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England - a second class nation

Telegraph | News | The great divide

Anne Reay, 30, and her husband, Andrew Walker, 58, look upon the River Tweed, a mile from their log home in Northumberland, in much the same way as Mexicans regard the Rio Grande: it is what divides them from a more prosperous life. The only difference is that it's easier to cross, something the couple are planning to do next year.....
It is no accident that residents north of the border seem to get a better deal from their councils and the NHS. In the tax year 2005/06, according to the Government's Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis 2006, English residents benefited from public spending of £6,762 per head. Scottish residents, on the other hand, are indulged to the tune of £8,265 per head: 22 per cent more. It is a gap that has widened over the past generation....The results of extra state spending in Scotland are everywhere to be seen. ...
Yet, in spite of all the extra public expenditure, three of the main parties in Scotland, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Nationalists are all reported to be considering campaigning in next year's Scottish Parliament elections on a ticket of cutting income tax. They are able to contemplate this thanks to a clause in devolution legislation that allows the Scottish Parliament to vary the basic rate of income tax by up to 3p in the pound. Until recently, given the Scottish Parliament's propensity for lavishing money - not least on its own building, which ended up costing 10 times its original budget - it was widely presumed that Scottish income tax could only go up. In addition, Scottish Tories have promised to halve council tax for the elderly, in contrast to the lack of tax pledges made by David Cameron south of the border.

Go read the rest - it is refreshing to see one of the invisible elephants in the room politic revealed for a moment - will others follow it up?


The results of the extra state spending are to be found in the moral corrosion of the residents too. State spending is like an addictive drug. At first it seems to confer splendid benefits. Soon you can't live without it. Then you find you are working less and less and end up depending on stealing from others to sustain your habit.

If Scotland were independent, what would the tax rate have to be to sustain their levels of state spending? And which side of the border would look more attractive then? Pace my Scots friends, Scotland is a parasite and the sooner it goes the better -for its own moral good and for our financial (and political) good.

The Irish always complained that they subsidised Britain, but independence showed that the subsidies flowed the other way. It's just conceivable that the same might happen again, unless Scottish independence is deferred until the Oil and Gas is finished.

The Labour Party has bought Scotland, mortgaged with English money but their seats may be at risk if they don't keep up the payments. There will never be anything done about this while Labour are in power.

Yes I read this when I was taking a look at the telegraph site this morning. This kind of disjointed economy is not sustainable in the longer term. Some of the other challenges identified, were not so much regional as red tape and bureaucracy gone mad. Not sure that you can blame the Scottish Parliament for all of the gold at the end of the rainbow thinking. The reality is that you would have to spend time with a different cultural group and the weather is increasingly crap, the further north you go.

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