Category Archives: Scottish politics

Will Scotland miss out on a UK productivity boost?

For years now Britain has relied on attracting workers from abroad to grow its economy. In other words we’ve been becoming bigger as a country but not much richer as individual citizens (on average). Businesses have preferred to hire more … Continue reading

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Scandinavia is Tory

Just as in 1707 the debate on Scottish independence revolves around pounds and pence rather than national identity. I can’t work out whether this is a triumphant display of the continuity of Scottish pragmatism and penny-wariness down the centuries, or … Continue reading

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Renewable energy – dependent on English gold

I’m always a little bemused why the Unionist camp in Scotland doesn’t make more of the fact that renewable energy here benefits from an enormous subsidy transfer from the rest of the UK. It must be worth about half a billion … Continue reading

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Lying by implication

For months now, the Scottish Government has been giving the strong impression that it had sought specific legal advice on whether an independent Scotland would be allowed automatically into the European Union. It has blocked attempts to force it to … Continue reading

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All benefits should be universal

You can’t talk about the benefits system unless you mention taxes too. Both have become so complicated that fiddling with one has unpredictable consequences for the other. The only sensible solution is for all benefits to be universal, regardless of … Continue reading

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Would Scotland have done better on its own?

An entertaining debate is taking place between the economists George Kerevan and Brian Ashcroft – and they seem to be pointing to some surprising conclusions about the performance of the Scottish economy.

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Exam puzzles

The row about exam results in England presents something of a puzzle. If (as the government seems to admit) GCSE’s suffer from grade inflation, does that mean that the improvements in English schools over the last decade and more are … Continue reading

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