I find myself rather bemused by David Cameron’s pledge to not increase key taxes for five years (your report, 29 May). The general election is increasingly becoming a place where economic reality has been suspended.
On one hand we have the SNP proposing that Scotland’s deficit, one of the largest in the Western world, can be reduced via “full fiscal autonomy” in a manner which involves no difficult decisions or pain for anyone.
Now David Cameron tells us that the UK economy can be balanced without tax rises. Indeed, his commitment to raise the higher rate tax band is actually a tax cut for those lucky enough to be earning over £42,385.
Fortunately, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has assessed both of these pain-free economic models. It found the approach used by both the SNP and the Tories can only result in huge cuts in public services or tax hikes.
Now that David Cameron has ruled out tax rises, we know what the Tories plan for public services. However, real questions remain regarding how the SNP will balance the books.
(Dr) Scott Arthur
Who meets the shortfall to allow the proposed expenditure?
This is a question raised as a result of the Conservatives’ announcement that, should they form the next government, legislation would be introduced in the first 100 days to outlaw any rise in current rates of income tax, national insurance and VAT.
But should we take any notice of this announcement?
A similar announcement was made by David Cameron five years ago and that promise only lasted till he got the keys to number 10! Those proposals demonstrate typical Conservative policies and principals of the rich getting richer and the poor paying a higher proportion of their incomes. There is no progressive taxation in those proposals. So who meets the shortfall of the Conservatives’ spending proposals?
Could it be more of the same as legislation has already been approved (by Labour also) to reduce the welfare budget by £30 billion, putting the burden of government expenditure on our sick, vulnerable and unemployed who have for the past five years paid the price of austerity.
Surely it is time to make those who have more, pay more through progressive taxation.
Catriona C Clark