A two-way street

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In HER foreward to the Scottish Government’s proposals to the Smith Commission, Nicola Sturgeon says it is “vital that the Scottish Parliament reaps the rewards of sound decision making”.

As an example, she says if Scotland spends money on the provision of free childcare, it should be able to keep the taxes paid by the parents newly enabled to work.

While she doesn’t say it, presumably she would agree that Scotland should also reap the penalty of unsound decision making. For example, if the Scottish Government funded its childcare pledge by cutting funding for preventative healthcare, and if this led to a greater number of sick days, then Scotland’s grant would have to be reduced by the amount of the taxes lost in consequence of those extra sick days. Or should Scotland only get the upsides?

DOMINIC RAYNER

Gledhow Avenue

Leeds