Now for the money shot.
A lot of the current debate revolves around money. Can we afford it, how much money will Scotland gain or lose from Independence. Some people might be getting a bit sick of it. However it comes back time and again in polls that even a trifling amount of money better off swings a vast majority of people to yes. So today we talk about money or the lack there of.
I’m sure it comes as no surprise to anyone reading this blog that since 2008 wages have stagnated while inflation has been taking off. Certainly my own company has been giving out below inflation wage rises for the last six years despite posting massive profits well over their targets for most of them. Despite this Scotland contributes 9.8% of all tax which is pretty good going given we are only 8.9% of the population. Better together would be quick too point out here that we also receive much higher spending per head than the rest of the UK. This is the reason they cutely call us “benefit junkies”. However this only accounts for 9.3% of the overall spending. Wings over Scotland did some excellent work on this so I won’t regurgitate it (link) but basically in the union we are tied into a deal that’s worse than Wonga. For every 100 quid we get, we give Westminster 142.
That however isn’t they whole story, as I have stated before the choice before us isn’t between change and the status quo, it’s between change and change. Austerity is set to continue for us lowly plebs well into the future, at least as far as 2018. Labour claim that by 2015 austerity will have cost 974 pounds in real terms, now this number has thoroughly been debunked as probably the combined score of the shadow cabinet at darts however there is no doubt that families are worse off now than in 2008 and by 2018 they will be a sizable chunk worse off again as the next two thirds of the austerity measures hit home.
Of course the point of independence is that quite a lot would change. The SNP are throwing down the metaphorical gauntlet at the other Scottish parties. Not only have they laid out their plans for free childcare in an independent Scotland allowing hundreds of thousands of parents to return to the work pool if they so choose improving peoples standards of living as well as increasing tax revenue. They only the other day then declared that they would set about making the minimum wage the living wage.
Labours reaction to this news was to call it Jam Tomorrow. I’ll probably write another article on this subject but it’s total bullshit to call it that. Like them of loathe them there is one inescapable fact about the SNP. When they say they are going to do something, they do it.
In their last term in government the minority SNP government managed to pass 67 of its 72 manifesto promises and would have passed the other 5 had the entire chamber not rallied together to stop them imposing minimum pricing on alcohol (despite rolling it out themselves down south) and other things such as an independence referendum. I’m not sure how many they have come good on this time around but it’s a similar proportion and they still have two years to the next election.
This is the perfect example of how far the Labour Party in Britain has fallen. Once the party of home rule and fair pay, when confronted with a party that is actively engaged in finally making the minimum wage a living wage and getting Scotland run by Scotland they call them fantasists and accuse them of promising Jam tomorrow.