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Welfare for the wealthy

Posted on March 14, 2016 by

There are two very different kinds of welfare in the UK. One is the kind that primarily benefits poor people, which is under remorseless attack from the government.


But there’s another kind too, for which there’s still a bottomless pit of cash.

Last week Treasury officials briefed that there would be no change to pensions in the coming budget, despite a widely-circulated consultation on a Pension ISA with no tax relief on investment, or an alternative model based on flat-rate pension tax relief.

The result has been that those with money to invest have been putting in as much as they can, in case either of those things happen in the future. Because if they did, higher-rate taxpayers would lose a fortune. And not even a small fortune.

Pension tax relief costs the Treasury around £35 billion a year, and much of it is a huge bung to the rich. The table below shows the present levels of tax relief on a pension investment of £3,600 a year (£240 a month). If you pay normal basic-rate tax and save that much, the Treasury chips in £720 to your pension pot over the year.

But a 40% taxpayer saving the exact same amount gets twice as much tax relief – £1,440 – and the 45% taxpayer gets even more – £1,620 – paid in by the Treasury.

Pension tax relief.numbers

The Treasury is sensitive about how much it’s subsidising the pension contributions of high earners because the government is bleeding a vast torrent of money to people who plainly don’t need it.

Luckily for them it rarely makes the newspapers, because pensions are boring and the editors of newspapers are exactly the sort of well-paid and savvy people who can take advantage of the juicy scheme, but just how lucrative the present system is for high earners was illustrated by Chris Giles in last Thursday’s Financial Times.


One particularly eye-watering passage can be found here:


But we’re also going to build an illustrative story around those figures, because they aren’t the end of the tax saving potential for high earners.

Our fictional high earner – let’s arbitrarily call him “Boris” – is paid just under £150,000 a year, so he qualifies for 40% tax relief. He has £40,000 in unused allowances and plans to invest the full amount in case the rules change, following the route above.

But our lucky (and ENTIRELY FICTIONAL, remember) Boris was also left a portfolio of gold-mining shares by his Auntie B, and gold has risen in value in recent months. At the end of November last year it was trading at $1061 and is now $1246. When the gold price rises this leverages the price of mining company shares.

Boris calculates he is sitting on a profit of just over £11,000 on these shares. As he hasn’t used his capital gains tax allowance and the tax year is running out, he could take the profit to pay off the £10K left on the bank loan and leave the full £40,000 in his new pension pot.

Boris is happily married to Clarinda, who works in the City at something nobody really understands. She’s also a higher rate taxpayer and has used the same process as hubby Boris to turn £14,000 into a new pension pot of £40,000. Clarinda is only 52 so can’t move to drawdown and still has £10k left on her bank loan, but when annual bonus time comes around she gets enough to clear it in one go.

Boris and Clarinda earn a very healthy £295,000 between them. They also have money in stocks and shares and pay the maximum £15,240 into ISAs every year, where there’s no further tax on dividends and no Capital Gains Tax on profits.

They’ve each put £15,240 into an ISA and £14,000 into their pension, for a total of £29,240 each in tax shelters. They’ve used their Capital Gains Tax allowances to save £8,576 of tax, reducing the cost of those investments to a combined £71,328.

But in just one year – and there’s nothing stopping them doing much the same again next year, and every year – they’ve just managed to effectively increase their joint savings pot by a whopping £110,480.

Who paid in the extra £40,000? You, the hapless and unsuspecting taxpayer did. And by keeping the rules the same, the UK government is going to make sure you keep subsidising Boris and Clarinda’s comfortable retirement. Don’t let anyone tell you the Tories are reducing welfare, readers. They’re just redirecting it.

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  1. 14 03 16 14:43

    Welfare for the wealthy | Speymouth

179 to “Welfare for the wealthy”

  1. heedtracker says:

    Don’t let anyone tell you the Tories are reducing welfare, readers. They’re just redirecting it.

    They are but they are giving away vast amounts of cash to the classes that actually vote. Red tories BLiar, Brown, Darling etc did the same and its why Corbyn and his side kick are just wasting red tory time.

  2. GallusEffie says:

    Meanwhile on Twitter I’m posting how much I’d love to earn £2.80 an hour….

    I’m a carer – get me outta here*!


  3. blackhack says:

    Money breeds money….Sadly the vast majority of the population are funding this breeding cycle.

  4. Clarinda says:

    Excuse me – I’m not married to Boris nor do I enjoy the financial bounty illustrated – but thanks for making me younger!

  5. G H Graham says:

    Let’s add salt to the wound. Quantative Easing originally championed by Gordon “End of boom & bust” Brown, has pumped billions of pounds worth of fiat money (promissory notes called gilts) into the hands of investment houses, private equity firms & banks.

    And where did much of this money get spent, ignoring bank bonuses & dividends?


    Hence the completely artificial rise in shares since the crash in 2008. Few of the companies now trading at more than double what they were just eight years ago have enjoyed spectacular sales growth.

    And why would they? Wages have been stagnant over the same period while the cost of living has skyrocketed. Only recently has the price of fuel eased some of the pain.

    And of course, the property market in the far south east in England has benefited from this paper wealth as wealthy owners of stock have also divested some of their money into bricks & mortar.

    But who pays for all this wealth?

    You do; the ordinary worker who guaranteed the broken banking system when it got caught with its trousers down at its ankles as it fucked over people working for councils & local governments who were sold dodgy CDOs (collateralised debt obligations).

    Not since the Nazi’s murdered & looted much of Europe has so much wealth been sucked from the poor to the wealthy.

    But hey, go on voting for this broken Britain. Just don’t moan when you retire only to find that you had to sell your last crumbs of savings to pay to keep the lights on.

    After all, we really are Better Together.

  6. mogabee says:

    Yesterday, after watching A Neil’s “interview” with the FM, I went out to break up concrete…

    Today? It’s any NO voter!

  7. Dr Jim says:

    Ah but you’re not understanding tickle down economics STU
    If the rich spend some money in a shop that means the price of single use carrier bags might come down a bit thus enabling us, the not so better off to afford a bit of healthy fruit up to once a week

    So it’s for our own benefit and health preventing bad things like obesity and the purchasing of sugary fizzy pop and fags which we are prone to by being not genetically programmed to govern or control ourselves

    Now isn’t that better for us, there there

  8. ScottieDog says:

    This isn’t the only welfare for the wealthy which has taken place recently
    When the UK govt embarked upon its quantitative easing programme in 2012. The money created by the Bank of England (£375 billion) was used to buy up old govt bonds (debt) on the stock exchange. Of course the beneficiaries were the already wealthy and the banks. ( biggest stock holders) Very little trickled into the productive economy.

  9. Arbroath1320 says:

    I’m surprised wee Ozzy the Towel Folder is not pushing this for the Low Paid. I mean if he actually pushed this one a wee bit harder he could CUT all their benefits that much sooner!

  10. One_Scot says:

    Don’t you just love being part of the UK.

    ‘Better Together’, hmm, I’m beginning to think they may have conned us.

  11. Broadbield says:

    Why isn’t there a revolution?

  12. Arbroath1320 says:

    You know what GH I was thinking about Q.E. there and seem to remember, Max Keiser I think, saying that if the bozo’s in 11 Downing Street had issued Q.E. to the PEOPLE and NOT the banks then that would have done a fantastic job at generating growth in the U.K.

    Where are the people like Max when we need them?

    Why is it we have to learn this sort of stuff from a T.V. programme?

    If WE can learn all this stuff then why could Broon the Loon, Darling the Marlin and Ozzy the Towel Folder not learn the self same lesson?

    Of course there is one other alternative that the bozo brigade could have followed. 😉

  13. Ian says:

    Tommy Cooper had nothing on this lot.

  14. heedtracker says:

    Not since the Nazi’s murdered & looted much of Europe has so much wealth been sucked from the poor to the wealthy.

    This was essentially why Gordon Brown and Labour had such a easy time of it from the UK press and the BBC for so long. After the City crashed, as a direct result of New Lab’s deliberate and total lack of management, Crash Gordon had to steal vast amounts from us.

    But immediately after, it was pretty clear that there was a likelihood of the wealthiest actually having to pay their fair share sooner or later. So Crash flipped overnight from the greatest ender of Boom and Bust ever, to the most unpopular Prime Minister ever.

    Its highly unlikely red tory PM Gordon Brown today be would any different from blue tory Osborne but there was no way they were going to allow the risk of progressive wealth taxation in the UK. And its all paid off too.

    From super rich City spivs in their £30+ million Hampstead pads, Daily Heil neo fascist editors worried about their tax free Scottish Highland estates, to the giant google tax evaders in California, its all worked out UKOK style.

  15. John Young says:

    I am so angry after reading this, thanks for drawing it to our attention. My first thoughts are that this again demonstrates why we need a separate Scottish currency.

    Why should Scottish workers/people be taxed to help the privileged rich become even richer.

  16. Greannach says:

    By the way, some duchess or other has a new designer. Just rejoice at that news.

  17. galamcennalath says:

    Also, why is capital gains treated differently from income? You get an income tax allowance and capital gains allowance. How many lucky people get the privilege of using the latter!?

    Surely income is income no matter where the source is, or what you did / didn’t do to earn it?

  18. Papko says:

    @John Young

    Every tax payer in Scotland can put money in a pension and enjoy instant govt top up of 20% of the value .

    Making them entitled to the same relief per earnings as every other person in the UK .

    I am not sure if this was always the case , though .

  19. One_Scot says:

    I’m not sure what the Tories strategy is when it comes to Scotland, but I’m beginning to think it’s along the lines of,

    ‘Let’s just keep kicking the Jocks in the nuts, and if they go for another IndyRef, we’ll just frighten the shit out of them again.’

    Surely that tactic can’t work indefinitely.

  20. George S Gordon says:

    These are just a few examples of why they would never let us have full control of taxation.

  21. Chic McGregor says:

    If there was a 4 signatory anti-indy petition signed by Walter Smith, John Greig, Ms Boyle and Ms Calman the MSM headline would be ‘Hunners an Soosans Sign Anti Separation Petition’. 🙂

    Coat and hat on before hitting return.

  22. Iona says:

    What about Boris’s fictional mate George. I guess he too can benefit in exactly the same way ( perhaps without the mining shares ( who knows)). So Chancellor George is really doing his fictional mates an enormous favour. Just as well it’s his fictional mates so that he can’t be accused of feathering his own nest!

  23. Onwards says:

    All the private pension and ISA benefits will of course be disproportionately weighted towards the south.

  24. Macart says:

    A pension?

    I should be so lucky. 🙁

  25. Luigi says:

    The really annoying thing is that the Boris’s and Carinda’s of the world are generally non-productive parasites that would do little harm to the country if they disappeared. Actually the country would be better off, because we would no longer need to subsidise them.

    Well folks, this is the nature of unbridled capitalism (with a sprinkling of corporate fascism). It was never about fairness. A good point about the corporate media ignoring the gross unfairness of the system, since the well-paid editors and programme managers are obvious beneficiaries.

    Most folk actually are aware of what out politicians and elites get up to, but they are prepared to accept things as long as they get enough crumbs to feel comfortable. “Don’t rock the boat”. The tipping point comes when a critical mass of people are disenfranchised by the system and have nothing to lode by open rebellion. We are not there yet, but we are getting quite close IMO.

  26. les Wilson says:

    The rich never have enough money, well, it is just how the priveledged are.
    Greed knows no bounds. Time for Bastille day!

  27. Chic McGregor says:

    Well les, since you mention Bastille and the anniversary is coming up:

  28. defo says:

    Broadbield says:

    1:42 pm

    “Why isn’t there a revolution?”

    Because bread and circus’ still just about does the trick.

    Now get back to sleep. Auntie will tuck you in.

  29. Daisy says:


    Here’s my most recent blog post ‘SNP Spring Conference: The Call of Hope.”

  30. Neil Cook says:

    No wonder we are 1.6 trillion in debt and rising !!
    Money rises to the Top as the song goes!

    Any room on that rocket to Mars ?

  31. Cuilean says:

    Fecking tory bastardos.

  32. Iain More says:

    Meanwhile I get a growing whiff of resentment from down sowf about that dastardly Swinney plan to reduce APD. I hope Mr Swinney introduces it even earlier than planned if he can even just to annoy Jackie Baillie let alone those south of the Tweed and BBC London!

  33. Murray McCallum says:

    “Boris is happily married to Clarinda, who works in the City at something nobody really understands.”

    * Snigger *

    Our company recently set up a new employee pension scheme. The pension adviser mentioned he was always surprised at the number of people who would qualify for higher rate pension relief but are unaware of it and/or have never utilised it.

    Must admit I was surprised at Osborne not opting for flat rate pension relief at basic rate. Upper rate relief seems plain wrong.

    Money and wealth seem to like the basic laws of physics regards mass; money attracts money.

  34. Cuilean says:

    This should be on every newspaper fron page tomorrow but it won’t.

    Every TV channel should be doing series on this and calculating how much all Boris & Clarindas cost us every year.

    Why is this not in GERS?

    I don’t want another 40 years of this for Scotland.

    Something has got to give.


  35. Michael says:

    You’re missing one big point…

    The money for the tax breaks on money going into your pension comes from your own tax bill… – not from other peoples taxes. That’s why there’s a limit on how much you can put in in one year, and a limit on how much you can put in tax-free over your whole lifetime (and that’s been coming down).

    The 45% or 40% or 20% tax gain for putting money into your pension is your own tax that you’re getting to keep and not give to the government in the first place.

    But if you start taxing the money people put into their pension, how many people would simply stop putting money into their pension.

    Also, how would that be fair to people that have been forced to put their money into defined contribution schemes where their parents had nice defined benefit schemes that they never had to pay money into.

    Be careful what you wish for on pensions…

  36. defo says:

    Iain More

    The less fortunate amongst us might baulk at gloating over our neighbouring peers dearer air travel.

    On APT however, an ambitious Scotland could do worse than setting costs for airlines to rival Schipol, C de G, Heathrow ect as Hubs.
    More direct flights for us too. What’s not to like.
    We would need to build an airport, Ayrshire seems perfect 🙂

    High speed rail connections, and a makeover is all Prestwick would need.
    Other Scottish airports could compete on v good terms with Luton ect as short haul hubs.

  37. Noel Darlow says:

    We have to get tough with all forms of unearned income ie anything which cannot reasonably be claimed to be a fair reward for actual work done: inheritance, inflated executive salaries & bonuses, an inflated housing market, all kinds of economic rents, overcharging, tax avoidance/evasion…

    Isn’t it a good old-fashioned conservative principle that everyone has to work to earn their wealth..?

  38. mike cassidy says:

    dooh nibor

  39. louis.b.argyll says:

    And when, said “couple”, are no longer with us what happens to their wealth?…

    it is passed on to their families, who will have an eternal “leg-up”, to “pip” the fucking rest of us every time.

    inflating house prices, burdening the poor, creating inequality.

    as the bible says in its own translated way…




  40. louis.b.argyll says:

    …here’s a FUTURE referendum question for the rUK.

    Q – if you could only keep one of these which would it be?

    A – your health
    B -your wealth

  41. Sinky says:

    O/T But is it too much for BBC / STV interviewers to point out to opposition politicians that there is no spare money to spend if you don’t cut Air Passenger Duty until 2019 at the very least


    that a cut in APD is expected generate an income boost for the Scottish economy which means more tax revenues so there is not the spare amount available that Labour / Lib Dems claim.

  42. Glamaig says:

    The tories strategy is to keep just enough of the electorate inside that category or thinking theyre within reach of it, to win under first past the post, and theyre sorted, for ever, with the occasional adjustment of the constituency boundaries.

    This is why they will never have PR, it might lead to actual democracy.

  43. louis.b.argyll says:

    …here’s a ( FUTURE ) pre-Indyref POLLSTER question…

    – If you voted NO ( last time – or intend to NEXT time)..

    Was / is your main reason –

    A – because you are fully informed about the governance of the UK?

    B – just about appearances.

  44. Returnofthemac says:

    Thanks again Rev.
    After sweeping to victory in May. (Taking nothing for granted) it is now time for Nicola to set up Scotland’s National Bank as the first step to dealing with the currency question when they resurrect project fear. We MUST get out of this feckin Union.

    SNPx 2

  45. Dr Jim says:

    @Ian More

    Just a whiff?

    Newcastle MPs on the telly 5 minutes ago going Apeshit about APD reduction in Scotland, some poor woman MP banging on about the no detriment principle in Scotlands taxation powers
    destroying Newcastle airports business

    Until she was asked if it would be cheaper for her to fly from Edinburgh to London then…and that sound happened, you know the one where they go Emph Eh MMn followed by that’s not the point though is it

    I think they’ve slightly misunderstood the no detriment thing though

  46. galamcennalath says:

    Sinky says:

    “a cut in APD is expected generate an income boost for the Scottish economy which means more tax revenues”

    It should, yes.

    My only concern with the proposed cut to APD is, what percentage of the extra tax from economic stimulation / growth will simply go to WM?

    OK, we get extra jobs generated, so more income tax to Holyrood. We will get half of extra VAT, while WM gets the other half. However any extra corporation tax from increasing business profits will all go to WM.

    Sounds to me that the Scottish Government take the APD hit, and WM gets half the tax benefit.

    Yes, we grow Scotland and create jobs, but I really resent MORE money disappearing south!

    I am not saying that’s a reason to not cut APD, I’m highlighting that more / all tax needs to go straight to Holyrood.

  47. Hamish McTavish says:

    O/T – APD: consultation relating to Environmental impact.

    Anyone who’s interested can comment here:

  48. Inverclyder says:


    When did Easter Sunday dinner become a thing? Is this new or is it just me having a senior moment?


    British and Welsh Beef being advertised on the TV. Not Scottish Beef.

    I’m sure Scottish Beef Farmers will be surprised that Scotland obviously doesn’t produce any beef anymore. But then again they did vote for that. Bloody SNP!

  49. Iain More says:

    @Dr Jim

    I was actually ambivalent in relation to APT until BBC London found somebody down south to whine about how it would cost England zillions of jobs. At that point I thought hell mend them and now I hope Swinney cuts it even faster.

    It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Osborne announced a similar cut in APT for English Airports just to spite SNP and SG and to spite Scots generally. They have form for that in Westmidden.

    Newcastle had a chance to vote for a devolved Assembly and they rejected it, in other words they could have had in theory similar powers now – so hell mend them!

    Dont they have those powers in NI already? Is that damaging English/ UK mainland Airport Business? The anti Scottish BBC don’t even stop to take breath to ask that question. I am sure somebody told me that they don’t pay APT at all flying from Belfast????

  50. woosie says:

    APD – could that be the first test of WM’s sincerity over the myth commission?

    As I’ve posted before, any devolved powers which are used by Scotland to improve our lot, will likely do so at engerland’s loss, therefore they will cry “detriment”. I really didn’t expect the backlash this quick!

    What have we done? serve us right if engerland demand a referendum on uk!

  51. Giving Goose says:

    There is a 3rd type of welfare available in the UK. But you only qualify if you fit certain special criteria.

    It helps if you’re German or Greek, have a triple barrel name, shag your cousins, have no shame about drinkkng champagne for brekkers, and able to digest pheasant hung for 10 days.

    Throw in a penchant for betraying your supposed country and a taste for dodgy dictators and you’re a shoe in for a lavish, palatial lifestyle courtesy of the tax payer.

    Occassionally they bring in fresh blood to prevent excessive inbreeding.

    Oh look! There’s one on the front page pic above.

  52. Fireproofjim says:

    Easter Dinner. What a load of cobblers.
    It is new and just a ploy to cash in. Like Christmas being promoted from about September.
    Not a senior moment, and all these Easter cards are a relatively new racket too.

  53. ian says:

    I have been self-employed for aprox 33 years and was never financialy secure enough to put money into a private pension despite paying hundreds of thousands in corporation tax,ni ect.Most of my money went paying a mortgage,running two secondhand cars and bringing up a couple of kids.I also earned a reasonable wage but in modern UKOK land i could’nt afford to put away the sizeable amount neessary to acheive a pot big enough to be worth while and suspect i’m probably the same as many on here.
    You need a serious income to be able to make a decent private pension provision and thats outwith the majority of us.
    I have one advantage which is no consolation to many who will receive the basic UK pension which is one of the worst in Europe is that i live in France.I believe my state pension will be topped up in line with the basic French pension.

  54. Dr Jim says:

    I forgot to mention I got a wee email from John Swinney today because I asked him if it was possible to stop calling the block grant the block grant because it makes us sound like we’re being given something for nothing by the English and not our own Percentage of Scottish Tax (PST) say it quietly

    It’s being brought forward for consideration

    To some people, they don’t care, to me, that’s my Government paying attention to the little guy (that sounded American sorry)

    I’ve just always hated that name “Block Grant”

  55. MP Helen Goodman at the Treasury Committee with the Bank of England asked,

    `Quantitative easing (QE) has gifted the richest 5% of England to the sum of £180,000 each,is there any way that bonus could have been shared around more evenly,as the European Central Bank has done`,

    the reply(Dr Minouche Shafik) was to blame `distributional consequences` and no the Bank Of England are not going to change their rich get richer strategy.

  56. louis.b.argyll says:

    Easter cards?

  57. gerry parker says:

    Well done Dr Jim.

    I believe in e mailling direct too. The Presiding Officer, John Swinnie, The Education secretary, the health secretary, Nicola, in fact anyone who makes a statement that I have an opinion on.

    That’s what they are there for and that’s what this is there for too.

  58. yesindyref2 says:

    This is a disgracefully one-sided article. It totally fails to take into account Osborne’s plans for the poor to start saving, and top up the savings by 50% – that’s 50%!

    So if a poor gets takehome pay of £1,000 per month, taking off rent of £550, council tax of £100, insurance £50, travel to work £150, heating and lighting of £100, he or she has £50 left a month to save in Osborne’s scheme and after 2 years it gets topped up by an extra 50%, to give a healthy pot of £1800 including the £600 bonus from Osborne, for that rainy day.

    Can’t help feeling I’ve missed out something on the monthly expenditure, can’t put my finger on it. It might come to me while I’m having my tea.

  59. Albaman says:

    The reduction of A.P.D. (How much, we’ve yet to find out), should help Prestwick airport to possiblely become a lesser hub.
    I’m always surprised to find out just how many aircraft Icelandair have, and there is another one trading under the name of “WOW”, both using Keflavik as a hub.
    Icelandair have 26 passenger aircraft, Wow, who operate out of Keflavik as well, have 6,
    All this with a population of 239:100, aye, what was that about Scotland being “too wee, too poor, and too stupid”.
    Give us our independence, and I’m quite sure we would show the world, that Scotland has what it takes.
    I refuse to buy the sun newspaper, but I picked one up, which was left in a bus, probably left in disgust because of the articl by that so called reporter Andrew Nicoll, what a tube, I’ve seen him being interviewed on t.v. and to say he comes across as someone who’s ” not quite with it “,is being kind.

  60. davidb says:

    My understanding in the illustration is that you don’t get the pension tax relief back as a cheque. It is still necessary for you to have the cashflow to pay down the loan of 26 k yourself. So the illustration is hypothetical and simplified.

    The treasury forgoes the tax you would pay on the pension contribution, but taxes you when the income is drawn in retirement. It doesn’t pay the money out. It did forward NI contributions under contracting out of SERPS, but I think thats not done any more (?).

    It is good that people save for retirement. It would be better for individuals if they could be encouraged to save substantial sums towards that goal. Means testing is one major disinsentive.

    The present system diverts large sums into the financial services industry – and fat fees to its participants. Naturally the tax relief is gamed. All reliefs are gamed. Whether its used car trading, planting trees in the flow country or financing films.

    It would undoubtedly impact on the financial services industry if reliefs were cut. It could result in less tax being forgone short term, which improves Gideon’s cashflow. But I would need to study in detail to discover if over a person’s lifetime as a taxpayer, they would end up paying less tax overall. And remember, pension funds were until recently, not heritable assets. Pensions are as much of a shambols as the rest of the tax and benefits system.

    Are Labour still “intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich as long as they pay their taxes” ?

  61. Cadogan Enright says:

    The National getting around to Dumbleby in Dundee

    I’d say they have it right – mock him rather than have a serious article about it

    Why let the Yoons set the Agenda?

  62. yesindyref2 says:

    STV news – John Swinney got a cheer passing through Edinburgh Airport from rugby fans. Which kind of puts the lie to rugby supporters being Unionists.

  63. Andrew Morton says:

    To be fair to the current Tory government, they didn’t introduce this, I was selling pensions forty years ago and the tax reliefs were exactly the same then. This isn’t to say that in the current straitened times they shouldn’t abolish higher rate relief.

    This is one of the ways in which Scotland subsidises London and the South East; there are relatively few higher rate taxpayers up here, with the majority of them being concentrated in the south of the UK. So we all pay our taxes but the bulk of the reliefs go elsewhere.

  64. ScottishPsyche says:

    Another O/T – just watching the stuff about APD and how any changes we may make are not due until 2018 anyway.

    What’s the betting that Osborne changes APD before that the way he did with Stamp Duty?

    Yoons gloating about our lack of growth but will be happy that anything we try to do is stymied by the UK government.

  65. MP Helen Goodman at the Treasury Committee with the Bank of England asked,

    `Quantitative easing has benefited the richest 5% of England by £185,000 each,was there no way to spread the bonus more widely like the European Central Bank has done with its QE`,

    the answer by the Bank of England was that if the rich got richer the money from them will trickle down to the plebs eventually.

  66. Arbroath1320 says:

    Interesting that Easyjet have stated that around 30% increase in passenger numbers, 5.5 Million up to 7 Million, will result with a cut in A.P.D. by the Scottish Government. Needless to say the usual culprits are bemoaning this proposed move.

    I’m always amazed when parties come up against ideas like this cut in A.P.D. I have said before and will say again now that I have no time for A.P.D. it strangles passengers choice of routes and as a result directly affects the greenhouse gas thingy that these parties are voicing concerns over.

    One the arguments that can be used is, in my view, to look at a family of four travelling from Scotland to California on a two week holiday. How on earth do most families do this?

    Well the answer is quite simple … they fly to HEATHROW/GATWICK then fly from HEATHROW/GATWICK to San Fransisco/Los Angeles. In doing this they are spending OVER four hours flying between Edinburgh/Glasgow without actually going anywhere yet spouting out their “allocated” share of greenhouse gasses.

    Get rid of A.P.D. and I am certain MORE DIRECT long haul flights will result cutting out Heathrwo/Gatwick and as a direct result cutting greenhouse gasses!

    If anyone is any doubt about the bonus of removing A.P.D. just consider what happened when Amsterdam’s Schipol airport introduced A.P.D. … their passenger footfall saw a dramatic FALL. A year later and they removed A.P.D. completely and their passenger footfall INCREASED back to what it was before the introduction of A.P.D.

    As far as I can ascertain the U.K. is the ONLY country in the WORLD that charges passengers A.P.D. yet somehow WE must keep it. … REALLY? 😉

  67. Phronesis says:

    Economist Anthony Atkinson et al discuss the data gathering challenges to measuring inequality.

    Acknowledging the socially patterned consequences of inequality is extremely important i.e. the end of healthy living 15 years earlier, marked differences in life expectancy, increased rates of mental health issues, mutlimorbidity the norm and increased cumulative life stress ‘allostatic load’.

    If government knows this but deliberately enshrines legislation that ensures all of the above then why should the 99% support them.

    Scotland’s inequality agenda is being tackled by a government that values all its citizens well-being, not just the 1%.,%20Tony%20Atkinson,%20and%20Salvatore%20Morelli%20%282015%29%20%E2%80%93%20The%20challenge%20of%20measuring%20UK%20wealth%20inequality%20in%20the%202000s.pdf

  68. galamcennalath says:

    ScottishPsyche says:

    “Yoons gloating about our lack of growth but will be happy that anything we try to do is stymied by the UK government.”

    It certainly is an enigma. I always find it hard to understand where they are coming from. It literally makes no sense to me.

    Unionism is a Scottish (and NI) phenonomem, IMO there are no Unionists in England. It’s like the idea of calling yourself North British when no one ever described themselves as South British.

    They are loyal to a system and institutions which do not reciprocate. It is not a partnership. It is a one way vassal to overlord relationship. I can understand why that suits one side, but why the other?

    What do they really believe posh Eton educated Tory boys in London think of them as loyal North British Unionists? I am quite sure they are just viewed as ‘sweaties’, like the rest of us. Perhaps as less troublesome ones.

  69. Neil Ralley says:

    It is probably not entirely coincidental that the distribution of “no” votes was skewed to the older end of the spectrum. Why would a high paid Solicitor, Banker, Dentist or Accountant want to opt for independence knowing that it would sound the death knell for this kind of gift from the government?

  70. Ken500 says:

    They will get the tax when they die (inheritance tax 25%?) or spend it 25% VAT or when it is passed on to another person, who will die and get taxed. Unless they are a Royal evading tax. It was only 25% of a pension lump sum was tax free. People who die with no will or relatives, their estate goes to the Crown Estate. HMRC doesn’t enforce the UK tax Laws.

  71. galamcennalath says:

    Totally OT. Well, rich and poor alike will suffer from other threats!

    That’s perhaps even more scary than PM BoJo.

  72. Cuilean says:

    Off topic but did anyone see Willie Rennie on the Politics Show today being interviewed by Willie Rennie?

    It was hilarious.

    Willie thinks the Scottish Libdem ‘have turned a corner’ and are going to do really well in May at Holyrood, in those traditional Libdem areas in Scot, as the Scots trust them to hold the SNP accountable.

    Jo could not coax him to say how many seats his party was going to hold after the May election.

    If Willie had been on the Titanic, he’d have been saying, ‘Everything is going to be fine. It’s a lovely night for a swim and I think that’s one of the Calmac ferries to Dunoon, just coming in now to pick us all up.’

  73. Onwards says:

    @Arbroath1320, Good comment.

    Control of APD is one of the reason I supported the Scotland bill going through. Along with the crown estate it was one of the ‘good’ powers to have.

    One of the arguments used against APD is that it could see money leave the country as more people can afford to take a holiday in the sun.
    But that seems to be a pretty short sighted argument when you consider there are roughly 5 million people in Scotland and 7.5 BILLION in the world.

    The opportunity for gaining inwards tourism is FAR greater than the loss from outwards tourism. I would love to see APD scrapped entirely. Even if England competes and does likewise.

    Tourism is good for Scotland. I enjoy talking to tourists. It gives a buzz to a place. An Edinburgh festival type atmosphere. Imagine pubs, hotels and restaurants full of tourists of all types. Travellers, families, backpackers, musicians, golfers, business conference visitors.. It builds connections, friendships, goodwill and lays the foundation for future investment and trade.

    With cheap flights, the potential for tourism in Scotland is massive. Especially as modern fuel efficient aircraft make “point-to-point” travel more viable rather than going through traditional hub airports like Heathrow.

    With our rich heritage and culture, tourism should be a massive growth industry, and a way to demonstrate we don’t need oil to thrive.

  74. Ken500 says:

    £50Billion more is being collected in taxes in the UK.

    £600Billion – 2010. (Now £650Billion) Borowing was £120Billion = £720Billion in 2010

    Spending is (approx) £572Billion. £650Billion raised – £572Billion spent -= Difference of £78 Defict. Now there is another (black hole?) £18Billion = £96Billion. (£18Billion + £78Billion = £96Billion)

    More is bring raised in taxes £50Billion. £24Billion of the Defict has been paid off ( £120 – £96Billion = £24Billion) in 6 years -average £4Billion a year. Spending is up since 2010 £50Billion – £24Billion = £26Billion in 6 years.

    Taxes raised has gone up (£50Billion ) but more is being spent (26Billion) a year. Deficit has been cut £24Billion . (£120Billion (Defict 2010) – £96Billion (Now) = £24Billon paid off the deficit in 6 years. Average £4Billion a year.

  75. Ken500 says:

    When the pension pot is taxed each year anything spent over £11k tax threshold will be taxed, It should be declared unless the person is a tax exile. They can only come to th UK 30days ? A year.

  76. Breeks says:

    There are so many secrets and skeletons in the cupboard down there in Westminster that Scotland might well find itself first in line yet again; to be the only country which wins it’s independence first, and then has a bloody revolution once the extent of decades of theft, deception, duplicity and general skullduggery is revealed in the cold light of day.

    The plundering of our oil only to squander it’s wealth might seem like chicken feed. Kinda scary thought, but you really begin to wonder…

  77. Gary45% says:

    Once a parasite, always a parasite.

    APD is a no brainer.
    The SNP are the only party looking out for the interests of Scotland.
    What’s the point of a Labour Party?

  78. Sassenach says:

    @Cuilean at 8pm

    Yes, Wee Wullie was hilarious today, with his toothy, inane rambling (“We have strong policies….We are holding the government to account”) he was like a cartoon character – ‘thinks’, but then he is a cartoon character!

  79. Ken500 says:

    Direct flights from Scotland (avoiding Heathrow) will save time and money. There are now flights to Dubia (travel hub) from Scotland saving flight time. The illegal wars in the Middle East lengthen flight times and cost more. The area has to be avoided, changing flight paths, increasing journey times and costs. .

  80. Arbroath1320 says:

    I’m guessing the long outstanding £800,000 policing bill was not mentioned at all was it Cuilean? 😉

    Thank you Onward.

    Does wee curtsey thingy! 😀

  81. Ken500 says:

    The Capital gains a year exemption is £8000? . If £11,000 of shares are sold £3000 would be taxed (25% +) if the person had a salary or remuneration of over £11,000 personal tax allowance.

  82. JLT says:

    This to be honest, is very disturbing on so many levels, but at the heart of it sits one fact – The Elite of this so-called grand nation of Britain that we are meant to love and respect, are hovering up money and filling up their bank accounts to the rafters on the backs of the poor, the destitute, the disabled and just the ordinary person within our society.

    Seriously …I would ‘how the f*** did it come to this?’

    But then …it’s always been there. We live under a Monarchy who does have a major say in everything that the British State does. She literally has two members in Parliament who watch over proceedings for her (the Black Rod and the Rememberancer (an unelected Banker sitting in Parliament) (cheers to my mate Pete for telling me all about the Rememberancer).

    And then we have the Feudal system itself. It never truly died out. The idea of Serfdom may have ended in Britain in the 15th Century, but it has continued in a slightly lighter form to this very day. A very bloated House of Lords proves that fact.

    So …when we hear facts like this. You can only shake your head in disgust.

  83. Ken500 says:

    Labour/Unionist want to get control of the Oil industry. Labour will never, ever, get near the Oil sector. Helicopters falling from the sky. UK Health & Safety rules not being followed. Not enforced. No Inquiries. Helicopter firm sold up two years later for £250Billion.

    Where’s the Chilcot Report?

  84. Arbroath1320 says:

    There is also a direct daily flight from Edinburgh to Qatar, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, New York Ken. There are also daily flights to Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt (all major European hubs) from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

    For flights to the U.S.A. there are daily flights from Glasgow to Reykjavik and now four times weekly from Aberdeen. This can be useful for connecting with Icelandair flights etc from Reykjavik onto destinations across U.S.A.

    Just thought I’d add this useless information for folks NOT interested in lights straight out from Scotland. 😀

  85. Inverclyder says:


    The comedy gold continues at the Torygraph.

    SNP members should ask if they are being conned by Nicola Sturgeon

  86. heedtracker says:

    And then we have the Feudal system itself. It never truly died out. The idea of Serfdom may have ended in Britain in the 15th Century, but it has continued in a slightly lighter form to this very day. A very bloated House of Lords proves that fact.

    Most of the professions pay the highest pensions and they also retire much earlier than your average earner worker. Lawyers retire at 58 for example.

    Its all just another triumph of Thatcherite monetarist bullshit really. Moving wealth to the wealthiest is what the wealthiest vote for. New Labour didn’t let them down either.

    Snatcher Thatcher, the great reformer really did reform vast amounts of socio economics in the UK, ask ex miners, ship builders, steel workers, City spivs, or today, how did toryboy world get away with shit like giving away the Royal Mail, following on from the great English sell off of energy, water, telecoms, you name it. But above all else, the great tory reformer Snatcher Thatcher always dodged reforming any profession.

    I dont know if there is a hell but old Thatch will be laughing her arse off right now down there.

    It is tricky sometimes. I know a joiner who started buying flats in Aberdeen ages ago and he now owns and rents at least 30 properties, all to immigrants. He’s not a Yeser.

    A lot of high pay professionals are buying to let for obvious private pension reasons too. Here in teamGB today and depending on which propaganda you believe, £13+bn housing benefit goes into these private pension funds.

    Thatcher would be delighted.

  87. Al-Stuart says:

    Sad to say it but this article isn’t just about making the rich wealthier and financially-euthenasing the poor.

    No, the Tories are literally killing the poor…

    Ruth Davidson may like to present herself as a warm, cuddly reformed Conservative, but she and all those welfare demonising Tories are in it together. Davidson’s fingerprints are all over her weapon of choice – ATOS and MAMXIMUS.

    The Tories are responsible for thousands of welfare reform deaths via their corrupt, gerrymandered system.

    How many of the government’s own figures – 10,600 DEATHS of disabled and sick people on welfare support were hastened to their grave by Ruthie and co…

    If anyone is in any doubt about the government’s culpability and liability for killing people, here is unimpeachable evidence – a suicide note from Stephanie Bottrill…

    Ruth Davidson and her pal Iain Duncan Smith at the DWP have a lot to answer for.

    Tick tock.

  88. heedtracker says:

    Comic relief from rancid The Graun, BBC led UKOK media loves the SNP, says Labour.

    Where do you go from that?

    If BBC Vote SLab Scotland do get them back in, we’re all fcuked. Frankly.

  89. Not Convinced says:

    To the extent that you’re in the same tax bracket in retirement as you where when working, and ignoring the 25% tax free lump sum, then the tax relief you get on your pension contributions is in fact merely tax deferment. The Treasury may “lose” tax revenue today when you pay into your pension, but it will eventually get the money back and in the meanwhile will be getting tax on someone else’s pension which is paying out today …

    (Might be considered yet another argument explaining why the UK seems so inexplicably keen on keeping Scotland? All those pensions belonging to people in Scotland, both the ones currently paying out and the ones that will be paying out eventually, with resulting income tax going to a Scottish government rather than the UK!)

    Which is not to say that the UK’s pension isn’t (a) needlessly complex and (b) less than effective at it’s purported purpose! Of course “Crash Brown”helped that along with his wonderful Minimum Income Guarantee where if you’d tried to do the right thing and save at least something for your retirement you could end up being much worse off than someone who’d saved nothing!

  90. Clootie says:


    …you forgot that you are allowed to go back up to 3 years in unclaimed allowance so for the next 3 years you can have an additional 50k pounds on top from the previous year (when you go back it is at the allowance rate for that year)

  91. Brian Powell says:

    All the voices of madness coming out now. We Have Alistair Campbell, never elected to any position, the voice of Blair, speaking about the SNP.

    Part of the team which brought us Iraq.

  92. ahundredthidiot says:

    What makes me laugh is that some people still believe we live in a trickle DOWN society.

    2008 might just have been a sneak preview of the real show, coming soon to a theatre near you.

  93. call me dave says:

    Just popped up to Scotland to support Ken Macintosh’s bid to be re-elected, as the Eastwood MSP, and when you read this pish I’ll be back darn Sarf.

    Just a space filler in the Hootsman.

    Alastair Campbell slams ‘arrogant’ and ‘complacent’ SNP

  94. Ian Murray says:

    Sorry Scottie Dog but Trudeau has no idea what he is doing
    When he came into power The tories left him with Billions of dollars to run the government with That is all gone and more recently Canada has now sold of ALL of its gold reserves.He will not do anything for the West because it is mostly Conservative (Oil industry) but Quebecs Bombardier (where he got enough seats to get a majority) has been bailed out more times than a leaky rowing boat and is about to again.Canada is now on a slippery slope

  95. Robert Peffers says:

    I’ve been putting that another way for a considerable time on Wings.

    While the poor have been getting progressively poorer, since Labour first began moving the main burden of taxation from direct, (on income & wealth), taxation to indirect taxation, (on goods & services), the wealthy have been getting increasingly wealthier.

    Last year’s figures showed that while, we were officially under austerity measures, and the gap between the wealthiest and poorest was the widest it has ever been, the richest people have more than doubled their wealth.

    Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but how can we all be in this austerity together when the rich are more than doubling their wealth and some of the poorest ate literally starving to death?

  96. Breeks says:

    Makes you wonder if there is a bigger plan: solve, or maybe make that “escape”, the UK debt crisis through absolute collapse, but have the right well financed, fat and bloated with wealth, and poised to hoover up all the assets and property of collapsing business, while resetting whatever industry can survive, streamlined, rationalised and underpaid in true Dickensian tradition. Tory Britain in the 21st century. The Country becomes a corpse where only parasites and maggots can thrive.

  97. Dr Jim says:

    Alistair Campbell

    Reckons the SNP are Baad just like the Tories
    Newspapers are telling nasty lies about the Labour party
    but those same papers were telling the truth about the SNP coz they’re Baad and there are more homeless people in Glasgow coz the SNP are Baad

    And BTW Kezia em phmf oh yeah Dugdale is great and young

  98. scottieDog says:

    @Ian Murray
    “The tories left him with billions”.
    You do understand fiat money don’t you. Are you alluding to the ‘economy is a household myth’?

  99. Joemcg says:

    Indyref2-I’m afraid you are wrong. Swinney actually got a big cheer from French rugby supporters flying home today rather than our nawbag homegrown variety.

  100. call me dave says:

    O/T Tennis:

    Delbonis chokes while serving for the match but after a cough eventually swallows Murray in the tie break! Gulp!… 🙁 🙁

    Murray 4-1 up at one point FGS!

  101. Papko says:

    if you work in the Public sector , Teacher, Nurse , Roadsweeper . etc you get a pension in addition to your state pension , you pay into this with your wages every month and I think you get a chance to pay extra if you like , then you retire
    Anyone in the UK who earns more than the personal allowance ,starts to pay tax

    PA 10k? pension 15k , you pay tax on the 5k only

    If your self employed , you dont have an employer to foot your bill , you have the choice to make your own arrangements , like a SIPP ,

    Say you make a profit of 50k in a year , you pay tax on that at PA up to 36k , (20% ) over 36k , you pay 40%

    So say you pay 10k tax

    You have the choice to put money in your SIPP , which you cant get out till you are 55 , (at the earliest ) , and you invest it , in Stocks , bonds , shares etc , You cant put a property in a SIPP , ) but you can buy a REIT ,which is a (fund that buys property and charges rent )

    You can only buy certain shares , I think EU wide , you cant buy Gazprom shares listed in Russia , for example , but you can buy a fund that invests in Russia . and is based in London .

    So you set 10k of your wages which are 50k ,(now 40k as you paid tax )
    and you invest in a sipp ,you automatically get topped up by 20% (your tax paid back )

    and what you paid at 40% , you get a proportion back

    and that is addedd to your SIPP

    if you dont make a payment in a bad year , you can carry over up to 3 years , and when you get a good year , you can make an extra big payment

    But you cant pay more in than you earn , and you cant get more tax back than you have paid .

    So I dont get this Idea of “Scotland subsidies South east High earners ) .

  102. Molly says:

    Robert Peffers

    If only I could link – but Google the EREP Budget Report 2016

  103. Alan Mackintosh says:

    Scottie dog, looks like Trudeau has been listening to Mosler Wray, Kelton and Mitchell.

    Pound Scots is the way to go for us.

  104. Onwards at 8.02

    Never mind the Edinburgh Festival
    What I love is to walk long Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow any day. The whole world is strolling about in and out of the shops.
    And they all live in Glasgow.
    That’s the sort of Scotland I want to live in. An example to all the world.
    I suspect Glasgow’s soul was built when 300,000 Irish fleeing the Great Famine came to the city.
    And their descendants will carry us to independence.

  105. Derek Henry says:

    The most important part of all is what is missing from the analysis.

    How do we as people afford to put money in pensions ?

    That’s the question nobody asks.

    The answer is simple – deficit spending of course.

    I’m the monopoly issuer of £’s.

    I’ve just given every adult in Scotland £100.

    I don’t need anyones £’s they are worthless to me as they are not backed by gold. If I need anymore £’s I will just create them from thin air on my keyboard.

    When I Spend all I do is credit accounts and get the goods and services I Need in return to run this beautiful wee country.

    If anyone gives me £’s I’ll burn them. I’ve decided to burn them to control inflation.

    I’ve decided to tax every person £150. By doing so I’m now running the right wing household budget surplus dream.

    Every person in Scotland recieved £100 and now have to pay £150 in taxes.This means nobody can now spend, save and invest. Infact they will have to borrow and get into debt to meet their tax liabilities. Looks like private debt is going to go through the roof.

    I’ve changed my mind I’ve decided to tax £100 instead.

    Yipee, I’m now running a balanced household budget.

    Oh dear, nobody in Scotland can still spend, save or invest. At least they are not going into debt.

    I’ve changed my mind again. I’ve now decided to tax £20.

    Jings. I’m now running a nightmare budget deficit it even sounds bad.

    However, the people of Scotland are now dancing in the streets. Each has £80 they can use to spend, save and invest however they choose.

    I’m fine their taxes are worthless to me. I’ve burned every £ I Recieved. Exactly like the Bank Of England does in the reserves every night.

    Oh how I Wish I ran a deficit of £15, 000, 000, 000.

    What I Learned when I was running this beautiful wee country was my deficit spending had to be large enough so that the people of Scotland could

    a) Pay their taxes in £’s

    b) Buy what goods and services their families need in £’s

    c) Save and invest in £’s

    The accounting fact goes like this.

    The government deficit = the private sectors savings to the penny.

    Financial savings by every individual and entity that is not part of the UK government. That includes households, businesses, residents and nonresidents, as well as foreign corporations and foreign central banks — all of which are casually called “the private sector. was increased by £80.

    Not an ounce of gold insight.

    The only way we can all afford ( have enough £’s in the first place) to put into pensions is because the government is defict spending.

    Government deficits = Non goverment sector savings to the penny.

    There is no getting away from this simple accounting fact.

    And I am prepared to put a very hefty bet that you can find the goverment deficit in all of our pension funds. As this is where the majority of our savings end up as we put them there.

    Take our national debt of £1.6 trillion for example. This again just represents the entire savings of the non govermental sector to the penny.

    You can find it all here on page 2.

  106. Still Positive. says:

    Dave McEwan Hill @ 11.17

    I am proud to be one of those descendants – my great-grandfather was born in Ireland in C1850 and his son, my grandfather, was heavily involved with the Red Clydesiders and had a great interest in politics.

    I inherited that interest and so have my eldest son (did 1 year of Politics at Uni), 3rd son with a law degree and my 16-year-old grand-daughter who is studying Politics at college (amongst other subjects). My own degree, as a mature student, is English, French and Politics.

    Was at my local SNP meeting tonight and we are totally upbeat about the future.

  107. ArtyHetty says:


    Why can’t you ‘link’? If on a ‘locked down device’ like iPad, my sons term for it not mine, you
    just hold your finger on the title bar, ‘copy’ should come up, in blue, then you click on that, then do the same wherever you want to ‘link’, click on paste.
    I could be barking up the wrong tree of course!

    ps, also if you want to copy what you typed, which is what I do in case I lose my comment before posting, you hold your finger on your writing, it should show, ‘select all’ click, ie tap, copy and then paste where required.

  108. Derek Henry says:

    You also have to understand the mechanics of our pensions.

    When you are dealing with the monopoly issuer of £’s

    The monopoly issuer of £’s always spends first and then collects taxes later. It is impossible to do a reserve drain (taxes) before doing a reserve add ( government spending). This is why it is logically impossible for taxes to fund government spending.

    The monopoly issuer of £’s does not need your £’s before it gives out more £’s. The clue is in the name – the monopoly issuer.

    So let’s say the monopoly issuer of £’s spends £600 billion in a cycle but only collects £550 billion in taxes afterwards.

    As one persons spending is another persons income the £550 billion collected (includes) all the goods and services we have bought for our families and the income tax we’ve paid.

    This means £50 billion is now in all of our pockets so we can spend, save and invest in whatever we choose.

    A budget defcit is the only way possible we get these extra £’s in our pockets.

    So we all decide to put the £50 billion we have in our pockets into our pension funds.

    The government has encouraged us to do this because they’ve advertised this tax relief and sold it to us.

    Why ?

    Why has the monopoly issuer of £’s encouraged us to put our savings into a pension fund ?

    It is the biggest smoke and mirror con trick of all time. Think about it for a minute or two.

    All the monopoly issuer of £’s has done is borrowed back some of the original government spending.

    The reason they do this is because deficit spending, not offset by borrowing, would cause the overnight interest rate to fall to zero.

    It spends £600 billion takes back £550 billion through taxes and then takes the £50 billion left over and sticks it in a 30 year savings account at the bank of England. The fancy name for that is a government bond.This 30 year bond will pay interest and thus why it is called borrowing.

    All QE did was lower the yields ( returns) of these 30 year bonds.From 4.6% to less than 2.5%

    Changing interest rates only shifts £’s between ‘savers’ and ‘borrowers’ and QE only shifts £’s from bond accounts to reserve accounts ( current accounts at the bank Of England).

    Which is why there was no inflation when HM Treasury created £700 billion from thin air one night after the crash.

    The theft has already taken place and nobody noticed.

    It is no coincidence 10 days after QE we were all told we would have to work longer and they were going to raise the pension age.

  109. Dr Jim says:

    I was talking to a nurse and trainee doctor today and neither of them were aware of Wings but had watched Question Time
    and mentioned Ruth Davidson talking about Independence constantly more then the actual SNP

    I pointed out to them that it gets her off the hook from being asked any questions on anything Tory as long as she keeps shouting about how Baad the SNP are

    I was surprised though at how little both of these professional women knew about politics even though I understand they’re busy people
    As I was making clearer some of the aspects of what’s going on it struck me that Doctors Surgeries and Medical Practices must go on the important list of places to drop literature coz that’s where the people waiting have nothing more to do than look at walls and table tops of pamphlets

    Another devious plan (cackling laughter)

    Oh! and Hospitals

  110. Derek Henry says:

    Can Taxes and Bonds Finance Government Spending?

    Was one of many of Stephanie Kelton( Bernie Sanders economic advisor) economic papers.

    Says it all really and you’ll understand pensions a lot clearer after reading it.

    She can run rings around Simon Wren Lewis.

  111. Sandy says:

    Never trust a Campbell who is in a position of power.

  112. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi Dr Jim.

    “Another devious plan (cackling laughter)

    Oh! and Hospitals”

    When the Wee Blue Book was on the go, I was placing copies on tables in waiting areas all over Ninewells Hospital.

    57%. Maybe it helped…

  113. Still Positive. says:

    Derek Henry @12.17

    I have read several of your posts recently and appreciated them but I would respectfully ask you to simplify them so those of us who don’t really understand economics (I failed economics twice at uni and my advisor of studies, wisely, told me to stick to language and literature which I did).

    It would be helpful if you could go back to very simple basics – like an idiot’s guide – maybe with graphs (one step at a time).

    Cheers. 🙂

  114. Derek Henry says:

    The kicker is

    And this is the best part.

    After the 30 year bond has matured. How does the monopoly issuer of £’s pay it back ?

    Simple. It moves the £50 billion of ours that is sitting in the bond account ( saving account) at the Bank Of England and moves it back into a reserve account ( current account) at the bank Of england plus the 2.5 % interest.

    Adding and subtracting numbers on a computer acreen. Takes about 0.9th of a second to do.

    Debt paid.

    Deficit spending 101 – Part 3

  115. Derek Henry says:

    @ Still Positive

    Certainly, no problem at all.

    There are 3 brilliant start off points take a look at these they are visual which helps.

    1) The Deficit’s A Good Thing, A Necessary Thing! 2.0 by Goyo Marquez on you tube.

    2) better to walk before we run by prof Bill Mitchell

    3) DIAGRAMS & DOLLARS: modern money illustrated (Part 1)

    DIAGRAMS & DOLLARS: modern money illustrated (Part 2)

    By JD Alt.

    Enjoy and I would be delighted to answer any questions you have.

  116. Derek Henry says:

    @ Still positive

    A simple business card economy

    Is also very good.

  117. Still Positive. says:

    Cheers Derek, will have a look tomorrow – off to bed now.

  118. Derek Henry says:

    No probs any questions post them here and I promise I will get back to you.

  119. Sandy says:

    A wee crack to keep you going-

    A local official of a smallish Scottish burgh was showing a rather arrogant, self-important english equivilant various sights & buildings of signifigance in his home town.(Some exchange scheme or something).
    Anyway, one particular building was brought to his notice & before it could be explained as to its use, the visitor butted in, Ruth Davidson style,”Yes, yes, we have one of these in every village, town & city in England but they’re at least ten times larger”.
    To which the Scottish offical replied, “I’m not surprised, this is our county lunatic asylum”.

  120. Onwards says:

    Regarding APD and flight costs.. out of interest I just did a quick Expedia search to compare prices for 2 adults from New York to Edinburgh / Dublin next week.

    Edinburgh: $2,103.92
    Dublin: $1,405.90

    That’s $700 extra spending money a couple has in Ireland rather than Scotland. No wonder their international tourism numbers are better than ours. There will be other factors including the greater number of Irish expats in the states, exchange rate, and the Ryanair factor, but it looks like Scotland could do FAR better with international tourism arriving on flights, and we are coasting on domestic visitor numbers from the rest of Britain. (6 million)


    USA : 0.42m
    EUROPE: 1.72m


    USA: 1.32m
    EUROPE: 3.04m

    Bear in mind, 2014 is likely to have been a good international visitor year for Scotland due to all the major events. Perhaps Ireland also has a higher global profile than us, due to being an independent nation and with St Patricks day and a more positive attitude or brand.
    But we have plenty of room for improvement, and cheaper flights must surely be part of that.

  121. Ken500 says:

    Dublin uses the Euro. Depending on the exchange rate IR is often cheaper for travellers. Flights, hotels etc. Even for a base for forward travel to Britain. Many American of British descent make Eire their base because the exchange rate makes IR cheaper. Even for people from Britain/Europe it makes for a cheaper stay when the £ is high and the Euro is low. IR can be 1/3 cheaper. Business can be based there for access to Europe. Euro makes trade with the rest of EU easier. Saves red tape, exchange fees etc.

    IR has a consortium within the US Administration to lobby for trade/business. US politicians of Irish descent.

  122. Ken500 says:

    Mention flights to Dubai as the hub for forward flights to the rest of the world. ie India etc. Flight paths can be chosen via Dubai as a major hub to the Middle/ Far East. – cruise ships dock there. One of the major expansion in ship building is cruise liners. Norway does it.

    Alex Salmond talks of flights to China. Negotiating? That would be something or Hong Kong.

    Flights take longer now because of the Middle East illegal wars. The direct flight path is forbidden. Flights take longer around the globe. They have to divert up or down. It takes longer, cost more and increases emissions, because of liar Blair and Alistair Campbell. They ruined the world economy. Anywhere but Heathrow, the worst airport in the world. It take a day (and a night) to get through it. People can miss their flights because of delays and bad weather. Many people would rather not travel than have to use Heathrow. It is too big for customer satisfaction.

    Travel is as important to education to broaden the mind. It can change perspective on the world. Many people travel more. There are predictions that flight will be able to shoot into space and land in Australia from Britain in a short time. A couple of hours. The new space hub/centres people are trying to establish. Branston etc. His daughter went to Edinburgh University.

    There used to be flights from Aberdeen to Alicante (fly Globespan went down). No more. The airport terminal is across the runway from the train station. They should establish a new terminal at the side of the train station for easier journey’s/ connection into the City. Use the present building for administration offices. It is being expanded.

  123. Ken500 says:

    If people take a lump pension fund. Only 25% was tax free in that year. The rest of the pension lump sum was taxed as income for that year. At 25% or more depending on other income in that year. I.e. Depending on the tax allowance threshold.

    Are Osbourne’s lump sum plans more to do with increased tax gathering than freedom to access whole pensions. ie the more pension lump sums gathered in – the higher (sum) the raised tax revenues. Get more tax from a cashed in lump sum, in a once only payment.

  124. Ken500 says:

    Osbourne is a criminal. He is deliberately ruining the Scottish/ UK economy. Spending taxpayers money on grotesque prohects with no value and are dangerous. Taxing the Oil sector 60% to ruin the Scottish/UK, importing more Oil and Gas putting up the balance of payment deficit and the debt.

    Osbourne is a charlatan and a liar, along with the rest of his party. The Tory/Unionist are a disgrace. Independence can’t come soon enough. The Tories/Unionists are finished and take your Trident with you. Pig face suckers. Osbourne is a failure.

  125. Breeks says:

    Off topic, but can somebody answer a question or two?

    Here in Scotland, we have some government in Holyrood, and some in Westminster; but say there is a grey area of responsibility where neither government has a clearly defined responsibility; what is the mechanism for assuming control? If niether office bears responsibility, can our Holyrood government assume control? Or does it automatically defer to Westminster?

    To my knowledge, we have no actual laws against propaganda… Yet.

    To my knowledge, we have no unit dedicated to combatting corruption…. Yet.

    What power if any does Scotland have to instigate such measures unilaterally?

  126. gordoz says:


    Really hope Rev Stu had a chance to watch Scotland Tonight or the other channel last night.

    Alistair Campbell (Labour spin Doctor) ; pure comedy gold – irony

    jeezus, the irony of his statements re Indy ref and Labours plight

    What a buffon.

  127. Robert Peffers says:

    @G H Graham says: 14 March, 2016 at 1:25 pm:

    “Let’s add salt to the wound. Quantative Easing originally championed by Gordon “End of boom & bust” Brown, has pumped billions of pounds worth of fiat money (promissory notes called gilts) into the hands of investment houses, private equity firms & banks … .”

    Yeah! But!

    That’s the original problem – Gordon, and the rest of the Labour in Scotland hingers oan, have all long been a major part of the Westminster Establishment and are thus just helping themselves. Mainly at the expense of the their Scottish electorate.

    The thing is that the Scottish electorate, (only now and again mind you), get chances to fight back. So vote SNP+SNP in all coming elections, vote to remain EU Citizens and, for the sake of Scotland, stop paying for the BBC via TV licences and stop buying, The Establishment controlled, dead tree press.

  128. galamcennalath says:

    Nana says:

    His analysis of Colonial Broadcasting is absolutely spot on …

    “BBC Scotland doesn’t reflect our emerging nation, it tries to pretend the political evolution isn’t happening. Pacific Quay is the broadcasting equivalent of a British embassy. It is a colonial outpost … The corporation will not change because it is the biggest weapon in the British establishment’s armoury”

    … I definitely couldn’t put it better!

  129. Craig P says:

    Breeks – in theory, the way devolution works is Westminster has a list of ‘reserved’ powers. Anything else is the responsibility of Holyrood. Cue much amusement when Westminster had not reserved Antarctica or space. I think they quickly legislated for Antarctica to become reserved but I am not sure if space is still up for grabs…

    However, propaganda is an explicitly reserved power.

  130. Nana says:


    Does anyone know who wrote the book The terms of union as can be seen in this tweet.

  131. Ken500 says:

    Gordon Brown thought that if interest rates were kept at 5% (indefinitely), it abolished boom and bust. Borrowing was totally out of control. Many people were borrowing money thry could not pay back. The fraudulent housing sector. Two BoE governers warned Brown but he ignored the advice. This behaviour was incredible to say the least. Gordon Brown took interest rates dealing out of the Bank hands. The tripartite legislation give Brown interest rate control. The deregulation of (world) banking system by UK/US from Thatcher/Reagan, onwards was a catastrophe. Add in the illegal wars and spending on redundant weaponry. Creating massive debt. Gordon Brown kept fraudulent accounts.

  132. Robert Peffers says:

    @ScottieDog says: 14 March, 2016 at 1:36 pm:

    ” … Very little trickled into the productive economy.”

    The only part of, “The Trickle Down”, theory that actually works is the first wee bit, “The Trick”.

    The statistics have proved that the trickle is always upwards. Which is why, in spite of us being told, “We are all in this together”, has seen the poor getting progressively poorer, the old, sick, disabled and out of work being penalised for no other reason than they are either, “old, sick, disabled or out of work”.

    Some people are actually dying from the effects of poverty and some are so badly affected that the statistics for suicide and food bank use are the biggest growth industries in the United Kingdom today.

    In that same period of time the wealthiest 10% of the United Kingdom’s population have seen their own personal wealth more than double.

    You cannot be part of an austerity economy while more than doubling your wealth. That means there is a growing deep divide between the richest and the poorest in our society.

    The only way these greedy leeches could increase their wealth, so greatly, in times of dire austerity is by taking it from the poor.

    This is especially so while the economy is in depression for a depressed economy means wealth is not being created externally in the economy and to increase personal wealth they mast accrue it internally.

  133. Lenny Hartley says:

    Dave Mcewan Hill

    There was no Famine in Ireland, there was attempted genocide using the failure of the main crop (potato) as cover.

    Infamously Oats were being exported to India to feed British Army Horses.

    If you look at the population of Ireland before the so called famine compared to present day, they appear to have lost about the same population as Scotland has presently.

  134. Lollysmum says:

    Its by Clare Jackson

  135. Nana says:

    Thank you Lollysmum

  136. Ken500 says:

    @ Telegraph

    ‘BBC ignored 6,000 comments on BBC review on memory stick’.

  137. Caroline Corfield says:

    The worst airport in the world is Charles de Gaulle. Even Heathrow cannot take the crown.

  138. Lollysmum says:

    It looks as though the tweeted page was an extract from this book by Clare Jackson

    Restoration Scotland, 1660-1690: Royalist Politics, Religion and Ideas (Studies in Early Modern Cultural, Political and Social History) Hardcover – (published 25 Sep 2003)

    Amazon is selling it at £56 so I’ll be giving that a miss.

  139. galamcennalath says:

    Re Irish Famine. One aspect which gets forgotten is the change of government in 1846.

    The Tories were willing to do something to relief the situation, while the Whigs, who believed the State should not interfere in trade, won the election and made matters much worse.

    Hard to imagine the Tories as the ‘good guys’!

  140. orri says:

    Budget Allocation seems a fairly neutral replacement for Block Grant. Does what it says on the tin.

  141. Breeks says:

    Thanks Craig P. So it’s basically land grab? Get there first and thump a flag in it and the power is yours?
    Are you listening SNP?

    I’m now wondering about setting up offices to shadow the performance of reserved powers; audit what they do, determine whether they are dysfunctional and shine a searchlight into their dark places. Demand benchmarks in performance where any failure to deliver sees the power reverting to Scottish sovereignty. Stand and deliver… Or forfeit the right.

    Get the place buzzing and run these Whitehall mandarins off their feet. If they want to oppress our democracy, then let us make that a truly epic Herculean task for them to attempt. Let them try to match our generation of aspirational powers and legislation with wagon loads of their draconian restrictions and suppression and then sell it to our people. Push the limits where there are no limits. Let them try to bottle our Scotch mist.

    Use plebiscites; clever ones. Test whether a mandate from Scotland’s people outranks any dictat from our “masters” in Westminster. Experiment with online mini plebiscites; adopt a result as due cause and mandate for a greater plebiscite, or full blown referendum.

    Please, please, please, let us not forfeit one wave after another against the intransigent breakwater of BBC propaganda and perpetual distortion of the truth. Make the BBC and Unionist press obsolete and irrelevant. If our Scottish government endorses the BBC by appearing on it’s rag shows, then what message do you send our people? Are we supposed to watch their shite with your endorsement too? By equal measure, where are your formal endorsements for the new kids in town? When was the last time any SNP minister threw a bone to our online troopers? Would it really hurt if the SNP government sent a formal message of good luck to young Daisy with her new blog? As for Wings, where would you even begin?

  142. One_Scot says:

    It looks like it is starting to dawn on the Yoons that the only thing that is going to prevent them having to battle against Indy referendums for the rest of their lives is Scotland becoming independent.

    What a pitiful existence.

  143. Ken500 says:

    The majority of people voted NO. Re more promised powers – renege What bit do do you not understand re SNP and personal vendetta.

    Blaming SNP for Westminster fraud is illegitimate and irrational, and counter productive. Blame the Westminster liars and the irrational voters. Not the SNP.

  144. call me dave says:

    Excellent links again.

    That article on the BBC is priceless.

    All the world loves a clown except that Lord Foulks who I thought was in that esteemed fraternity. 🙂

    What lesson did the organisers learn? Last sentence…:-)

    An article I missed on Saturday.

  145. Ken500 says:

    Heathrow is worse than Charles de Gaulle. Less waiting time. + terminal five. More weather disruption.

  146. Beware the Ides Of March, Ruth, Kezia, Wullie, and your Branch Office Yes Men/Women.

    You blocks, you stones, you worse that senseless things!
    Today’s Budget Tasters, continues the slow destruction of Scotland as a competing nation, as cuts to Disability Benefits, Pensions ‘work rounds’ for the rich, income tax rises for Scots wage slaves, and cuts to thousands of UK Civil Service jobs Up Here, perfectly illustrate how NOT Better Together we are, as Osborne leaks his latest Northern Powerhouse infrastructure Spending Plans. Crossrail 2 for London of course, HS3 linking Manchester and Leeds, upgrades to the M62, the A 69, and the A66. Perhaps they’ll rename Scotch Corner, Scotch Cul-de-Sac?
    And the icing on the cherry? A tunnel, yes a frigging tunnel, between Manchester and Sheffield. Snake Pass No More!
    Well, Ruth, anything to say about this? Thought not.
    It is clearly of no benefit to Scotland, or indeed Newcastle, Durham, Carlisle, or Sunderland.

    ‘It must be by Scotland’s death….
    Fashion it thus: that what Scotland is, augmented,
    Would run to these and these extremities:
    And therefore think Scotland as a serpent’s egg
    Which hatched, would as its kind grow mischievous,
    And kill him in the shell.’

    (Paraphrased from Brutus ‘death sentence’ soliloquy, with no apologies to the English Bard.)
    Ruth Davidson’s Party is out to destroy Scotland as a competitor of England; and Corbyn stands by, watching, after all, it’s only Scotland they are stabbing in the back.
    Better Together? What a treacherous insult.

  147. orri says:

    If you want a better phrase than “Block Grant” how about “Budget Allocation”?

  148. Big bosses and unionist politicians always justified their large salaries and tax cuts by spouting the old line that to get the best people you don’t pay them peanuts.

  149. Undeadshaun says:

    Instead of QE, the money should have been put into infrastructure projects, which would have reduced benefits bill, increased tax return and reduced unemployment and have grown the economy.

    Westminster can spend what ever it likes as it has a fiat currency, but has instead chosen austerity for ideological reason.

    The governments super platinum credit card

    modern monatary theory primer

    That’s why when we sort out scotlands currency, it has to be a fiat currency and not a currency union with the pound.

  150. If the UK gov can produce money out of thin air backed by nothing more than crossed fingers (fiat money),

    why is the UK gov £1,668,000,000,000 in debt?

    probably a simple answer but it evades me.

  151. One_Scot says:

    In a way, I can see why certain types of people would vote for the Tories, but for the life of me, no matter how much I try, I cannot work out or understand why anyone would still vote for Labour.

  152. heedtracker says:

    why is the UK gov £1,668,000,000,000 in debt?

    Because UKOK austerity has and is failing, trade, economic growth, wage growth, fiscal targets all are mince, toryboy style. 6 years of austerity has done one thing and one thing only made the wealthy even wealthier.

    Tomorrow BBC led media creep show’s going to tell you to kiss fiscal genius Osborne’s arse and call it icecream.

  153. Nana says:


    Gings that’s a stinging price. I went on an internet search and found some on ebay[expensive] will check out my local library. Thanks for info.

  154. Nana says:

    @call me dave

    Flintoff says “book venues that seat fewer people” LOL

    Derek Bateman -Now is the time to resume the case for positive self determination

  155. Arbroath1320 says:

    Undeadshaun says:

    That’s why when we sort out Scotland’s currency, it has to be a fiat currency and not a currency union with the pound.

    I made a comment somewhere Undeadshaun about Scotland’s future currency. I suggested that we consider the Ryal as our future currency or even better the Digital Scotspound, both of which could be used as a stand alone currency, in my simple humble opinion. 🙂

  156. One_Scot says:

    It does not matter if the UK government has £1,668 debt or £1,668,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 debt, it is just a number.

    Money is not real, it is a man made concept use by the privileged few to live lives we can only dream of, and to control the masses by letting them just survive and no more.

    The only thing that is real is possessions.

  157. Breeks says:

    @Ken 500

    I don’t have a vendetta against the SNP, just a proven track record of indolence and insipid gullible politicians who are blind and/or indifferent to corruption and discrimination; feckless individuals who couldn’t even bother their arses to answer a single straight question put to them, but who are more than happy to park my grievance up a quiet cul-de-sac while they cuddle up to the guilty. I don’t discriminate whether they are Tory, Labour, Lib-dem, or SNP.

    I do happen to care very much about the freedom of my country, and while these insipid apologists for corruption remain in high office, I remain acutely concerned about their integrity, but more importantly their capacity to deliver my country it’s freedom.

    But go ahead. Blame me for my temerity to have an important and legitimate grievance, and worse, having the cheek to request a little help resolve it. Don’t whatever you do blame feather weights who ducked their responsibilities and hung my business out to dry. They are in your camp, which happens to be SNP, and you can excuse their conduct and carry their dead weight if you like. Don’t take my word for it. Let Westminster or the BBC “fund them oot” while millions are looking on…

    There is a reason I want a free Scotland. It’s a dream to live in a country which is free of corruption, nepotism, and prejudice; a genuine meritocracy where hopes and aspirations are fed not starved, and without tribal allegiances used as an excuse for turning a blind eye to crime, wrong doing or incompetence. I specifically do not want to exchange one feckless rotten tyranny for another.

    It really isn’t that complicated.

  158. John Edgar says:

    The picture and the article headline side by side ate revealing. “Bread and circuses”. The Roman rulers kept the populace quiet with circuses and cheap bread from grain grown on large slave estates. In the UK the press keep the oiks on place by the constant drip feed release of windsorian acts and escapades. There is cheap bread too, let us not forget. But from the article it seems Tha is only for the rich. The “oiks” in the eyes of the Etonian chancellor get nothing. It reminds me of those coronation banners from the early 50’s, probably penned by the elite for the populace to buy and hang up: ” Poor but loyal”.

  159. Undeadshaun says:

    “why is the UK gov £1,668,000,000,000 in debt?

    probably a simple answer but it evades me.”

    Assets balance out liabilities, read the link below and the previous links I supplied on MMT, it’s quite a bit of reading, but it explains the sham we have on austerity by Osborne.

    how the real state of the national debt

  160. Fred says:

    Anent the “Famine” I used to work with a Shetlander who was blissfuly unaware that folk starved on Shetland. A lot has been swept under the carpet, the islands took 20 years to recover but “Vikings” is all that’s in their heids nowadays.

    @ heedtracker, serfs still existed in Scotland amongst colliers & salters less than 250 years ago.

    @ Inverclyder, according to my butcher a lot of this British beef is of dairy origin, somebody has to eat it! Bought Bartlets “Red Rooster” spuds the other day, the bag sports union jax but on reading the small print the growers origin is Fife UK. When Scottish produce is a premium brand why is Bartlet hiding his light under a bushel?

  161. gordon ford says:

    FRED SAYS—————-
    Several Supermarkets use the Union Flag and “UK”.
    If you have a look at Sainsbury’s Fruit and Veg in particular,they have Veg from (for example), Angus with UK added.
    Most often they also have a Union Flag next to it with a large “Stick On” Saltire on the packet !!!!!!!!!!!

  162. Fred says:

    @ Gordon Ford, Bartlett’s is in Airdrie which of itself might explain the UJ’s. 🙂

  163. Graeme McCormick says:

    Any taxation system with reliefs or exemptions is open to abuse. A Rent on land per square meter would do away with all other taxes and the need for tax advisors. try 1.4 pence per m2 on unbuilt ground and £3.93 per m2 on floor area of buildings and you’ll raise £78billion per annum

  164. Ken500 says:

    A tax on land could put up house prices,food prices and damage Scotland’s food exports. It is not the land that holds the most value it is what is on it. i.e. land with planning permission. Anyone can buy a piece of land. They can’t build a hut on it because of Scottish planning Laws. If anyone wanted to build a hut, the Greens would be the first to object colluding with and funded by the landowners. The Greens collude with Unionists and renege on their own policies.

    A Land tax isn’t the answer enforcing the UK tax Laws is the problems. The Scottish Gov does not have that powers because Scotland voted NO. Losing Scotland £Billion a year. Scotland has been depopulated by Westminster economic policies. Limiting the use and requirement of land.

    A land tax is not equal and progressive. Many landowners are not wealthy. They are mortgaged to the banks, they pay interest on the mortgage as collateral. The interest they pay is a tax on the land. The Banks hold the land in trust for the people. Scotland has a ‘right to roam’, people can wander all over Scotland for a relatively small travel amount.

  165. Ken500 says:

    Food produces/supermarkets are required, a directive, by EU Law to label source/country of food/ingredients. Food products are labelled for home users and exports. The labelling is no big deal. It is just to define the source of products. It is cheaper for produces to be UK on their products. A standard label. Scottish products are often labelled for the recognised premium value, worldwide.

  166. Ken500 says:

    The £1 is falling against the Euro. A reflection of Osborne’s failure. Down from 1.40 to 1.30 since the UK Election.

  167. Ken500 says:

    Seed tattie exports is big business in Scotland. Seed tatties are exported all over the world.

  168. Andrew Mclean says:

    You are mistaken sir, Airdrie has a SSP MP, a great one, do you know what, that sounds so good I wil say it again Airdrie has a SSP MP,

    That means Airdrie is a town that wants an independent Scotland!

    Absolutely fantastic,

    Get it right up you, as we say in Airdrie!

  169. Andrew Mclean says:

    Ha ha bloody spell checker has been infiltrated by gremlins,

    SNP MP


  170. Fred says:

    Gettin yer flute in a fankle Andrew, calm doon! 🙂

  171. Fred says:

    @ Ken500, while you’re exercising your right to roam for so little outlay, folk have to live in communities where the local laird’s word is law, they can’t afford the prices demanded for a building plot & it’s generally not for sale anyhow. The dead-hand of inherited privelage is killing their villages as estate workers are paid off & their houses made holiday lets. No kids so no school so no village! While the main crop farmed is the taxpayer who is milked comprehensively by the grant system by sporting eststes who pay damn-all by way of taxation thanks to Edwina Currie’s fancy man & thanks to primogeniture the eldest son scoops the pool & inherts everything.

  172. Fred says:

    @ Ken500 Scottish tattie seed is indeed exported even to Egypt & England & noted for being disease-free. So why UJ’s on Scotch tatties. I buy local stuff n a saltire clearly displayed on totties means I lift it without application of the bi-focals.

  173. Graeme McCormick says:

    Ken500. You’ve got it wrong!

    How much does the average farming household pay in tax ,(ie.all taxes, , Income and corporation tax, VAT, Council Tax, Vehicle taxes NI, etc.) in any year?

    Under my proposals for a 100 acre farm it would be less than £17400.

  174. Kiereann says:

    Unfortunately there is now only one way to address this problem ..

    Break the entire banking system completely; so that all the misappropriated stocks, shares, pensions, ISAs and illicit offshore funds have exactly the same value as the cash in your pocket – nothing at all.

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