If it matters to Scotland it matters to us
THE SNP ARGUES CONSTANTLY that Tory austerity imposed by an overbearing Westminster government is an evil that strongly affects Scotland. The reality is the SNP leadership has imposed more widespread and extremely damaging cuts than ever considered in Westminster.
Local councils are amongst the worst-affected by a slew of cuts inflicted by the SNP since its politicians came to power. Glasgow has suffered a real-term reduction in local authority spending of £233 per Glaswegian resident from 2014-2019, a fall of 11 per cent. Glasgow City Council has reported a funding gap of £12.2 million for next year. South Lanarkshire Council will in 2021 miss out on £53 million.
Unfortunately, SNP-controlled councils refuse to fight back. They instead toe the party line, endorse every new cut from Sturgeon in Edinburgh, and endlessly express gratitude for any small funds that are promised by central government.
Britain is a model to the world of a successful multi-ethnic society, a major review concluded last night.
It found no evidence the UK is institutionally racist – in a rejection of the common view among some activists – although there is evidence that ‘overt’ prejudice exists.
The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, set up by Boris Johnson in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, concluded that although Britain is not yet a ‘post-racial society’, its success should be a model for white-majority countries.
The Scottish government’s funding per person is almost 30% higher than the English equivalent, a leading economic research group has said.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said this was mostly due to the Barnett Formula.
It also found the Scottish government had used temporary coronavirus funding to pay for some permanent policies.
But excluding pandemic funding, the IFS said Scotland has 2% less spending per person in 2021-22 compared to 2010-11.
The findings were published in the IFS’s first briefing note ahead of the Holyrood election, focusing on how funding has changed in recent years.
A large chunk of the Scottish budget comes from the block grant – a share of the UK-wide budget as calculated via the Barnett Formula – but tax revenues raised in Scotland have played an increasingly large role in recent years.
Scottish income tax will contribute 27% and other Scottish taxes 5.5%, with borrowing contributing the remaining 0.5%.
Just when we thought the situation in Scotland could not be any more toxic, we are confronted by Alex Salmond’s re-entry into politics with the inflammatory announcement that ‘peaceful street protests’ will form part of the strategy of the new nationalist front that has, in effect, been formed by the emergence of his new party, Alba, to fight alongside the SNP,
Scotland and England could end up with a hard border for the first time in three centuries if an independent Scotland were to join the European Union, according to a report published today.
The report, from the Institute for Government (IfG), analysed the implications of Scotland rejoining the EU after gaining independence but warned the process could take ten years.
It also said Scotland would become a customs and regulatory border for the EU – meaning the border between Scotland and England would need to be closed.