Returning to normal politics

Monday 7th March 2016


It has taken us some time to get here but finally it would seem we are witnessing a return to normal politics.

Now that the vow has been delivered and a fair funding settlement put in place we are now at long last moving onto the issues that matter to people’s lives.

In particular, education has been high on the agenda and rightly so. It is widely recognised that our schools and colleges are underfunded and as a consequence are under performing.

All parties agree that investing in education is not only vital to the prospects of our young people it is also directly tied in with the success of Scotland’s economy.

Interestingly the focus on education has also led to a serious discussion on taxation.

For some considerable time the dominant view has been that tax increases of any kind should be resisted. Political parties on all sides have feared a backlash from voters – after all no one likes to pay taxes.

However, the immense financial pressure facing our public services has forced us to consider alternative ways of raising money.

All the political parties are now saying that that they will raise taxes for those who can afford to pay.

In February Scottish Labour and the Scottish Liberal Democrats announced their intention to use the powers of the Scottish Parliament to raise income tax by 1p in the pound.

And low and behold last week even the SNP said that those on higher council tax bands will pay more.

Finally the political debate has got interesting. Part of me wishes I wasn’t retiring from front-line politics just yet.

I sincerely hope that this return to normal politics continues well beyond the election. If it does, we will all be the better for it.