In the future, SNP policy may not be Scottish Government policy

This is a very short, cut-out-and-keep blog to use when people confuse SNP policy with Scottish Government policy. Currently, they can be treated as the same. In an independent Scotland, the SNP would be one of many viable parties (even if it does not seem like that just now). Use it for examples such as:

  • Defence. The SNP has its views on Trident , but it would be possible for an independent Scottish Government to choose to keep the infrastructure in Scotland.
  • Welfare. The SNP has its views on the ‘bedroom tax’ and other interesting UK Government initiatives, but it would be possible for an independent Scottish Government to dismantle the welfare state.
  • Taxation. The SNP has its views on cutting some taxes, but this is open terrain. Scotland could be a low-tax-low-public-provision state or a high-tax-high-public-provision state. It could redistribute income or contribute to growing inequalities.

In my view, the debate should focus more on this issue (what level or type of government should be responsible for X, Y and Z?) and less on this issue (what would the immediate short term effects of a yes vote be, given what we know right now about the policies and popularity of the main parties?).

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