Thursday, 18 November 2010

The Scottish Parliament loses it's tax raising powers....

You could not make it up.

In 1997, the people of Scotland voted 2:1 in a referendum to give the Scottish parliament tax raising powers. At the time, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) invested £12 million to install the IT and other infra-structure to set up the necessary system to vary of tax in Scotland should the Parliament choose to use their new powers.

HMRC were paid £50,000 a year to maintain the system.As it turns out, the powers have never been used, although, some would now argue (notably the Green Party) that we should indeed use our tax raising powers to help in the current financial climate.

The SNP came to power in 2007, and they stopped paying the subscriptions. Somewhere along the line, an upgrade of the system was required, costing £7 million, which the Nats did not/ would not pay. They were invoiced this August apparently.

So, what we learned today is that the sytem is no longer functional, and would take until 2013-14 to get it going again.This means that if we did want to use tax varying powers, we would not be able to.

All thanks to a Nationist government.

John Swinney is protesting that he has saved the ScotGov £7 million. Well, thank you John, but seeing as we voted to have this power, should you not have consulted with us before letting it go?

This is typical SNP. making decisions on our behalf that they think are in our best interests, without checking first.

More ammunition for the election next year.

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