Joyce McMillan, in her weekly column, never fails to mention that independence would open the door to the “Common Weal” and a “fairer more progressive society”, but she never explains, in practical terms, what these words mean. No doubt, it means different things to different people. We already have free education, healthcare, prescriptions, bus journeys for the over-60s, bedroom tax rebate, care for the elderly, the offer of childcare and more paid for by the taxpayer.
In addition, an unhealthy 50 per cent plus of employment in Scotland is dependent on government spending. Taking into account that middle income earners already pay 50 per cent of their income in taxes (income tax, VAT, council tax, fuel tax, road tax, etc) where does the “fairer, progressive country” go from here?
The Jimmy Reid Foundation has promoted a highly skilled, highly paid economy of smaller companies concentrating on exports as a way to create the wealth required for a more equitable society. This seems like a logical step, but will require significant investment over a long period and doesn’t appear in any party’s manifesto at present.
Linlithgow, West Lothian