Re Gibraltar

Says the Observer:

It sets its own taxes, makes its own rules and undermines Britain as much as the rest of the EU

Isn’t that what we call sovereignty? And didn’t The Observer spend decades agreeing that all those colonies should get that?

16 comments on “Re Gibraltar

  1. Imagine how ballistic they’d go if Scotland was granted independence, then decided to slash tax rates.

  2. @Andrew M

    Do you foresee some kind of right wing putsch ousting the SNP and successfully pursuing independence?

    Unlikely but fun idea.

  3. “Do you foresee some kind of right wing putsch ousting the SNP and successfully pursuing independence?”

    Thats extremely unlikely, but a Scotland gaining independence under the SNP, then discovering that the socialist golden goose is a myth could well decide that the best way to draw in business is to copy the Republic of Ireland and reduce taxes. The SNP (and Scotland as a whole) are not as Lefty as you think, they talk a good game, but when reality bites they would make the right decisions I think. It might take a few years, but they’d get there.

  4. Shocking. That Gib minimum wage of £6.28 an hour is undermining the UK. People in the UK whose skills merit incomes between £6.28 and £7.50 an hour cannot get work in the free market sector in the UK and rightly so as our government knows best. We should not permit Gibraltar to allow people in that value range to have jobs, as it undermines the purpose of our rules.

  5. Scotland would almost certainly head right wing on the economy after independence.

    After a horrendous experience of cutting their public spending by a quarter and/or going bust (depending on how fast they do it).

    The current set-up essentially incentivises the local government to act as a trade union for their special interest group, but the incentives would be very different if the British teat were withdrawn.

  6. Jim: The SNP (and Scotland as a whole) are not as Lefty as you think

    I’m sure you’re right. I tend to study Scotland and things Scottish as little as possible on the basis that if one wants to frequent a constant and insatiable gripe, what’s wrong with marriage?

  7. The SNP (and Scotland as a whole) are not as Lefty as you think, they talk a good game, but when reality bites they would make the right decisions I think.

    As a denizen of the People’s Revolutionary and Socialist neo-Utopia of Lesser Alba, I am afraid I have to disagree with you.

    The SNP used to be (1970s, 1980s) a relatively broad church with the uniting mental illness of London-phobia.

    It is now run by the sorts of socialist morons who would be thrown out of Momentum for impractical Stalinist zealotry.

    Whether that lot would be purged in Year 2 of the Nouveau Regime, I haven’t a clue. The necessary equipment is still in the National Museum of Scotland, if it does go that way.

  8. “The SNP used to be (1970s, 1980s) a relatively broad church with the uniting mental illness of London-phobia.
    It is now run by the sorts of socialist morons who would be thrown out of Momentum for impractical Stalinist zealotry.
    Whether that lot would be purged in Year 2 of the Nouveau Regime, I haven’t a clue.”

    Thats exactly what would happen. The socialist nutters would run riot for a year or two, the entire country would go to pot, and then the electorate would come to its senses and vote in some adults, who’d conclude the only way to make any economic headway against the drift of business to the South would be to offer lower taxes and ‘Special Economic Zones’ etc. It would be painful for the Scots, but educational too. They’ve been indulged like children for too long, time for them to experience some reality for a change.

  9. Jim: Thats exactly what would happen.

    Well you might be right but it hasn’t worked out like that in Venezuela or, come to think of it, anywhere else I can think of.

  10. I seem to recall that it was HM Treasury in the 1950’s that said that the crown dependencies such as Gibraltar, Isle of Man et al should use differential tax rates to provide additional financing and become self-supporting (i.e. less of a burden on the UK taxpayer).

    By and large they have done this and done so rather well, largely because the Labour government of the 1960’s went overboard on taxation turning relatively small differences in tax rates into massive ones.

    In so doing the crown dependencies have attracted revenue from all over the world. Gibraltar is favoured by the Spanish tax dodgers as well as the English ones on the Costa del Sol.

    Would the money that goes to Gibraltar go instead to HM Treasury if Gibraltar charged UK levels of taxation? I doubt it, they would just go elsewhere and Gibraltar would have less money in their own treasury than they do now.

    Instead of having a plucky little colony / naval base we’d have Scotland on the Med.

    Who the hell wants that?

  11. “it hasn’t worked out like that in Venezuela or, come to think of it, anywhere else I can think of.”

    Thats because the Scottish people are not Venezuelans. And Nicola Sturgeon is not Hugo Chavez. She isn’t going to stage a coup if the SNP are voted out of power in favour of some Rightist party.

    And in fact the UK is exactly a place where the people voted for socialism, got it, and then voted it out, roughly from 1945 to 1979. Ok it took 30 years, but that was partly because in the aftermath of WW2 any economic system was going to be better than one where everyone was trying kill everyone else and destroy everything they could. It took a while for the issues to become obvious enough for the electorate to cotton on. But Scotland will be a different kettle of fish – there’ll be no hiding from the consequences of socialism from day 1.

  12. And in fact the UK is exactly a place where the people voted for socialism, got it, and then voted it out, roughly from 1945 to 1979.

    As I recall, the Conservatives were in power from 1951 through to 1964 (ousted largely by the Profumo affair) and again from 1970 to 1974, so hardly an unbroken period.

    Even though they were only in power for a relatively short period from 1945 – 1979 they did tremendous damage and we still live with the consequences of this today.

  13. “As I recall, the Conservatives were in power from 1951 through to 1964 (ousted largely by the Profumo affair) and again from 1970 to 1974, so hardly an unbroken period.”

    They weren’t free market though, it was socialism light, they even had incomes and prices strategies, FFS. All they did was slow down the descent in to socialism, they didn’t even try to reverse it.

  14. John Galt said:
    “I seem to recall that it was HM Treasury in the 1950’s that said that the crown dependencies such as Gibraltar, Isle of Man et al should use differential tax rates to provide additional financing and become self-supporting (i.e. less of a burden on the UK taxpayer).”

    I was told (by a retired civil servant) that it was the Foreign Office who recommended that the little colonies set up as tax havens. As you say, to stop them being a financial burden on the British government, but the FCO were worried that it would come out of their budget.

    From what I was told, the Treasury went ape when they discovered, but by then it was too late.

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