66.6% of Scots support an income tax rise which 70% won’t pay, says Shropshire Star


Unable to access the Herald or Times subscription-restricted sites and with YouGov not publishing its survey results yet, I rely on the Shropshire Times for this. I could have used the Scotsman, but I was feeling queasy at the time. Under the headline:

‘More than half of Scots support income tax rise, poll says’

we read that 54% supported the tax increases proposed by the Scottish Government, 27 % opposed it and 19% were ‘don’t knows’. Women were more supportive than men but there was no age-related difference. Now, if you ignore the ‘don’t knows’ which is what they deserve for not keeping up to date, 66.6% supported the tax changes which 70% won’t even pay.


OK, feeling better, I had a week sneaky peek at the Scotsman report, only to find what I feared would be there – Murdo Fraser. He said:

‘It will stunt growth and hand an advantage to our competitors. That all means less cash for vital public services like schools, hospitals and roads.’


Murdo didn’t offer any evidence for his claim but then he doesn’t have to, in the Scotsman, or the Herald, or on the BBC, or on STV or…………

Is this another wee bit of evidence that we are different enough to want to be independent? Here are some earlier examples from dozens I’ve presented:

8% of the UK population and 28% of living wage employers. More evidence that we are different enough to want to run the whole show?

Scientific evidence that Scots tend to be different from the other groups in rUK?

In a year of terrible events, we can still feel that this wee country is getting better as it drifts away from the callous, post-imperial, values of Tory Britain

Search the blog for ‘different’ if you need more.


19 thoughts on “66.6% of Scots support an income tax rise which 70% won’t pay, says Shropshire Star

  1. John January 19, 2018 / 10:29 am

    Great for The Shropshire Post , oh that we had media in Scotland that took a more honest and even handed view of events , but with unionist press and broadcasters we are never going to get that . More power to your digging arm John , I will repost your blog .

    Liked by 1 person

      • John January 19, 2018 / 12:03 pm

        Wouldn’t put it past them , but what are they trying to say , are they saying if Scotland can do it with very little opposition why can’t we ? Suppose it depends what side of the political divide they are on .

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Bugger (the Panda) January 19, 2018 / 10:42 am

    A dose of the clap is treatable snd will go away.

    Murdo Fraser hasn’t won an election ever, and will never go away so long as he gets into Holyrood by the back door

    Liked by 2 people

    • johnrobertson834 January 19, 2018 / 11:24 am

      We should buy him a present. Back in the day we used to say ‘For the man who has everything, Dettol and a wire brush.’

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Bugger (the Panda) January 19, 2018 / 11:32 am

    Sharp pull though with a Xmas tree

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ludo Thierry January 19, 2018 / 5:46 pm

    Another bit of good news re. the Scottish Budget: (see below):

    James Dornan MSP (Chair of Education Committee) was musing aloud in The National that a wee enquiry to the Charities regulator might be in order should the private, fee-paying, schools in Scotland try and recoup the business rates money they will (soon) be due to pay by reducing or eliminating the ‘bursaries’ offered to some children from ‘ordinary’ financial backgrounds (Typically the talented ‘scholarship’ children who they ‘cream off’ from the state school system to add academic lustre to the private sector exam performance).

    James Dornan makes the logical point that – if a private school is purporting to be a ‘charity’ (and getting financial benefits from that status) – then it has to demonstrate it is carrying out a ‘charitable function’. – which would be doubtful should these bursary places not continue being awarded.

    Step forward one John Edward, director of the Scottish Council of Independent Schools, who immediately suggested: “There is no need for an investigation as nothing has happened. People who think schools are going to reduce bursaries have got the wrong end of the stick.”

    Reassuring to hear. Now – how might people have got this ‘WRONG END OF THE STICK’ I wonder? It couldn’t have anything to do with the statement which that SAME John Edward gave to the Hootsmon in December could it? Let’s refresh our memories shall we? – Just to make sure we’ve got it all straight now. (see below):

    John Edward, director of the Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS) said: “The announcement is, pure and simple, a backwards step by the Scottish Government – taken against advice and evidence from many quarters.
    “If followed through, this proposal…. will impact on those accessing bursary assistance made possible by the reduced rates level.”

    Or how about this from Lisa Kerr (Principal of Gordonstoun)? : Miss Kerr said: “The proposed change…. will impact our ability to offer assisted places”.

    Or how about this from George Heriot’s? : Cameron Wyllie, the principal of George Heriot’s in Edinburgh… told Scotland on Sunday the decision by Derek Mackay, the SNP Finance Minister, will also lead to schools cutting the levels of bursaries they offer for youngsters who are not from wealthy backgrounds.

    Or this: Rod Grant, headteacher at Clifton Hall School, Midlothian, said: “If the Government presses ahead with implementing this recommendation, children from poorer families will be the unintended victims. Clifton Hall School currently supports over 60 children financially (a sixth of our school) and with an extra tax to pay it is these children who will likely pay the penalty.

    Curious how people can ‘..catch the wrong end of sticks’ for no reason whatsoever isn’t it? Good to know that SNP MSPJames Dornan has helped them all get things a little bit clearer in their minds now though, isn’t it? Well done James – full marks!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Ludo Thierry January 19, 2018 / 8:35 pm

    Am puzzled by the Tom Gordon thing in the Herald regarding the character ‘Davey’ in the new SNP PPB; See below:

    Tom GordonScottish Political Editor

    THE SNP have been accused of aping Donald Trump by launching a “dangerous” attack on the freedom of the press in their latest party political broadcast.
    The broadcast, shown on TV on Thursday, appears to lampoon one of the most prominent media commentators on the SNP, the journalist and historian Dr David Torrance.
    The short film shows a character called “Davey” who sports the same glasses and beard as Dr Torrance being ridiculed and abandoned by people at a party for not admiring the SNP.

    Who on earth is ‘Dr.’ David Torrance? – I checked Wicki re. DT’s education history and found this: He matriculated to the University of Aberdeen receiving a degree in psychology and went on to study journalism at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism.

    So – no mention of starting or completing a Doctorate. Surely no deranged BritNat Uni Dept somewhere awarded DT an ‘Hon. Doctorate’? (and he uses the ‘title’?). Has he ‘done an Ian Paisley?’ and purchased a phoney bit of paper from some dodgy American post-box no. degree factory?

    What in hell is going on? – I confess to bering totally and completely puzzled by this appellation non-controlee! Tom Gordon – I think we should be told. (PS Tom – thanks for generating so many extra hits for the SNP PPB – it will surely be considered a true ‘classic’ of the genre from now on in).

    Liked by 2 people

    • johnrobertson834 January 20, 2018 / 10:00 am

      I’m a bit slow clearly. I didn’t spot the similarity though I see it now. Just funny? As for the PhD, wonder what it is/would have been in? I did mine in Propaganda Studies!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Alasdair Macdonald. January 19, 2018 / 9:16 pm

    Here is how the Scottish media would report such poll findings ‘Even those who face no tax rise recognise the unfairness of Scottish Tax rises’.

    If ‘only’ 66.6% of people support tax rises, but 70% will not be paying additional tax, then 3.4% of those who are paying no tax must oppose tax rises. It’s simple arithmetic isn’t it?


    • johnrobertson834 January 20, 2018 / 10:03 am

      Of course, but I must admit I held back from saying they were daft. Ooops, I’ve done it now.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Struan McAteer January 20, 2018 / 9:13 am

    I see that 38º is launching a petition to “help the Scottish NHS”. Here’s what 38º says, but is it accurate, given their sources?:–

    Scotland’s NHS needs our help. New figures show that in one week this year almost 1,500 Scots were forced to wait more than 8 hours – and some as many as 12 hours – to be treated in A&E departments. [1] That’s just not good enough.

    The Scottish Government say the flu crisis is to blame. [2] But this is a problem that’s been bubbling under the surface for a long time. [3] Scotland’s NHS simply needs much more money to provide the world-class service our country deserves.

    The Scottish Government is working out the details of its new budget at the moment. [4] That means there’ll be intense conversations behind closed doors to iron out the details of where money will get spent. If we can get our voices heard in those debates, we can make sure our NHS gets the money it needs.

    Will you sign the petition telling the Scottish Government’s health minister to make sure our NHS gets the funding it needs?


    Things might not be as bad up here as they are down south.But that isn’t much consolation to someone stuck in a waiting room for 12 hours.

    People in Scotland deserve the best healthcare possible – and right now, that isn’t what we’re getting. Whether it’s waiting times, or local hospital services facing cuts, it’s clear that our NHS needs much more funding that it’s getting right now. [5]

    It doesn’t have to be this way. If enough of us speak up, we can show the Scottish Government that they need to take bold action and give the NHS the money it desperately needs.

    Will you sign the petition now to get our NHS the funding it deserves?


    Thanks for everything you do,

    Gordon, Stewart, Blanche, Holly and the 38 Degrees team

    PS. There’s a lot at stake in 2018 – from Brexit to the NHS to our environment. It’s crucial that together, we have a rock solid plan for the year ahead. That’s why over 100,000 of us shared what we think the big challenges will be in 2018, and how we’re going to take them on – and win! Take a look a the results here: https://38d.gs/38degreesin2018

    [1] Daily Record: A&E 12-hour wait shame continues as flu chaos continues to strain NHS:
    [2] The Telegraph: SNP Health Minister: Scottish flu cases have doubled but NHS problems here not as bad as England’s:
    [3]You can read more about issues the NHS is facing in Scotland here:
    The Independent: NHS winter crisis: Lanarkshire health trust drafts in office workers to help with cleaning amid soaring demand for A&E services:
    BBC: Scottish NHS ‘urgently’ needs long-term staffing plan:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-40728831
    Scotsman: NHS Scotland staffing time bomb as one in five Scots nurses over 55 https://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/nhs-scotland-staffing-time-bomb-as-one-in-five-scots-nurses-over-55-1-4646061
    PlanetRadio: Highland hospitals closure threat sparks huge demonstration:
    The Scotsman: Hospitals and NHS Scotland facilities ‘may need to be axed’:
    [4] BBC News: What does 2018 have in store for Scottish politics?:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-42606930 BBC News: Summary of draft budget: Key points at a glance: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-42353784
    [5] The Telegraph: A&E chiefs from 68 hospitals warn patients are ‘dying in hospital corridors’ amid ‘intolerable’ safety risks:


    • johnrobertson834 January 20, 2018 / 9:53 am

      I’ve been ignoring this as it has a very weak basis in its evidence. As you imply, it comes almost entirely from strongly pro-Union sources who would be delighted to find a crisis in NHS Scotland which as we know is not there.

      Liked by 1 person

    • johnrobertson834 January 20, 2018 / 10:04 am

      I did reply to the email asking whose idea it was and why their sources were only newspaper reports.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Alasdair Macdonald January 20, 2018 / 11:46 am

      While, in general, I support the principle of 38 degrees and have supported a number of its campaigns and contributed (irregularly, I must admit), there have been a number of occasions when the most charitable thing I can say is that there seem to be a naive earnestness. This particular campaign and its sources seem to be ill-founded.

      In times of austerity – a political imposition – there is always an argument in favour of at least maintaining funding, but, the argument about health is much more complex than that. There is the changing demographic and the factors associated with that. There is how we provide care in the community so that people can be discharged more quickly from hospitals. There is the question what services can be provided at GP practices and Health Centres. The use of NHS 24 – can it be ‘sharpened’? What about more publicity for MIUs and the creation of more smaller and local units? Increased use of pharmacies. And, without going into detail, there is the issue of health promotion – air quality, promoting diets and exercise in more effective ways than we have now, crime prevention/violence reduction.

      It is simply taken as an unexamined ‘BAD’ that someone is not discharged after 8 or 12 hours. The numbers are relatively small and I am sure that there are data relating to each which can give us reasons why there are such delays. Usually all that is published is an anecdotal vox pop, such as the one describing a Glasgow A&E unit as ‘worse than Syria and Iraq’. (I was actually in at that time being treated and discharged in 3 hours. It was busy, orderly and efficient with remarkably good natured staff.)


      • johnrobertson834 January 20, 2018 / 1:00 pm

        They got a former Yes campaign digitial editor on their staff….?


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