SCOTLAND'S leading public finance expert has issued a savage attack on the SNP, accusing it of "lacking the fiscal competence necessary for governing", and describing its plans for tax cuts as "a nonsense".
The language and tone of Mr Midwinter’s comments on the SNP’s financial plans are more appropriate to a press release of a political party rather than a balanced analysis.We're in danger of losing the big picture here. Instead of arguing about 1.5% or 3% efficiency savings, we should be asking this:
Is there a case for voting SNP so as to give Labour a bloody nose?And
Is there a case for voting SNP because you think Scotland should be independent?The real question is whether the country should be independent or remain in the UK. It really isn't a matter of money; it's an emotional thing. The Nationalists are quite correct to say that Scotland could thrive as an independent country, and that would be true even without the oil. Our per-capita GDP is only just below that of the UK as a whole and is close to the European average. What we would need of course is some decent politicians - most of the present lot would have to go.
Answer: Yes. But if you believe this there's no point in being drawn into arguments about the financial minutiae.
I gave my views on the question of the Union here (Scroll down if necessary.)
One of the things I wrote was this:
Anyone knowing history can only be impressed by the overwhelmingly positive things that have come out of the UK. I'm not convinced that the Union's time is up.But I'm beginning to wonder, as are others. For the first time in my life I am approaching an election without knowing for whom I shall vote.