Reform Scotland

Some positive steps, but more detail required, says Reform Scotland

Some positive steps, but more detail required, says Reform Scotland

Reform Scotland, a public policy institute which works to promote increased economic prosperity, opportunity for all, and more effective public services, has responded to First Minister Humza Yousaf’s Programme for Government.

"There are some positive steps and measures to feel optimistic about in today's statement. The apparent recognition that economic growth underpins better public services and other government expenditure, and the First Minister's desire to inject more flexibility into the currently rather rigid childcare provision were both welcome, and we look forward to contributing to those agendas as they progress.

“Furthermore, the First Minister's forthcoming request for the UK Government to devolve Corporation Tax is something which we enthusiastically support.

“However, the Programme was not without its frustrations. Empowering local authorities to levy a premium council tax on second homes is a move towards decentralisation, but a more fundamental devolution of local taxation is the only logical and acceptable end-point. Tinkering with council tax is just that - tinkering.

“Unfortunately, detail on the critical policy areas of energy, health and schools was severely lacking

"So whilst the statement was largely encouraging, it was also largely vague, and we look forward to the First Minister and his team placing more flesh on the bones in the coming weeks and months."

NOTES

  1. Reform Scotland, a charity registered in Scotland, is a public policy institute which works to promote increased economic prosperity, opportunity for all, and more effective public services. Reform Scotland is independent of political parties and any other organisations. It is funded by donations from private individuals, charitable trusts and corporate organisations. Its Director is Chris Deerin and Alison Payne is the Research Director. Both work closely with the Trustee Board, chaired by Lord McConnell, which meets regularly to review the research and policy programme.