Scots subsidised the U.K. to the tune of £27 billion…read more!
JOHN JAPPY is a retired civil servant from Head Office in London, Accounting Division – linked to the Treasury
Scotland’s demand for “Full Fiscal Autonomy”
Friday, 1 May 2015
During the Referendum campaign various promises were made by the Unionists to keep us from voting for Independence; in the case of Gordon Brown a late intervention of a guaranteed promise of “Full Fiscal Autonomy” (FFA) if we voted to stay in the Union; which in simple terms means to give Scots the ability to keep, and spend as we wish, all taxes raised in Scotland.
But now we are seeing the same desperate scare stories that we saw in the later stages of the Independence Referendum campaign to prevent us achieving this. Why should this be so? The Unionists know that achieving FFA at Holyrood will result in huge benefits for Scotland – leading to an unstoppable surge for full Independence.
Before each Westminster Election, the Party in opposition always says the same thing, namely “once we get our hands on the books we will be able to tell you what we will do”.
This of course to a large extent is true and we can only consider pre-election promises of major changes in policy as “speculative”. Politicians are not accountants and can often ignore sound advice given to them by Civil Servants, and at the highest level can often panic when things don’t work out as expected. One incident comes to mind which shows how easily this can happen.
Whilst a Civil Servant and working on taxation figures for the National Budget, I received a phone call from a very anxious Chancellor of the Exchequer, who enquired why the Tax Revenues collected to date were only 50% of the expected figure of 60%. It gave me much pleasure to tell him that due to a Scottish bank holiday the figure of revenues from the Scottish Whisky Industry had failed to arrive in time to be included in the current total. The next week the figure shot up to 72%.
Whilst times have greatly changed and payments from most large companies go directly to London, (which will cause some disentangling problems when we get Full Fiscal Autonomy) but the bottom line is always the same: Only by getting full control of both tax raising and spending powers will Scotland thrive. The unionist media are scared stiff of this happening and, as they do know the position of Scotland’s hidden wealth, we will see an even wider fear campaign leading up to the 7th May.
Some facts that emerged prior to the Referendum are worth recalling.
Firstly. Scottish taxpayers have for the last 33 years paid more tax per head of population than their counterparts south of the Border.
Secondly. The “Financial Times”, a newspaper which values its international reputation for honesty and integrity above any political expediency, published in detail on 2 February 2014 how much better off Scotland would be from Day 1 of gaining Independence (my article was printed in the Scots Independent of February 2014 and can also be viewed on my blog athttp://scotlandowntwofeet.blogspot.co.uk).
Most senior Westminster politicians that I encountered during my career had scant knowledge of how the financial system works. One of the best current examples is Danny Alexander, whom in a letter I sent to all Highland local newspapers he was described by me as “a mere puppet, reading from a script given to him, whilst his Tory masters pulled the strings” (only the Danny loving “Inverness Courier” failed to publish).
Now we are back to pre-referendum scare mongering in a last ditch effort by the pals Labour and the Tories to prevent the SNP from sweeping the boards on May 7th and lead the way to fiscal autonomy with our powerful presence in Westminster.
Let us take one example of their false manipulations. The fall in oil prices has been seized upon with glee to claim that this would bankrupt an Independent Scotland. Nothing could be further from the truth. From the start of the “Oil Boom”, some £250 billion of Scottish Tax Revenues have gone directly to the London Exchequer and added directly to the Consolidated Fund (containing taxes raised from all other sources), resulting in only a minor addition to the funding given to Scotland through the Barnett Formula. However, with either Independence or full financial control through “Full Fiscal Autonomy”, every penny would belong to Scotland. Even if the financial yield were to fall by 50%, it would result in a vast improvement to finances to what is currently provided through the Barnett Formula. This is just an example why the Unionists will not give Scotland full fiscal control.
Where are you hiding Gordon Brown?