THE Scottish Conservatives are preparing to go into the 2007 election with a radical pledge to cut the basic rate of income tax by 3p in the pound, The Scotsman has learned.It's that second paragraph that will cause problems: how are the books to be balanced? The Tories seem to be relying on that old favourite: "cutting bureaucracy and back-office staff". I'm sorry, that won't do. We need to abolish whole swathes of "front-office" government jobs that should never have been in the state sector in the first place.
Party researchers have been told to come up with ways of funding the income tax cut, which would then be adopted as the centrepiece of the Scottish Tory manifesto for the next Holyrood election.
Elsewhere in the Scotsman George Kerevan writes:
Contrary to another myth, cutting tax would not actually reduce the amount of cash spent in Scotland; it would only transfer the spending decision from the Executive to the ordinary citizen.Exactly: the money that could and should be saved by slashing taxes can be recycled back into the economy via spending on privatised "schools 'n' hospitals", ones that would work far better than the "bog standard" products of the welfare state. I fear that we'll have to wait a little bit longer before the Scottish Tories campaign along these lines. Eventually, someone will.