Thursday, 12 February 2009


As Mrs Thatcher once famously said, "you turn if you want to ... the lady is not for turning."

Well Alex Salmond and the SNP Scottish Government obviously don't share Mrs T's perspective. Amidst all the bluster from John Swinney MSP about why the Government had to back down, the fundamental reason, which he didn't mention, was that the Scottish Parliament didn't actually have the power to introduce a local income tax under the terms of the Scotland Act.

"Alex Salmond stood accused of the most humiliating U-turn of the devolution era after the Scottish Government yesterday ditched its pledge to replace the council tax with a local income tax. Finance Secretary John Swinney blamed the economic downturn, Westminster cuts and Holyrood arithmetic, but Labour called it "the most humiliating climb-down since devolution" and evidence of a "government in meltdown". Mr Swinney told the Scottish Parliament the government would not be proceeding with its plan to introduce a Local Income Tax before the next election in 2011. Instead, he railed against the Treasury and plans for £500m of cuts, and attacked Labour and the Conservatives for being opposed to the plan."

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