Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Time to turn devolution into federalism

So for St Andrew's day we have the announcement of some more financial powers for the Scottish devolved executive and its regional council parliament.

But surely logic demands that the devolved governments should have responsibility for raising all the cash they spend, otherwise devolution will continue as a parasitic exercise bleeding the English dry.

There will be some debate as the SNP is really pursuing its goal of turning Scotland into a PIGS basket case and will never stop asking for more powers until there are none left or given away to Brussels. And of course as we are finding out yet again the English tax payer still has to fund out the Celtic fringe even when its been granted independence ( see our second bailout of the southern Irish state ).

Better that this is all done on a formal and equal basis, and overseen by the grown ups who will end up paying anyway ( ie the English ).

So how about a federal UK with division of powers and financial responsibilities clearly and fairly laid out. That means an English Parliament and an English government. But then we almost have those right now - its just no one dares say so.

A bit of honesty, clear thinking, and straight talking is needed.


James Higham said...

Elephant in the room - the EU. Too many try to ignore it.

Anonymous said...

While I agree with what you are saying regarding giving the Scottish Parliament the power to raise all the cash they spend, I find your tone very arrogant.

I am Scottish and have lived and worked in Scotland all my life (27 years in the private sector and 5 years in the public sector) and am a net contributor to the UK exchequer by far. I find your assertion that I am some sort of parasite extremely offensive. I pay income tax, VAT, NIC, fuel duty, road tax just the same as people in England.

Yes, there are people in Scotland who exist on benefits, but there are large numbers of people in England who also exist on benefits as well. Are people in England who are net beneficiaries of the tax system also parasites?

Please don't make sweeping generalisations or blanket statements.

Man in a Shed said...

@Anon - Thanks for your comment. I've lived, worked and married in Scotland. I'm not anti-Scottish. I am against the way the English are taken for a ride in the current British state.

Thanks to Barnett formula Her Majesty's English subject's are not provided for at the same level as those in Scotland ( and even less so than those in Northern Ireland and Wales ). In this sense, and without question, England is victimised.

The question of tax contribution is more complex thanks to the impact of natural resources. However in the basis of taxes paid by individuals the English contribute much more than anyone else, and get less spent on them.

In this sense devolution and Barnett bleed the English to provide benefits for the Celtic fringe which are not provided to our own countrymen and women.

This is the economic and moral injustice of devolution. The cause is the political injustice of no English political body with this won politics. Each party is always willing to sell out the English to achieve its objectives in the devolved countries.

There are examples of this today as the Welsh government decides its going to subsidise its students at University and yet relies on taxes from English taxpayers who will have to also bear the cost of their education themselves.

This is not anti-Scottish but pro-English.

@JH - point taken and the cause of much soul searching I can assure you.

Anonymous said...

Why not just have Scottish independence? Why bother with federalism?

Man in a Shed said...

We have southern Irish independence, and yet the bill still winds up in London.

I'm not anti-British, I just want the Union to stop being all about tacking the English for everything we have, whilst refusing to recognise us as a nation.