Monday 10 November 2003

Three letters

The Scotsman carries three letters today about the economy.

Douglas Taylor warns:

What will happen when the boom in job vacancies for welfare liaison officers and senior administrative co-ordinators, that Bill Jamieson refers to (Opinion, 31 October), dries up? Our economy is more dependant on the public sector than is the rest of the UK. So when government spending meets its day of destiny, with the need for a country to pay its way in the world, Scotland’s economy will be disproportionately hard hit.
As Mr Taylor points out, we don't need the advice of leftist economists such as Paul Krugman. We've got quite enough of them here already. Yes, bring back Adam Smith.

Judith Begg writes:

Too often, economists, and indeed politicians, discuss economic policy with out reference to the reality of making it happen, and in the belief that the workforce can be directed to operate in the desirable manner on demand.
The only "direction" that the workforce needs is the one given by its customers in an unregulated market economy. I'm not sure that's what Ms Begg has in mind.

Allison Hunter makes this observation:

For instance, he (Paul Krugman) argued that Scotland could model itself on the economies of the states in the US, without acknowledging that they have a much higher degree of fiscal autonomy than Scotland does.
Not only does Scotland lack fiscal autonomy but so also does the UK itself. A US state may decide whether or not to impose a sales tax - some do, some don't - but the UK must levy VAT as a condition of being a member of the EU. The UK and Scotland need full fiscal freedom.