One of the many things that gets my goat about our ‘United Kingdom’ is the Barnett Formula, whereby residents of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland get considerably more public money spent on them per person that we do in England. I believe the current advantage to the Scots (versus English) is some £1,700 per person per annum. I think this is totally outrageous, especially since the measure was introduced as a short-term adjustment back in the 70s.
As if that wasn’t enough, the ludicrous bribes offered to the Scottish parliament and people around the time of the independence vote just make the disparity in ‘benefits’ even worse. It seems to me that, for a united country, there are a number of things which have to be common for all citizens of that country. I won’t list them all now, but certainly one of the key things that should be common nationwide is tax in all its forms. I just can’t see how it can be considered fair for tax to differ in different parts of the country.
It seems that I am not alone in this thinking, as the Governor of the Bank of England seemed to agree with me when he said recently (albeit about the EU): “Sharing a currency without also sharing decisions on spending does not work”.
If it won’t work for the EU, why on earth would it work for the UK?