New Scottish Government Economic Strategy: Corp Tax and Inequality
Stephen Boyd, STUC
The Scottish Government claims that ‘increasing competitiveness’ and ‘tackling inequality’ – the ‘twin pillars’ on which the strategy is built – are ‘mutually supportive’. But what does this actually mean? Haven’t the supply side reforms implemented over the past four decades in the name of boosting competitiveness directly exacerbated inequality? Boosting competitiveness has usually been code for deregulation of labour and product markets, tax cuts for business and wealthy individuals and anti-union legislation.
This isn’t the Scottish Government’s agenda and it would be ridiculous to paint the new strategy in this way. But it will be impossible to tackle inequality effectively without implementing measures which have for a long time now been regarded as bad for competitiveness. So big challenges for the Scottish Government, and those organisations like ours that want to see the strategy work and for employer representative organisations who have tended to pursue a very narrow agenda on competitiveness. I’ll try to explore some of these issues in future blogs.
Finally, while the Scottish Government has failed to produce a compelling inequality reduction strategy it’s probably worth pointing out that the opposition has hardly covered itself in glory on this issue. If Jim Murphy wants to ‘end inequality’ (an outcome irreconcilable with any functioning economic system ever devised) he might start thinking about how Labour will start to address the issues neglected in today’s strategy.
See the full article here.