What Scotland Thinks have an interesting blog about Why is Labour’s Election Strategy Not Working? By Prof John Curtice.
I don’t want to cover all of the things that Prof Curtice is talking about but one area I found really interesting was his reporting of findings around tax policy. Only 34% support the premise of Labour’s proposed tax rise for public services with 29% against. 69% agree that ‘people in Scotland should not have to pay more income tax than people in England’. There is a lot more in the article and worth a read, in fact the website is worth having a look at now and again.
For myself, and this is where both British Labour in Scotland and the Scottish Liberal Democrats are wrong, is that without all fiscal powers to redraw the taxation system in a more fair and balanced way, Scottish Tax Payers, most of whom who earn the average or below average wage, should not have to pay more to mitigate Tory cuts. Raising taxes to protect public services may well sound good on paper but all it really does is mask the tory agenda and the total lack of ideas from the unionist parties. It shows them up to be what they are, UK parties in Scotland with little or no control over anything representing the interests of Westminster and not the Scottish people. Just have a look at tax as it will be soon:
Income Tax / Tax
The Scottish Parliament will have the power to set rates and thresholds for income tax for Scottish taxpayers, excluding savings and dividend income, without restriction.
*the tax will continue to be collected and administered by HMRC.
*the Scottish Government will receive all income tax paid by Scottish taxpayers on their non-savings and non-dividend income.
The following tax matters are to be devolved with income tax:
*air passenger duty.
*the power to charge tax on aggregate exploitation in Scotland.
The following taxes are to remain non-devolved:
*all other matters relating to income tax will be reserved.
*capital gains tax.
*VAT, although the first 10% of the standard rate of VAT raised in Scotland will be assigned to the Scottish Government’s budget.
*taxation of oil and gas receipts.
The simple fact is that the Scottish Government will only control around 40% of taxation, with income tax being the one that is the least responsive to change and the one most politically damaging. It remains a trap for the SNP and one that both the Liberal and Labour Parties have fallen right into, or more likely, support with open arms.
Without full fiscal control then nothing can improve in Scotland around financial social justice and I for one do not agree with any income tax increases until such time as full fiscal autonomy is in place. I also believe that until both British Labour and British Liberal Parties start standing up for Scotland they will continue to suffer a slow and painful death, rightfully so, with only the stupid list vote keeping them on life support.