Friday 25 April 2003

Scotland's Problem

There is an excellent article in The Scotsman today by Fraser Nelson. He explains why our high level of "public" spending is the cause of our economic decline and not its solution:
Money is no object for Jack McConnell - his administration is so rich that, for the first time, government spending in Scotland will this year be more than half the size of the country’s entire economy.

But how can this be, when Scotland’s cities are home to some of the most appalling pockets of poverty in Western Europe and hospitals queues are increasing? There is no more important question in Scottish politics - and the answer strikes to the heart of devolution.

Fraser Nelson was, I believe, the first to point out that Scotland has already achieved the European levels of state spending on health that Tony Blair desires for the rest of the UK and yet Scotland has Britain's highest level of dissatisfaction with the NHS. Nelson has also regularly asked why the Tories haven't made extensive use of this information. Read the whole of his article today to see what we are up against.