Our budget deficit and national debt amount to current expenditure being funded by the taxes to be paid by future generations. Massive government borrowing should be the last resort in times of national crisis, not a routine way of insulating the electorate from the consequences of their elected government’s profligacy. Family members often make passing on resources to the next generations a priority – a noble expression of solidarity and selflessness. But our governments do the opposite. The SNP’s immediate maximising of their new borrowing power has set Scotland on the path to even greater indebtedness than that created by Labour and the Conservatives at a UK level. As a matter of integrity, we should not be burdening future generations financially without their consent.
The temptation to finance impressive new facilities, such as schools and hospitals, in ways that increase the total cost and inflict a burden on future public finances should be resisted.
National Insurance payments should be invested to meet the needs of the generation that paid them. If this obvious and fair approach had always been taken, there would never be a shortfall when the number of retired people increased relative to the number of taxpayers, for example. Shifting to this system would be difficult in the current climate, but initial steps need to be taken.
As foreign aid is a matter reserved for the UK Government, we question the wisdom of the Scottish Government also giving aid – especially while itself borrowing. In particular, the decision to send Scottish taxpayers’ money to nuclear-armed Pakistan, with its dubious human rights record, is perplexing.
The Scottish Government pours money, directly and indirectly, into a vast array of organisations and charities. Many of these serve to reinforce the Government’s messages, creating an illusion of broad support.
We are not convinced that taxpayers’ money should be given to organisations such as Young Scot, Children and Young People’s Commissioner, Equality Network, Transgender Scotland, Creative Scotland, Scottish Human Rights Commission, Equality and Human Rights Commission (Scotland), Amnesty International (Scotland), White Ribbon, Engender, Crew, Alcohol Focus Scotland, Stonewall, Friends of the Earth, National Parents Forum of Scotland, LGBT Health & Wellbeing, LGBT Youth Scotland, Obesity Action Scotland, Interfaith Scotland, One Scotland, Score Scotland, Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights, Culture Republic, Scottish Alliance of Regional Equality Councils, CEMVO, BEMIS, Steve Retson Project, Children in Scotland, Amina (Muslim Women’s Resource Centre), Fast Forward, Starcatchers,Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights) . Do we need both Cycling Scotland and Sustrans?
We oppose the concept of a Citizen’s Income or Universal Basic Income. It would subsidise self-indulgence and laziness while undermining the proper sense of responsibility to provide for oneself and one’s family.