Alex Salmond disgusts me. The man oozes smugness. I would happily cross the road to avoid him, even if an 18 tonne lorry was careering out of control down the middle of it, driven by Chris Huhne. Salmond is wrong pretty much on every substantial policy decision, and none more so than Scottish independence. Independence would destroy, not help Scotland. It would be an unmitigated nightmare for the Scottish people unless serious reforms took place (ones that a centre left SNP wouldn’t make). However, it just so happens that Scottish independence is something I enthusiastically support, though not for any of the reasons Salmond proposes.
Scotland is the state equivalent of the Daily Mail’s caricature of a welfare scrounger – living the high life on other peoples money. Around £53bn of the UK’s tax take comes from Scotland yet it accounts for almost £64bn of UK expenditure. It spends almost 120% of what it takes in tax, and it can do this because hard working English people bail it out, year after year after year.
Scotland has gotten fat (in many cases literally) off the hard work of the English. Only 1/10 people in Scotland contribute more than they take in tax. When 90% of your population are net tax takers, gaining more from public services than they ever pay into the pot you know you are in trouble.
The country is also one of the terrible examples of democracy. Politicians have promised the earth to get elected: fiscal discipline and living within your means has been thrown out for promises of ever more spending to try to gain the top job. Scotland gets £11,370 per capita in State spending versus £10,320 in England. Scottish voters have gotten used to their politicians throwing money at them: No tuition fees, no prescription charges, no dentistry charges, free care for the elderly, free hospital parking, frozen council tax… the list goes on. The rest of the UK works hard so the Scots don’t have to.
Scotland needs to wake up, with debts attributable to the UK and not to it individually there is no incentive for fiscal discipline and every incentive to spend as much as the country can squeeze out of Westminster.
Scotland is not entirely to blame, trapped inside a currency union with a much more productive Southern England it can not devalue and compete. British politicians have been complicit in feeding the leviathan of the Scottish state which spends well over 50% of Scottish GDP. The Scottish people have been complicit in supporting an ever growing, nannying state.
It is time for the people of England to kick the Scottish parasite from a union that only harms both of us. It is time to return the £10bn a year subsidy, or £150 for every man woman and child, back into the pockets of English tax payers. It is time Scottish voters and politicians faced the consequences of their decisions. No more bail outs for Scotland, no more paying for their ever growing state. Scotland needs tough love, if it wants to grow and prosper it needs to realise that the State can’t tax and spend its way to prosperity. To help their excessive unemployment, to ease the burden on hardworking English tax payers, and to save a potentially wasted generation of Scots, for the good of the UK, England and Scotland we need to help them kick their big state, big spending habit. We need Scottish Independence now.