Devo-minimal

5
Have your say

Joe Darby (Letters, 19 June) rightly points out that a significant proportion of the electorate want more powers for the Scottish Government.

Voters were denied the option of devo-max on the ballot paper whereby the Scottish Government would gain control of all tax and spending and make a contribution to Westminster towards spending on defence and foreign affairs.

In the event of a No vote in September this option is not being offered by any of the Westminster parties, and nor is it likely that it will be offered in my lifetime.

Mr Darby has at least worked out that the devo-mini options being promised will likely mean an end to the Barnett formula and seems very relaxed about that.

What he doesn’t say is that an end to Barnett would result in a near 14 per cent cut in the level of public spending in Scotland – this on top of the likely future cuts in spending resulting from the austerity drive at Westminster.

Of course, we could raise taxes to offset this cut in spending. If income tax is devolved (the only one of the five major taxes being offered by the Westminster parties) we could raise this to offset the cut in spending.

I am deeply concerned that the electorate talks in terms of more powers.

The various devo-mini promises on the table do not give us more powers. As Mr 
Darby rightly points out, they will give us lower spending and/or significantly higher income tax rates.

The only option on the table that will give us more powers is a Yes vote in September.

Andrew S R Gordon

Craiglockhart View

Edinburgh

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