Wednesday 20 November 2002

Fiscal Independence

This topic just won't go away:
Professor Donald MacRae, chief economist of Lloyds TSB Scotland, told an audience at the University of Abertay Dundee, that reserved fiscal powers are limiting the potential of Scotland’s economy, and that the country is falling well behind its competitors in terms of business growth
Members of the Scottish Parliament can't be expected to exercise proper responsibility unless they raise their own revenue:
Fiscal devolution brings fiscal responsibility and accountability - tax and spend becomes truly tax and spend, not just spend.

I was rather surprised to see that Scotsman columnist Bill Jamieson sees merit in fiscal devolution:

MacRae is at pains not to do down the Scottish economy as a hopeless and irredeemable failure. But he rightly identifies the core problem: the structural asymmetry that has left the Scottish parliament as a spending and tax revenue disbursement machine with none of the real choice-making and discipline that comes with having to raise the money to be spent. Scotland’s MSPs have no real concern for the health and wealth of Scotland’s economy, since their powers are limited to dividing up the Westminster block grant.
Absolutely. Let's make our politicians really responsible for their actions.