Saturday, 19 April 2014

A No Vote is a Vote for the Status Quo

Erm, no. Even if #indyref did not happen, Scotland is guaranteed more powers in 2016 under the Scotland Act (2012). Before this Act, Holyrood controlled 70% of public spending in Scotland, but only 12% of taxation. The Scotland Act sees this significantly increased. To be clear, this is the "biggest transfer of financial powers from London to Scotland since the act of union in 1707". 

In addition to bringing in a new Scottish rate of income tax and borrowing powers worth, the Scotland Act (2012) provides powers over air guns, drink-driving and speed limits to Holyrood. It will also devolve stamp duty, land tax and landfill tax, and give the Scottish Parliament a role in appointments in broadcasting and the Crown Estate. Lastly, Holyrood will have the power to introduce new taxes. With these powers, Holyrood has the power to raise taxes to fund policies to, for example, reduce inequality. 

Where are the SNP's proposals to use these powers? They don't exist as they know that greater discussion of these powers will undermine its case for independence. They also know that talk of raising taxes to help the vulnerable will worry the regressive element in their core support.

So is this all we will get if we vote No. Absolutely not! Although there is a strong argument for fully implementing the Scotland Act (2012) before we consider more devolution, the public and political parties are keen to increase what is on offer. Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Tories have all said more devolution is on offer: 
It is therefore very clear that a No vote is not a vote for the status quo. However, don't expect Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Tories to publish a tax payer funded White Paper like Salmond's "Argos Catalogue without Prices". Nonetheless, it is clear that the three #BetterTogether parties will make a core common offering to us which will deliver significant benefits without the risks involved with leaving the UK.

No comments:

Post a Comment