The shitty end of the stick

Higher public spending in Scotland relative to the rest of the UK (rUK) reflects two things. Firstly, the different choices made by the Scottish Government in regard to such things as tuition fees and prescription charges. This does not mean that Scotland gets “extra” money. Only that more of the money we do get is spent on public services.

Note that people in rUK still have to pay for these services. It’s just that it comes directly out of their pockets rather than being added to their tax bill. Their tax bill is, therefore, lower than in Scotland (they pay less tax per head) but the level of spending on services is the same or higher.

Secondly, higher public spending in Scotland is related to geographic and demographic factors. Basically, it is more expensive to provide the same level of service in Scotland than it is, on average, in rUK. (Although parts of rUK are as expensive or more expensive.)

What does this tell us about the motives and intentions of those who want to slash Scotland’s budget?

It tells us that they want to force the Scottish Government to adopt the same spending priorities as the UK Government, despite the fact that the Scottish Government has a democratic mandate from the people of Scotland while the UK Government has been comprehensively, decisively and repeatedly rejected by Scotland’s voters.

It tells us that, while demanding that Scotland remain part of the “One Nation” British state, they intend that people in Scotland should be required to accept a standard of public service much lower than that currently provided by the Scottish Government and significantly lower than that in rUK.

Better Together? My arse! Independence! Nothing less!


About Peter A Bell

Thinker. Listener. Talker. Reader. Writer. None of my attitudes are immutable. None of my conclusions are final. None of my opinions are humble.
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