Nicola Corbyn

I blogged about this yesterday and it is all over the headlines today, the great give away is a potential vote loser in my opinion. Most people right now know that as individuals and families most of us have to tighten the belt so when a Government comes along, or a political party, and promises the earth it is usually not met with all that much enthusiasm. Part of the reason that Labour lost the General Election in 2019 was that they offered too much and people just did not think it was credible to get all of that done in one parliament and candidates could not get such a huge message across to the voters.

For me there is a real danger here and while we can applaud the aspiration behind the SNP great spending give away there is a real impression of this as a fantasy here, we can’t fund local authorities properly but we can find billions to give away on what many will believe will be a burden on people who work. I have to wonder what the SNP game is here, is it to mirror Labour of old, is it to win but not win big, I just don’t see the plan here.

Costed policies come to a total of 41.6 Billion Pounds and that is not adding in the cost of doubling the Scottish Child Payment, providing school meals to all primary school children and breakfast to all high school young people. It doesn’t give us the cost of providing every child and young person with a laptop or tablet with internet access or before and after school child care and bring Scot Rail into public ownership. There is some mention of independence in the manifesto “after the pandemic” but it takes up a page with no real plan as far as I can see to be honest other than the same old platitudes we have heard over the last 6 years.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies have said that The SNP’s manifesto offers big gains to a number of targeted groups in Scotland – but would involve difficult trade-offs in a tight budgetary environment. They go on to say, and I said the same thing yesterday in my own way,  The manifesto does not provide information on how much these various pledges will cost altogether, which is disappointing. But the list of policies included clearly has a significant net cost. Paying for this in the context of what will likely be a tight fiscal environment in the coming parliament would require tricky trade-offs, and potentially either (as yet, unspoken) tax rises, or cuts to at least some other areas of public spending. A stated aim of not increasing income tax – the main tax currently under the Scottish Government’s control – and plans to cut business rates could make this an especially difficult circle to square.

I just don’t understand this manifesto at all. Nicola Sturgeon is not stupid and for me this looks like the SNP want to win but no too big, they don’t really want to talk about independence all that much and is setting itself up to fail in the longer term. This platform for the election has Labour written all over it, a Labour platform of old that voters eventually rejected. I just don’t get this approach at all, does anyone else?

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13 Responses to Nicola Corbyn

  1. Alan D says:

    The sad thing is, Corbyn’s final manifesto was costed up and it”s a bare fraction of what the Tories gave to their mates when Covid hit.

    The money WAS there all along.

    • Alan

      You are right but the voters just didn’t accept it as credible and the SNP will know this type of manifesto and pledges doesn’t go down well, especially at a time when people have to tighten the belts and their local councils are telling them to prepare for cuts, it doesn’t make sense to me and I just can’t get my head around what the plan is here. There is at least some mention of independence but there is no way they will hold it in the first half, I think they are lying and playing games personally as I really don’t get the strategy at all.

      Thanks for commenting. Bruce


  2. katielass04 says:

    No. I really don’t get it. Now if this manifesto had been SNP after Indy, I could see where it would come from (think: WMDs)… But tied to WM as we are? No. It’s going to be robbing Peter to pay Paul – as I believe they’ve done with the £600,000 ring-fenced Indy money. You can only do that so long & it all catches up with you. And eventually you’re in one big guddle. Which I believe is already the case.

    Good Article, GSM! Thanks for putting it in such a clear format. We certainly need folks like you who can get right to the nitty-gritty.

    • Katie

      I know people like Lesley Riddoch etc have been singing its praises and I don’t pretend to be as astute as those people but it makes no sense to me at all. When I read through it then looked at the IFS info I just thought this is a Labour manifesto in all but name and no way will they deliver all of that. I also thought most people would just like councils funded properly rather than year on year cuts. It will be interesting to see what they do deliver and if this is a way of putting people’s minds away from independence.

      Thanks for commenting. Bruce


  3. Step21 says:

    Watching an interview with her yesterday the claim was this manifesto would be paid based on the assumptions of a 14% rise in Barnett consequentials and a 20% rise in devolved tax receipts. This seems alarmingly optimistic.
    This new tax year is bound to have lower than average tax receipts due to the pandemic. Future year tax receipt growth depends on more people paying more tax i.e. higher employment and/ or tax rises which have been ruled out. The block Grant is outwith their control and may suffer if the Tories go for austerity 2.0.
    As you say the pandemic and Brexit are a time for many of hardship and uncertainty and so far the magic money tree of QE by the Bank of England has paid for it. Who knows how much longer this will last? The Scottish government don’t have access to magic money of their own but is reliant on Westminster to keep printing sterling.
    The last economic forecast I remember had a timescale of 5 years to get GDP back to pre covid/ Brexit levels. So this election splurge of freebies seems to me to fly in the face of reality.

    In their time in power NHS dentists have all but vanished as has peripatetic music tuition. It’s easy to offer free stuff if the take up is low due to the complete lack of infrastructure dismantled under their tenure. So if you look under the hood will these free policies actually cost that much?

    The other take away from the interviews yesterday was that the growth commission was still alive and well and just needed a tweak or two to update the figures in light of the pandemic.

    It seems clear to me is that the recovery from covid is a handy delay tactic under which to hide the fact that they are in no position to fight a referendum campaign. We know that they spent the ring fenced indyref campaign money and have done no work on independence since 2014. Her answers to the economic arguments regarding independence in the interview exposed that abject failure. The real reason for the delay on independence is simply that no ground work has been done because they knew that their was ever any real prospect of getting a S30. With a GE due in 2024 what PM with an 80 seat majority is going to grant a S30 just before a Westminster election?

    If there is any strategy it is delay with some freebie carrots thrown in to keep the hordes satisfied and give enough time to force the woke policies through without any due respect to the very real safeguarding issues they create.

    • katielass04 says:

      I absolutely agree Step21… I can’t see a Ref for another 6/7 years, what with GE, council elections then another HR election… always something else to focus on instead of Indy! And yet (and to be honest, I’m just NOT believing this article, never mind the tone being rather arrogantly suggesting Alba is lying):

      • Step21 says:

        Doesn’t the believe in Scotland site have close ties with a certain Angus Robertson? Certainly sprinkling the fairy dust!

        • katielass04 says:

          Step21: Does it? I didn’t know that… I knew it was Gordon McIntyre-Kemp, but didn’t know anyone else connected with it & doesn’t say who they are on the site. Found their old site ‘Business For Scotland’ & lists directors etc. But no mention of AR. Having said that, that doesn’t mean he ISN’T connected some way! But if so, it certainly explains A LOT! I’ll have to read it again, keeping that in mind! On reading it again…

          “So we are looking at between May 2022 to October 2023 – 13 months or two and half years at most – before indyref2

          BiS seem to think that’s the plan. I just don’t believe that. I’d LIKE to! But – I just don’t believe Sturgeon wants it, never mind is she planning to have one anytime soon. she certainly hasn’t done anything to prepare for one! And I find the whole tone to be an arrogant put down of any other belief of time/date. Well… time will tell.

    • Step21

      I didn’t see the interview yesterday so thank you for all that information. I think you are correct about tax and the economy, it will get a short-term boost but then will retract is what I have heard on the radio meaning as you say the tax take will probably be down. I agree with you about things like dentists, the devil will be in the detail and I did see that it will start with care leavers which there won’t be that many of so the cost will be low. Your context has provided a bit more of the strategy for me but I also agree with you that there is trouble down the road. The missing money could be a real problem for the SNP, once people start to hear more about GRA and the Hate Crime Bill the mood will turn and that could benefit Alba. I meet up with a colleague from work once a week for a distanced coffee and she is also Lesbian and knew very little of the debate so I sent her some links and now she is very much Alba on the list but also saying probably won’t vote SNP now on the constituency, the more people find out the more they are not going to like. There won’t be a referendum any time soon, I can’t see one personally before 2026 now and if that were to be the case the SNP will lose power in the longer term and Sturgeon will be over.

      Thanks for commenting. Bruce


  4. Alan Morrison says:

    I agree this is all ‘pie in the sky’ while attached to WM. But easily achievable following Independence. Much is talked about on our new currency, but we already have one. The Scottish pounds issued by the RBS, Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale bank. In order to continue to issue these banknotes (under the act of 2009) these banks need to hold hard assets of similar values to the banknotes issued with the Bank of England. Should an independent Scotland set up a central bank and invite these banks to transfer these assets to it, in order to retain the power to issue banknotes, the Scottish currency would become the most valuable in Europe perhaps the world. As soon as we un-tether the currency from GBP the value would soar. We devalue and by doing so can write off any historical (inherited) national debt. We could then borrow at preferential rates to that enjoyed by GBP. Doing so would make these manifesto promises not only possible but extremely timid. Of course we need independence first,

    • Alan

      It was a few years ago but I heard some American money guy, he was from of those large loan companies that Governments borrow from, saying that what he would do is nationalise a bank like Clydesdale and just have a Scottish pound. He argued that Scotland had enough assets to build on and you can do things like not allow people to take money out of the country in the short, he also thought that Scotland would have no issue with borrowing money at all and that a newly independent Scotland would get a short term boost as money came into the country plus things like being in the EU would help. I don’t know a lot about it but I would go with a Scottish Pound as people get them now and it will mean no change to what they are used to.

      Thanks for commenting. Bruce


      • katielass04 says:

        Dr Tim Rideout is heading up a group just now (thru the NEC, I think) doing a lot of work on Currency & has what I think (though I’m not economist!) sound like good, workable ideas:

        Of course Prof Richard Murphy is also a good listen (YouTube) and I believe he is working with Tim Rideout in the Currency Group. They’re very eminent in their fields, neither being enamoured with the Growth Commission & are determined to use our own currency as soon as possible. You might want to have a listen to what they are thinking…

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