Crisis? What crisis?

The imagery of Nicola Sturgeon enjoying the sunshine in California, touting her independence dream is powerful, when back home Scotland teeters on the edge of recession.

Scotland_First_Minister_30885

In the last economic quarter growth in 2016 (oct-dec) the UK economy grew by 0.7%, while in Scotland it fell by -0.2%. If we witness another fall of economic growth next quarter we will be officially in recession.

The cause of the Scottish slump, according to the SNP, is ‘brexit’. Yet their reasoning lacks coherence. For if ‘Brexit’ has caused the economic slowdown in Scotland, then it equally must be responsible for the economic speed-up in England. Now I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound very logical.

The wider picture in all of this is the actions of the SNP government. It is far more honest to blame them for the poor state of Scotland’s economic potential. And the blame games of Derek MacKay (SNP finance secretary) aren’t cutting any ice. He actually has the brass-neck to blame the voters for the slowdown. Yes, that is his implication when he tries to blame Brexit. Us voters are too stupid or easily startled by the whole brexit process that we’re not spending enough cash in his economy. Never mind retail spending actually grew during the same period the wider economy slowed down…those are just thorny facts undermining the SNPs excuse narrative.

Let’s take a look at the parts of the Scottish economy which shrank, and then decide the ‘why. Over the course of 2016 food & beverage (-6.6%), textiles (-11.6%), refining (-8.3%), metals,(-6.3%) computers (-5.9%), transport equipment (-8.85%) & assorted others (-6.7%) all contracted. That means in all of these sectors, also including construction and investments, saw reduced economic activity. Fewer jobs, less wealth creation, reduced growth for our society.

And the ‘why’ is startlingly obvious and myriad. The SNP have put business rates up (from 1.3 to 2.6), income tax, stamp duty and council tax. Scotland is now the highest taxed part of the entire UK. I put it to you that that has something to do with the economic slowdown.

Then there is Nicola’s touting of separation mrkII to anyone with a microphone. 64% of all Scottish exports in goods and services goes to our partners in the UK. That means England, Wales, Northern Ireland. Any credible threats of separation of the ilk Sturgeon is promoting would adversely affect market confidence. Investors, businesses looking to expand, construction giants with portfolios and future projects – they’re all telling the same story. Talk of indyref2 has adversely impacted on their willingness to pursue investment opportunities in Scotland or with Scottish partners. Independence would mean the termination of our optimal currency zone on these isles, it would end the free movement of goods, services, people between Scotland and England. Is it any wonder that we’re seeing industry in Scotland impacted by this threat?

But not to worry! Nicola Sturgeon is in California, discussing separation and trying to take credit for the fruits of Scottish Enterprise long efforts to secure investment.

I’m reminded of 1979 and ‘Crisis? What crisis?’

Journalist Brian Monteith summed it up, ‘Sturgeon Slump’.

5 comments

  1. I’m not seeing a plan for turning these areas around. I am fucking sick of the opposition screaming and wailing about “ScotRef uncertainty”, especially by the same party which caused the Brexit uncertainty in the first place, without proposing a single plan of action.

    Re-reading your post, the only thing you even come close to suggesting is perhaps cutting that tax back to 1.3% from 2.6%. Also, shutting up about independence. Very helpful, great contribution.

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  2. Just more yoon bullshit. This crap has already been debunked on Wings. Do your homework and come up with something that might have some credibility instead of spouting MSM nonsense. You might get some respect if you do. Great cartoon on Wings today that really answers your assertion.

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  3. Ah, you’re back with more nonsense. The only part of the U.K. with growth is the South East of England. Most of Northern England, all of Wales, and NI have done worse than Scotland. The people who hold the economic levers are your Tory compatriots in London, not the Scottish Government.

    You really are pathetic. You never say what the Scottish Government could do, within its powers, to change this situation, because the required powers are reserved and exercised by your party in London.

    My contempt for you has not dimished during your absence.

    You still have nothing to offer but Ruth Davidson’s second hand jobbies.

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  4. Ruthie defends Rape Clause. Are you fine with that?
    Motability scooters confiscated. Are you fine with that?
    People told they are fit for work when they die 7 days later. Are you fine with that?

    I could go on. How can you defend these people?

    Do you really think that your values and theirs align?

    Do you really think the people who live in Scotland are better off under English tory rule?

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  5. I have to admit that you haven’t been missed. I was going to comment on your latest post but everything I wanted to say has been said by others. The most important points are that Westminster have most of the levers and only London and the South East are doing well. The rest of the UK is in the same boat as Scotland, and they don’t have the threat of an Independence Referendum.

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