just think what we could do with all financial levers such as VAT,NI, corporate receipts etc
    But we don’t.

  226. call me dave says:

    Forgot to mention that I clocked a shooting star whizzing across the sky about 02:00hrs this morning while looking out the window.

    Passing East of Glenrothes coming from Kirkcaldy towards St Andrews direction.

    Long white/greeny trail lasted about 3 or 4 seconds before it burnt out…made a wish for Scotland 🙂

  227. gus1940 says:

    Photo in todays ‘National’ shows Kezia sitting isolated on the back benches behind her Labour ‘friends’with Rowley in the row behind similarly isolated.

    Given Leonsrd’s performances so far in FMQs and other debates I reckon his reign will not last long posing the question of who will be the next cretin stupid enough to grasp The Branch Office’s poisoned chalice.

  228. Well done Derek MacKay.

  229. Robert Peffers says:

    @Thepnr says: 15 December, 2017 at 12:32 am:

    “@Derek Henry
    The SNP have REDUCED taxes for 55% of the population you halfwit.
    Funny that you should pop up by backing the view of Derek Henry.”

    It is an irrefutable fact that the Labour Party that became NuLabour and thus became red Tories began a fundamental change in the United Kingdom’s tax system that is still in force today and that fundamental change was well documented by the mainly Scottish great economists of the past like Adam Smith.

    This fundamental change was to make the mainly direct tax system into a mainly indirect tax system. What the great economists knew and highlighted was that an indirect tax system places the main burden of taxation upon those least able to pay.

    Indirect taxation is specifically designed to take money out of the pockets and purses of the poorest and transfer it into the mainly off-shore bank accounts of the richest.

    The secondary result is that the Labour Party elected to office people, like Tony Blair and Gordon Brown joined the very wealthy Tories at Westminster. The transfer of wealth from the poorest to the wealthiest will continue as long as the main burden of taxation remains in force.

    Strangely the electorate seem fixated upon income tax and largely ignore the fact that income tax is now so important to the treasury and the simple fact that everyone, laughably classed as non-tax payers, are not only paying indirect taxes and indirect taxation is Westminster’s main revenue raiser.

    Now the idiotic BBC is broadcasting the idiocy that, “Scotland is, simultaneously the highest and lowest taxed part of the, (so called), United Kingdom that has never been so disunited since 1707.

    How bloody stupid is that? You cannot be both the highest and lowest
    anything at the same time.

  230. gus1940 says:

    ken500 @6.51am

    Unfortunately that doesn’t take care of retired people from South Britain selling up, moving to Scotland with the massive profits for selling their homes and distorting the Scottish Housing market.

    These people who take advantage of all the free services provided by The Scottish Government are quite happy to accept same at substantial cost to Scottish taxpayers but are for the most part not the slightest bit interested in voting for Independence.

    Furthermore when they die the proceeds from the sale of their properties will no doubt for the most part disappear south of the border.

    These people are definitely an obstacle to Independence and a problem for which I cannot see a solution which wouldn’t involve substantial bureaucracy.

  231. Robert Peffers says:

    @Derek Henry says: 15 December, 2017 at 12:44 am:

    “The SNP have REDUCED taxes for 55% of the population you halfwit.
    Yeah, yeah I know. The ones that don’t vote.”

    You are sensibledave and I claim my £5.

  232. heedtracker says:

    Great morning links Nana! Here in England, yesterday’s budget gets not a mention anywhere, not on newsstands or broadcast airtime. Cant think why. Beeb gimp tory propaganda in particular literally flips over as you cross the border, in the olde yew kay zone.

  233. ronnie anderson says: The truth & nothing but the truthbut dont expect it to come from May&Co .

  234. galamcennalath says:

    “Home Rule”

    Aye, home rule meaning DevoMax/full fiscal autonomy would have been a good idea. However, like unlimited free pizza and ice cream for everyone, it wasn’t isn’t won’t ever happen.

    We can’t take home rule, we have to be given it by Westminster, and one of the many things IndyRef2014 should have taught us is that they definitely won’t be giving Scotland significantly more powers.

    Devolution has run its course, it is now stuck hard against the buffers. It won’t be going forwards and is more likely to go into reverse. And the ultimate devolution package, home rule, is just fantasy,

  235. Capella says:

    @ ronnie anderson – great clip from the EU parliament on BREXIT thx

  236. Breeks says:

    Until you can properly account for record breaking 96.4% postal ballot returns favouring a 70-30 No vote in 2014, and adequately explain how the likes of Ruth Davidson and John McTernan knew the results of postal ballots before the polls closed, then it is very difficult not to be suspicious of the mechanism and process of postal voting. If it cannot be trusted, then don’t trust it or fix it so it can be trusted.

    It’s just silly to suggest I would obstruct the frail and elderly from voting, but if postal voting has been compromised, even where there is credible suspicion, then an alternative and tamper-proof way of voting needs to be provided.

    As for restricting votes for immigrants, I made no such remarks to begin with.

    If we are happy to compromise voting integrity for issues of casual convenience, then the enduring thing we have to live with is the compromised result. Yes, I would rather safeguard the integrity of the ballot at the risk of public inconvenience than vice versa.

    There were 790k registered postal ballots for the YES Referendum, and I find it incredible that Scotland has 790k voters who cannot make it to a polling station on any given day. Give or take, that is nearly one in five of us. That seems an incredible lack of mobility, or a somewhat casual and complacent approach to voting by post.

  237. One_Scot says:

    Agreed, I do not trust the postal voting system. It has been proven to that it is open to fraud and manipulation.

    The Scottish Government has to restrict the postal vote to people who genuinely cannot get to a voting station, otherwise the result will be the same as last time.

    I would put my house on that.

  238. HandandShrimp says:

    I think Derek has put together a well crafted budget. It is progressive so the Greens like it and Labour are left saying they would have taxed more (although I have yet to see specific numbers).

    The Liberals? Who knows? I don’t trust their progressive noises.

    The Tories would cut benefits give breaks to the wealthy and privatise the air we breathe. Of course they hate it. The fact they hate it means it is likely a sensible and fair budget.

    All in, a good day at the office for the SNP. Derek is doing well in the interviews but I suspect that is in part because at the back of the minds of the interviewers there is the thought “actually as I say this it does sound pretty fair”.

  239. Bewildering. Aberdeen’s Willie Young of the ‘thats not my land, I sold it to my father’ saga.

    How can they sleep?

  240. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Breeks @ 10:02,

    I don’t know what happened with Ruth Davidson. Does anyone? Maybe it was just empty bluster, or possibly an informal passing-on of impressions from people involved with (or present at) the postal ballot validations, as someone earlier suggested. Interestingly, the process has changed since – after satisfactory validation, each ballot paper itself is not opened now, just transferred directly into a new (sealed) ballot box. So there’s no voting indications to be leaked.

    It would not surprise me that there was a “natural” skew in favour of “no” in the postal ballots, though. Which is just one reason why an exit poll would be unreliable, since that would necessarily produde a reverse skew in the exit poll.

    It’s my understanding that postal voting was (is?) much favoured by the Electoral Commission, not because of any devious intent, but on the contrary, from the well-intentioned hope/belief that it would encourage voter participation (of all age groups) and thus increase turnout at all elections.

    And have perhaps as a consequence been rather blind to the difficulties that widespread adoption could bring. Not necessarily from the elderly alone, in fact, who have been postal voting for years. That’s a longstanding problem, though the number involved is increasing with greater longevity.

    The vast majority of postal ballot verifications I observed in my own wee sample of the process were from the 65+ age group.

    Myself, I’m sceptical. I don’t see why able-bodied eligible individuals can’t find a few minutes to cast their vote where they can do so in a verifiable and private manner. Validity is paramount.

  241. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    me @ 11:17,

    (Sorry, I should make it clear that the personal observations I mentioned were for the 2017 local elections, not for the 2014 referendum.)

  242. ronnie anderson says:

    I’ve been waiting on somebody mentioning the Electoral Register or should I say two Electoral registers ie Public & Private many false electoral registrations can be hidden in this private registrations register .

    Lets get back to Public Electoral Registrations whereby we can see the Register of names & addresses in the Public Library , we might not know everybody living in our streets , but for people intent on voting when not eligible to vote there would be no hiding place .

    The Private Electoral register came into being because Councils are selling Public electoral registers , we were conned .

  243. North chiel says:

    “ Breeks@ 1002” , agree with much of what you say. The 96.4 pc postal ballot delivering a 70/30 no result remains rather remarkable .As I recall from opinion polls around the referendum date , yes there was a strong lead for “ NO” in the 65 plus age group . However was it as high as 70/30 ?? . Obviously not all postal voters were aged 65 plus, therefore this would be a factor to “ weaken” the 70/30 result. Also , if there was circa 1 million over 65 voters, then how many actually voted by post . According to this 70/30 result , it must have been a high proportion 600000-70000? would this be possible? This would indicate that perhaps 2/3 of pensioners voted by post?. I find this difficult to believe. ( linking the 70/30 ratio to the pre referendum age group voting intentions).Also it cannot be possible that every postal vote was by a person aged over65 . Therefore , all age groups who voted via the postal ballot must have also voted 70/30 in favour of No . Again as I recall from pre referendum polls the “ No vote “ weakened as the age groupings moved from 65 down to the voting age minimum. By way of quick calculation, I would estimate that it would only take a postal vote “ fraud” of circa 100 votes per polling station to “ rig” the result. Why was there such a high turnout in “ “No voting” areas and such a significantly lower turnout in “Yes” voting “ major” areas such as Glasgow and Dundee??

  244. fletch49er says:

    Is that Col. gDavidson and Murdo, doing a 100 ‘I must not lie in class’ lines in that photo?

  245. Lenny Hartley says:

    There are valid reasons why a fit person requires a postal vote, one of my friends in Aberdeenshire has about a six mile return walk to his polling station and no public transport links. (He doesn’t have a car)

  246. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Lenny Hartley @ 13:59,

    That’s where political parties can step in – or used to, anyway. Have a bunch of volunteers’ cars dedicated to getting disadvantaged supporters, often the elderly, to the polls in person.

    But maybe in such cases the polling station could come to you, like mobile libraries already do for rural areas…?

  247. Liz g says:

    Ronnie Anderson @ 12.01
    I canny agree with that Ronnie!
    I know at least 4 young woman who could not risk being on the voter’s roll if their ex partner could get their address from it.
    Not forgetting that it would also help debt collectors do their job at public expense.

Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

↑ Top