The talks between the SNP administration and the Libdems on local income tax, (LIT), raises a couple of interesting issues beyond the proposal and cons of the tax itself.
It is a bad policy that will mean less money for public services that will cost more to collect, be less secure and mean job losses,. But this process is, ironically, a good example of why minority government is good for Scottish democracy! Whatever the result of this process we will will know the who, the how and the why and can hold those involved to account at the next election. Despite my aversion to the policy being discussed, it is transparent politics at work.
I dearly hope however, that the Libdems discover some backbone for once and stop the SNP version of LIT. A nationally set rate is not in any way local, but it also reduces local government to being merely a service delivery arm of national government and undermines that same Scottish democracy.
If we have got to have LIT and lets be clear, I don’t want it, we have to have at the very least locally set rates. Otherwise we will loose much more than simply cash for local services.
Keith Simpson's Christmas Reading List
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