Howard Reed says:
December 15 2017 at 7:58 pm
I agree with pretty much all of this – the only thing I would say is that Scotland doesn’t need a tax rise from a macroeconomic perspective but it *will* probably need to raise more tax if the SNP are serious about rolling back austerity. The Condem/Tory policy of increasing the personal allowance from £6,475 in 2010-11 to £12,000 or more by 2020 is a huge giveaway going mainly to the better off and has been funded by cuts to essential services. Reversing those cuts is going to require tax increases of some sort (although it should be possible to do this in a progressive manner with the extra tax take falling largely on the better off).
The economic definition of austerity is that the budget deficit is deliberately made smaller. Or, if you prefer, that the difference between tax collected and spending decreases. Neither are quite the exact definitions. But that’s the general idea. It’s the gap between collection an spending which is stimulatory or contractionary, austerity being that contraction.
So here we have an economist (yes, Reed is) insisting that higher taxation reduces austerity, that lower taxes increase it.
All very tutti nello stato, isn’t it?