Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Academically speaking, it's the blunt truth

London School of Economics academic John Kay, quoted in the Scotsman after making the snide claim that Scotland doesn't need to worry about the devolution of welfare leading to "benefit tourism", because we won't have the money to increase benefits anyway...

"Bluntly at the moment there is a great deal of discussion of people wanting more powers in Scotland when what they really mean is they want more money for the powers that Scotland in large part already has. And bluntly that money isn’t coming either from a block grant or from taxes."

Bluntly, if Scotland was given control over its own natural resources, as it bluntly would be perfectly possible to do within a devolved system, it bluntly seems obvious that we would have more money to spend on welfare if we so chose. But bluntly, we know that we'll be getting income tax powers anyway, and to be blunt, that means it will be possible to tax the wealthy more and redistribute that money to the poorest via the benefits system. Let's be blunt, Professor Kay - for you to pretend that won't be possible, and to claim that our desire for democratic self-government is just a disguised squeal for extra cash, makes you look, bluntly, like a bit of a Thatcherite ideologue. Particularly as your sole reason for all this bluntness is to prevent welfare being devolved, which is bluntly a rather transparent agenda.

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