News that HM Revenue & Customs are to write to John Swinney to inform him they do not have the power to collect Local Income Tax on behalf of the Scottish Executive should surely consign LIT to the political dustbin!
The Scotland Act allows the Scottish Parliament to vary the level of income tax set by Westminster by 3%, up or down, but it does not make any provision for HMR&C to collect any other form of taxation on behalf of the Scottish Parliament.
I am, in principle, opposed to a Local Income Tax replacing Council Tax for a very great number of reasons. Not least of these is that it will be yet another disincentive to work, alongside many of the current UK governments schemes.
What Scotland, and indeed the UK, needs is government that makes people pay for the services they receive and leaves the public with as much of their own money as is possible. Ordinary people can then decide whether they want to save their money or to spend it on their own personal priorities.
It has been the policies of politicians and the personal greed of individuals that has got us into this recession and it will be the actions of individuals that will get us out of it. For me politicians must now facilitate the role of the individual and not make matters worse for generations to come by consigning them to never ending debt in the form of permanent tax increases to pay for the folly of endless state spending in the good times while keeping nothing back for bad times!