The Better Together Tax

Kezia’s got a brand new plan. On the day that Jackie Baillie publishes an article for a Labour blog saying that we need more honesty in Scottish politics, you might think that we’d had our quota of irony for the week, but then Kezia goes and meets her irony and raises her some parody with a wizzard wheeze that even on a cursory inspection isn’t so much a wheeze as a death rattle for an expiring party, the Better Together Tax. Yes dear reader, Labour wants you to pay for the privilege of being a part of this great Union and having all your public services slashed by Tory basterts that not only did you not vote for, but that no one you know voted for either.

There’s your Union dividend right there, it’s a dividend you pay to the Union. You get crap public services, low wages and high taxes. You get all the things that the No campaign claimed you’d get with independence, only without any of the advantages. You don’t get self-determination and the Scottish parliament doesn’t get the ability to apply economic measures that benefit Scotland, but hey you do get patriotic baked goods programmes and lots of royal fawning on your state broadcaster, nuclear missiles in your back garden, and a democratic deficit. You may, as a bonus prize, be estranged from the rest of the European continent even though you faithfully attended classes in conversational German at your local community centre right up until it was closed in the round of service cuts before this one. Gawd bless Britain eh.

Labour fought alongside the Tories during the referendum campaign to prevent Scotland having the ability to make its own decisions, and then connived with them in the Smith Commission to add so much water to the promises of the No campaign that a homoepathic remedy appears strong smelling by comparison. Vote Yes and you’ll have to pay higher taxes they alarumed. And now after a No vote they’re planning to put them up anyway. Labour wants Scottish workers to pay for Labour’s own hypocrisy. That’s hypocrisy squared that is, that’s Jackie Baillie on Reporting Scotland complaining that her views on the NHS never get publicity. That’s James Kelly appearing on Britain’s Got Talent as a wit and ranconteur. That’s Ian Murray shedding a tear when he’s excluded from a vote in the Commons.

Labour wants to increase the rate of income tax by a penny in the pound. But because Labour and its Tory and Lib Dem pals spent more energy than the Duracell Bunny on steroids when it came to stopping Scotland getting proper tax powers, all that’s currently available to Holyrood is increasing all the income tax bands by the same amount. Labour didn’t want Holyrood to have the ability to tax businesses, it only wanted Holyrood to have the ability to tax human beings. Because human beings vote, and unfortunately for Labour most of them in Scotland currently vote SNP. Maybe if Labour could force the SNP to raise taxes then people would stop voting SNP? However since the SNP are currently showing no inclination to walk into the cunning trap, Labour has decided to do it for them, in order to demonstrate how it should be done. The upshot of the plan means that the poorest paid taxpayers will see tax rises as well as the better off. This is Labour’s idea of progressive taxation. The only thing progressive about it is that it progressively buries Labour a bit more.

When your great hope is the slogan “One in four taxpayers won’t pay more” you’re as well as putting “We’re totally screwed” on the first page of your manifesto. Even a three year old knows that what Labour’s slogan means is “Three out of four taxpayers will pay more.” And those who will pay more are the nurses, care workers, ambulance drivers, teachers and teaching assistants, nursery staff, community support workers, and all the other public service workers whose wages have been progressively squeezed over the past few years.

Even from a political party which had an image of efficiency and capability this would be a dumb move. Sadly for Labour the only image they are still capable of is gobsmacking us with their own stupidity. That’s something they’re amazingly efficient about.

Ah but, say Labour, the poorest paid will qualify for a rebate, tax return, freebie, gift, of £100 from their local authority. That means that the lowest paid won’t be penalised after all, so there, we are so pure dead progressive and forward thinking. And James Kelly MSP lights up a room with his sparkling wit and repartee.

Scotland’s budget gets cut because of decisions made by a government which has insignificant support in Scotland, and which takes no heed of Scottish opinion. Labour fought for that. Better Together means we get to pay twice, in Tory cuts and in Labour tax rises. Meanwhile our public services suffer, our infrastructure deteriorates, and the Westminster grindstone crushes the seeds of something better.

If this is a policy decided in a focus group, then Labour need to go to Specsavers because this policy isn’t focussed at all. Just how are local authorities going to identify the lowest paid taxpayers in order to refund them the money that Labour has clawed out of their pay packet? Labour doesn’t know. How much is it going to cost to administer this process and how long will it take for the systems to be put in place? Labour doesn’t know. Is this money not going to count as income in the eyes of the Inland Revenue and be subject to tax, so it might not really be £100 after all? Labour doesn’t know. Will any money raised by Holyrood to make up the cuts imposed by Westminster merely provoke a further reduction in the block grant? Labour doesn’t know. Will Labour in Scotland raise taxes on Scotland’s low and middle earners every time that their former Tory allies cut the block grant? Labour won’t say.

Scotland’s voters do know. They know that Labour is clueless and inept. They’ll have their say on Labour’s Better Together Tax in May.

BUTRT cover front(1)BARKING UP THE RIGHT TREE Barking Up the Right Tree has now been published and is an anthology of my articles for The National newspaper. You can submit an advance order for the book on the Vagabond Voices website at

Price is just £7.95 for 156 pages of doggy goodness. Order today!

A limited number of signed copies of the two volumes of the Collected Yaps is also still available. See below for order details.

Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

Donate Button

Order the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug Vols 1 & 2 for only £21.90 for both volumes. A limited number of signed copies is still available, so get your order in now! P&P will be extra, approximately £3 per single volume or £4 for both sent together. If you only want to order one volume, please specify which. Single volumes are available for £10.95 per copy.

To order please send an email with WEE GINGER BOOK ORDER in the subject field to giving your name, postal address, and email address and which volumes (1, 2 or both) you wish to order. I will contact you with details of how to make payment. Payment can be made by Paypal, or by cheque or bank transfer.

28 comments on “The Better Together Tax

  1. David Agnew says:

    This is just face melting levels of stupidity.

    Vote labour to make Scotland the highest taxed region in the UK, so we can mitigate Tory cuts that the UK labour party abstained/voted for in Westminster. But hey soor plooms, the poor will totally get a £100 from the cooncil which will be paid for by raising their cooncil tax. But hey just in case you think this is a daftie notion that isnae costed dinnae worry, oor pals in HMRC will treat it as income and take it aw back in tax.

    Anyone who tells ye that it can’t work because HMRC who is collecting 60% of Scotlands tax, will also get 60% of the extra tax revenue with no evidence to suggest we’ll get it back are just big soor plooms.

    So don’t be a soor ploom – be a choob and vote labour.

    Scottish labour – we don’t half talk a load of pish!

  2. […] Source: The Better Together Tax […]

  3. The Scottish Play says:

    Ring the alarum bell….

    ‘Vote Yes and you’ll have to pay higher taxes they alarumed. And now after a No vote they’re planning to put them up anyway.’


    The sum total of Labour’s aspirations for Scotland – you can aspire in Scotland to raise Income Tax by a sgillinn…. to counter the austerity Labour voted for .. or did they abstain?

  4. macart763M says:

    Nail on head Paul.

    The nature of Labour and Devolution – Capitulate – Offset – Mitigate

    I asked a question on here recently – “Is our devolved government/settlement supposed to be about using an allocated budget and restricted legislative competence to constantly offset the economic decisions and direction of central government?”

    Labour’s answer to that question would apparently be – ‘Why yes. Yes it is.’

    Soooo a Scottish Government shouldn’t fight this current settlement, (voted for by everyone in commons who couldn’t give a shit about the Scottish electorate), it should take it on the chin and use those new fangled super tax powers to beggar its already hard pressed population, cut its own throat politically and neuter its parliament.

    Sounds appealing.

    Oh Jeez!😀

    • Soar Alba says:

      I was driving behind a car two days ago that was festooned on the inside with Union Jack cushions and stickers on the back window saying that they were proud Scots but glad to be together.

      I wonder what type of guilt makes then want to tell us why they are “proud Scots”. I certainly don’t believe them.

      • macart763M says:

        Aye, often wondered that myself. Well regardless of how anyone voted in the referendum, we all better get behind the Scottish government in their discussions with the Westminster settlement, because whatever the outcome, that settlement affects all of us. This is, after all, where Better Together and the Westminster government supposedly deliver on their pledges, statements and promises.

        People need to get their heads round the fact that this is NOT about parties, its about an international treaty, a constitutional settlement and the relationship of one nation to another.How they agree to live and govern together. So we all better pray that the SG are on their game, because frankly I don’t think the establishment gives a shit how proud a Scot they are. The UK state’s record on delivering on promises isn’t much to shout about.

  5. HeehawBaws says:

    Still the Wile.E Coyote.

  6. Sooz says:

    I saw elsewhere (I think it was Derek Bateman) that the SNP punted this idea of a 1p extra tax back in 1999 when we had a handful of seats and Labour were king of the castle. Labour nearly snapped all its own blood vessels and exploded in a shower of sparks, shouting about how the poorest would suffer and what a dreadful idea it was. Yes, it was an ill-advised policy at the time, but it would be a put-your-head-on-this-block-while-we-chop-your-head-off policy to introduce now, what with Westminster ready to snatch back what they can from the yearly pocket money we get.

    This 1p tax wheeze is being set up as Labour’s continuing attempt to use emotional blackmail to secure some seats. It all happened on Twitter, where an eager Labour spark was squeaking excitedly about planning to suggest to voters that if they didn’t want to pay 1p extra to save Scottish services it would mean they were bastards. I think they’re about to have their Wile E. Coyote canyon plunge scenario.

  7. […] Source: The Better Together Tax […]

  8. Papadox says:

    Yep as a nation (Scotland) we voted for this crap so let the NAWBAGS lap it up. SLAB should be given a double dose for their greed and treachery. They were prepared to destroy themselves for “their” UNION and they did.

  9. Capella says:

    @ Sooz. It was here

    Is it not the case that the East Kilbride tax office is to be closed and the processing moved to somewhere in England? Asset stripping with intent.
    The whole process is farcical.

  10. Micky Ross says:

    “…the Westminster grindstone crushes the seeds of something better.”
    You’re really quite good at this.

  11. Kezia’s winning strategy to win the May election is to raise income tax and to raise council tax? Awesome blossom! Keep it up Kez! I think another 1 – 2 strategy will win the day.

  12. Giving Goose says:

    It would be interesting to find out who in the Labour Party came up with this cunning wheeze.
    I suspect that it is someone close to local government.
    Councils, especially Labour run councils, love to put in place extra layers of bureaucracy.
    That’s because it results in the creation of an extra department in the council, which means a Labour official and his/her relatives and cronies will get jobs in the department and in the supply chain for the proposed department.
    It’s little empire building.
    The costs are horrendous and it’s the poor punters who have to stump up the bill.
    But Labour don’t care because it’s always been about Jobs for the boys/girls; Labour boys and girls.
    Councils have historically been extremely overloaded with spurious departments delivering spurious services to non-existing service users.
    This plan by Labour smacks of this.
    It also smacks of utter betrayal of the Scottish electorate.
    Betrayal and personal nest lining.
    That’s Labour for you.

  13. Gavin.C.Barrie says:

    The BetterTogetherTax, now there is a slogan!

    And the £100 “award” from the council then treated as income? Ha ha.

    Scotlabour are doing it deliberately.

  14. Michael Dillon says:

    Fantastic, made me glad I contribute to your fundraiser, “the better together tax” was worth it on its own. Why don’t we make the tax voluntary for yes voters but compulsory for no voters. That seems fair.

    • Patience is a Virtue says:

      The other flaw in Labour’s inane proposal of course, is that you need a majority in Parliament to pass your proposed legislation, by a strange democratic quirk this did not pass for them today in the Scottish Parliament.

      Perhaps the MSM might wish to place a little more emphasis on the fact that it was Labour who voted for and imposed ‘austerity’ on these Isles in their pact with the Conservatives – this fact has not however gone unnoticed by the voters and the fruits of their endeavours will no doubt be harvested come May.

  15. kat hamilton says:

    the witterings of kez scotland on scotland tonight was truly gobsmacking in its hypocracy. to deny scotland its right to self determination, thwart every aspect of the scotland bill and now bleet on about services being cut and the need for tax rises. john mackay did little to challenge her on her inate rambling…time for posters reminding voters of their walk of shame with the tories, broon and darling and all their promises. it would be potent stuff..

  16. […] there was one); the rebate was unworkable and possibly ‘illegal’; the tax rise was a ‘unionist’ tax to pay for Tory […]

  17. was immediately banned from SLAB page for posting this , seems they didn’t like it. Share far and wide

  18. brewsed says:

    Despite being an unworkable proposition for all the reasons detailed here and elsewhere, the usual suspects have granted this nonsense uncritical media coverage and, possibly, that is all what was desired. A bit like a bairn doing something stupid just to get attention and, when caught out, going all ‘No Ma, it wasna me. It was them big boys, Goggsie Brown and his pals, they put me up to it’. Tears before bed/poll time I suspect.

  19. gavin says:

    The Brian Spanner Fan Club ( AKA all the Brit Nat hacks) must have been rubbing their grubby little paws when they got word of this——-then Baillie let rip in all her flatulent fatuousness, letting the cat out of the bag——“forget the details” she whinnied ( because she had none)——hahahaha—-whit a plonker !

  20. 1314 says:

    Hi Paul – I’m sure you can have much more fun than with this than I can. From today’s Herald.

    “Tories vow to stand ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with SNP against income tax.”

    Tories – we know we’re toxic. Associate SNP with us. Toxic SNP. Vote Labour, Liberal or, well, anybody except the toxic SNP.

    Last year Labour advocating votes for the Tories – – – for anybody but the SNP.

    Shurely shome connection.

  21. JimK Kidd says:

    Apologies for coming late to this thread, but is Labour not simply reworking Osborne’s taunt in Parliament of “put up or shut up” on cuts ? Looks to me that Labour are lining up with Gideon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s