Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Nats Stumble into Another Tax Raising Dilemma

Bernard Salmon, and others, have raised some interesting questions about the SNP plans to set a minimum price for alcohol.

The first is under EU legislation is it not impossible to set a minimum price for any good, the freedom to price a product in our competitive market is up to the retailer. One of the last bastians of minimum pricing the book market in recent years has seen competitive pricing in their field.

The second is that the only way to ensure a minimum price would be to set a tax on alcohol, where yet again the Nats appear to be overstepping hte mark of a devolved governemnt and appear to be acting as if they have already gained independence. The fact is that customs and excise duties are set by Westminster, the Scottish Parliament has no power to alter these rates.

What I'm seeing developing is actually a conning plan hatched by Alex Salmond's own personal Baldrick. The Nats will keep making proposals which push right up, indeed often, over their ability to deliver under the powers given as a devolved Parliamnet. End result they struggle to implement these policies. The reason they tell the people is not because they are unworkable or ineffective or because of being unable to gain a majority of support in Holyrood.

Oh no! What they will tell the people is that the reason that they have been unable to deliver is because their hands are tied by Westminster. They will use this argument to go into a referendum, listing all the things they could have done, is a send up of Jim Bowen from Bulleyes.

I can see it know Alex Salmond in an Independence Referendum Broadcast pulling back that curtain and saying "Great!" Smashin'! Super! People of Scotland here's what you could have won." But instead of caravans and speed boats will be a raft of over promised under delivered policy announcement.

It's a scarey though but don't have nightmares.

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