Monday 3 March 2003

The power to tax

Full fiscal freedom is back on the agenda. The idea is that the Scottish parliament be responsible for collecting all taxes in Scotland and then remitting an appropriate amount to London for common UK services. At the moment, taxes are collected by Westminster, which then sends the Scottish parliament its spending money. I accept that most of our MSPs have no conception of the economic or financial facts of life and that initially they would use the tax power unwisely, to put it mildly! Nevertheless, I see no way of making them act responsibly other than by them having to justify their tax policies to the electorate.