Where we are and where we will be

Where we are and where we will be
The idea of Edinburgh is a combination of place, soul and symbolic leadership of a nation

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

A gift is not what it might seem

The revelation that business leaders are against the SNPs Local income tax, (LIT), proposals might at first appear to be music to Labour ear but we need to be careful here. Implementing the LIT is never the issue. Being seen to be fair and equitable is. That's why the SNPs council tax freeze was so effective. It does not make fiscal sense because it removes £240m out of public services but it does make political sense because people feel, for good or for ill, unfairly treated by the Council tax. They do not have to implement the LIT, which on all figures show that it would produce at least £400m less tax take than at present. They only have to be seen to try, because what they want to be seen as is fighting unfairness. Another barrier, like business objections, will help them seem even more on the side of the little guy, without having to go through the hassle of implementing a policy they know is deeply flawed,

Gift horse, false dawn, call it what you will, but this attack on LIT might well have the effect of stopping the change but helping the SNP to achieve a greater goal of more support eventually, for independence. Labour tactics need to move from the difficult ground of who might win or loose from LIT to focusing on the "broken promise" of LIT and the really dangerous thing of Independence where our struggles to survive would be only just beginning.


Malc said...

I'm not strong on economics Ewan, but seems to me that the Council Tax freeze was a good move - politically and economically.

Councils - like everyone else in a crunch - have to tighten their belts and prioritise spending. I know it isn't popular.

It would appear that your UK Government would agree that cutting taxes (not simply freezing them) is the way to make people feel more financially secure in the current climate. The SNP were just - at least in my view - ahead of the game on this one.

Ewan said...

Malc, thanks for this. As I have said in other posts, tax cuts are not the panacea they seem to be. The Council Tax freeze will lead to cuts rather than efficiencies and will elad to £240m less money for public services. That can't be good for public services but also, at a time when the economy is in need of a boost, cutting public expenditure is not a good plan. I give the SNP credit for the politics of the CT freeze, but the consequences are not good for public services.



Surgery Times

1st Wed @ Piershill Library, 30 Piershill Terrace.
2nd Wed @ Craigentinny Community Centre, Loaning Rd.
3rd Wed @ Duddingston Primary School, Duddingston Rd.

All 7:15pm -7:45pm

and the last Sat. Lochend YWCA, 198 Restalrig Road South
12noon -1pm

(no appointment needed, all during school terms)
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