Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Any politician who says that you can get everything without some cost is selling you a line. I promise to treat the electors like adults. Currently 54% of Scotland's GNP is government spending. No independent free enterprise economy has or can sustain such a rate. Scotland also spends 25% more per person on services & gets, on balance, worse service for it. We will support modern efficient management without idealogical strings. We will freeze all current ministerial budgets & put a limit on hiring new civil servants in any department which has not achieved 2% manpower cuts annually (this is less than the normal retirement rate & sp can be done without redundancies). We would also look at each ministry for areas where costs do not match achievements or indeed, as often happens, conflict with other government spending & cut ruthlessly.

For example Scottish Enterprise spends £500 million annually. If we accept that politicians spending our money are less adept at picking business winners than experienced investors spending their own then obviously the Scottish Enterprise money could be much better motivated by spending SE's money on business tax cuts. We accept that there are cases where politicians have a strategic overview that allows them to choose options not, in practice, open to normal investors but the fact that so much of SE's money is being wasted on such things as making "Scotland a world leader in windfarms" show that there decisions have been made entirely on political rather than economic interests. This is a complete waste of money.

There is no serious doubt that industry would benefit more from having its taxes cut by that much. We would continue this process even after growth has been achieved & would therefore, in due course, but only when financially prudent, make the 3p "tartan tax" income tax cut available.

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