Alex Massie

Small Drama at Holyrood; Not Many Bothered

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A reader asks for a comment on the Scottish Budget "debate" at Holyrood. Well, I'm


sometimes happy to oblige:

It passed.

OK: the Tories and the Greens supported the SNP in return for promises to publish details of government expenditure online and set up an independent budgetary review commission (Tory demands) and bung more money to people wanting to insulate thier lofts (the Greens' sweetie). 

But this was a phoney budget and not just because so much depends upon what happens to the block grant handed down from Westminster. Longer-term questions weren't even addressed, let alone answered. And, ultimately, a budget that dispenses spending but doesn't raise money isn't a real budget.

Which is one reason why Holyrood needs fiscal autonomy. (Or, if you prefer, as most do not, independence.)

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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