The concept of a separate tax regime for Scotland is far from new
R JOHNSTON (Letters, January 12) suggests that Scotland’s “economic needs are joined at the hip with those south of the Border” in taking Iain AD Mann (Letters, January 10) to task for thinking that Scotland’s “economic needs are so different from the rest of the of the UK that we should demand a different and special status”.
A different or special status for Scotland is, though, not a new thought. For instance, in a House of Commons debate in March 1967 it was said by a Scottish MP that there were UK-wide policies which he believed were hindering the economies of development areas, whether in Scotland or other parts of the UK, and asked for the government of the day to adopt different tax regimes and different policies in the different areas of the United Kingdom.
That Scottish MP was none other than George Younger, then Conservative MP for Ayr, and later Secretary of State for Scotland.
If Mr Johnston and Lord Younger are right then if our economic needs are “joined at the hip” with a state whose policies “hinder” our economic development, perhaps Scotland would do well to reconsider just how it pursues its economic needs? Alasdair Galloway, 14 Silverton Avenue, Dumbarton. YOUR article on the proceedings at Holyrood’s Finance Committee (“SNP to borrow up to £3bn for infrastructure”, The Herald, January 12) was a very welcome read, indicating a great boost to the economy and employment.
On reading this article it came to light that this figure of £3 billion would come about only if the proposed borrowing through the powers of the Scotland Act 2016 were continued till year 2023/24.
However, I did have a slight grin when I read of the Conservative Murdo Fraser MSP questioning the future financial competency of the SNP in government at Holyrood.
Would that be the same SNP Government at Holyrood which has balanced the books for the last 10 years and which hase taken a progressive approach to taxation in Scotland with a lower threshold for higher earners? Catriona C Clark, 52 Hawthorn Drive, Banknock, Falkirk. RUTH Marr (Letters, January 12) talks about the perceived right to hold another referendum since things didn’t go our way in the Brexit vote, conveniently ignoring the fact that we haven’t the slightest hope of doing a private deal with Europe no matter what the outcome from the negotiations. She highlights the confusion at Westminster while also ignoring the complete mess the SNP have created on the far less complex issue of the trauma centres where insufficient consultation has been carried out (“SNP under fire as trauma units delayed by three years”, The Herald, January 12). The plans for this initiative have ended up as a dog’s breakfast and this outcome is typical of the SNP’s approach to government where Nicola Sturgeon has surrounded herself with “specialist” advisors at the exclusion of consultation with those at the grass roots. I would genuinely love to have an independent Scotland but I fear for this country if the SNP remains in power.
The Tory Government made another monumental mistake in having the Brexit vote in the first place just to appease David Cameron’s backbenchers. There is no way anyone could ever have provided enough information to allow us to have made an informed choice. We were the first country to vote to leave the EU and we have walked into a black hole.
Ms Marr makes the point that 62 per cent of the Scottish electorate voted to stay in Europe, a similar percentage of which are not in favour of independence. Now that we have some idea of the magnitude of the situation, it is my view that if we held another Brexit referendum that figure would comfortably reflect the UK as a whole. Where would that put Ms Sturgeon’s pledge? On the scrapheap along with the Curriculum for Excellence and so many other policies which have been cobbled together by the SNP. Andrew Weir, Broomley Drive, Giffnock.