EFFECTIVE attack by Iain Gray MSP today (in The Sun) on SNP plans for a “local” income tax. Iain rightly points out that with so many organisations opposing the plan, it would be “unpardonable folly” (now, where have we heard that before?) to proceed with it.
I don’t believe they will. Nor do I believe they ever intended to.
Alex Salmond is many things and “stupid” is not one of them. “Breathtakingly cynical” is, however. The SNP “government” desperately need excuses for the growing number of manifesto pledges they’re unable to deliver, and apart from their flagship referendum promise, this is the biggest one.
Of course, they could admit their own culpability. But let’s face it, that’s not going to happen, is it? Far easier to blame someone else: the classic “a big boy done it and ran away” excuse, the “big boy”, in this case, being the government (as opposed to “government”). Yes, the plans are fatally flawed, and yes, everyone – including members of the Scottish Executive – can see that. The SNP’s financial reasoning is about as watertight as… well, as something that’s not very watertight at all, actually.
No, the aim of Salmond and Co. is not to introduce a local income tax, or even a “local” income tax; their aim is to fail to introduce it, blame the UK government and then hold a referendum, citing Westminster’s alleged sabotage as a reason to break up our nation.
We should be grateful to Iain for exposing the plans as unworkable; the blame for this new tax’s ultimate non-introduction will lie full square in Bute House and nowhere else.