Liz Truss is looking increasingly like the Conservative version of Jeremy Corbyn – Scotsman comment

As the currency markets continued to cast judgement on the folly of Liz Truss’s economic plans, a debate has erupted over whether the SNP should match Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s tax cuts or allow a further widening of the gap between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Liz Truss and Jeremy Corbyn may be more alike than you might think (Picture: Rob Stothard/Getty Images)
Liz Truss and Jeremy Corbyn may be more alike than you might think (Picture: Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

Given Nicola Sturgeon described last Friday’s mini-budget as “morally abhorrent" and "fiscally reckless", it is unlikely that higher earners can look forward to lower taxes in Scotland any time soon.

However, for all the talk of a brain drain, it would be smart politics – and a practical help to those struggling with the cost-of-living crisis – if the First Minister was to borrow Labour’s idea and cut a penny in the pound off Scotland’s lower tax rates, while maintaining the higher rates of 41 and 46 per cent.

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This would help promote the SNP’s long-term political message that Scotland and the UK are two nations so fundamentally different that independence is the only way for the former to create the kind of society it wants to see.

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Despite the reality that people in Scotland and England are far closer in attitudes than the SNP likes to think, the Prime Minister's actions are helping the nationalist cause.

She is portraying the UK as a place where, in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis in which food banks struggling to cope with demand, children are experiencing increasing rates of malnutrition, and small businesses are reeling from a combination of rising costs and falling consumer spending, its elected leaders think cutting the top rate of tax and scrapping a cap on bankers’ bonuses are priorities.

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Nicola Sturgeon indicates she will not replicate UK tax cuts for high earners

However, no one in the UK actually voted for this, apart from perhaps 80,000 Tory members, some of whom may be already regretting their decision.

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The impression is growing that Truss is the Conservative equivalent of Jeremy Corbyn: similarly foolish and ideological, but sporting a different rosette. Just as Corbyn was a gift to the Tories, Truss hands an air of competence and compassion to both SNP and Labour.

Who will benefit the most from Truss’s inadvertent political largesse may come down to a competition of ideas between the two parties, a process that could actually be useful and necessary to the formulation of a coherent alternative vision. And, heaven knows, we need one.

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