"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery."
Mr. Micawber from Charles Dickens' David Copperfield
So more or less sums up the SNP's policy on how the Scottish Local Authorities are to help them get out their education quagmire. In the 2007 Manifesto Fiona Hyslop told us that a Scottish Government would "Maintain teacher numbers...place greater emphasis on recruitment for the early years, languages and science." They also promised smaller class sizes for Primaries 1,2 and 3.
Now however, she is asking the Councils whose tax raising power has been frozen by the Parliament to borrow £10m to help early retirement of older teachers so that the newly qualified can take their place.
Hang on. Does this mean that currently we have a surplus of teachers in Scotland? Does that mean that we have people who if they could all be employed could actually enhance the standard of education of our children? Does that mean that there is also £10m that is available for education which the SNP Government is willing to loan out? Why only loan out?
The SNP made all these promise about education, they said that they would foot the bill. However, whilst restricting annual income to a certain level they are encouraging local authorities to borrow to provide for funding which they themselves had promised to give for education. Not only that they are determining how it should be spent, rather than how it can best be used locally.
It sounds very much like Mr Micawber to me, and we know that he ended up in the poorhouse. Is that where Scottish education and our Local Authorities are going to end up thanks to Fiona Hyslop and the incompetent SNP education policy.
What is telling is that Fiona Hyslop is saying that the scheme is designed to break even by replacing teachers at the top end of the pay scheme with those at the lowest. Hang on again. Isn't this the SNP who in last weeks Queen's Speech Party Broadcast slammed the other three main parties for making spending cuts. This sounds like a cut to me.
Not only that but a cut that will place the education of our children and young people out of the hands of experienced hands and more into the hands of newly qualified teachers. Those experienced teachers are also people who are needed to mentor younger members of the profession.
So if we are training a surplus to our current replacement requirements, can't gainful employment be found for all, to help increase our level of education? And why are we making the Local Authorities pay for something else, this case by borrowing, when the SNP have asked them to hold their level of taxation. When the freeze is finally lifted, what hike will the Council Tax Payer (as the SNP have reneged on Local Income Tax) have to face to pay for all this.