A RANT oan taxation this week! But afore that, ye’se wid aa hae read Ashley Douglas’s braw “maiden speech” in The National last week? Ah hae bin threipin fir a whilie nou that we need mair Scots scrievers writin in the National, an follaein discussions wi editor Calum Baird we cam up wi a cutty leet o verra able fowk.

The likes o Ashley Douglas, Alistair Heather, Antonia Uri an Thomas Clark. These scrievers cuiver a braid geographical base o Scotland an it wull be guid tae read some o the diverse spellins an different vocabulary that hails frae the airts these scrievers bide in. We’ll ettle tae hae a five-week rotation o scrievers – sae ye’ll nae be gettin rid o me aathegaither!

Nou, oantae some taxin issues! Fir masel, ah hud aye bin keen tae see the Scottish Government uise its divergent tax pouers tae raise a bit mair siller fir much necessar public services. It wid be a gey thrawn body wha wid dispute the sense o that. Mind, we hae sic thrawn bodies in the shape o the Scots Tory MSPs. It’s aye-an-oan a meesterie tae me that thaim wi the maist siller are aye the yins that screich the loodest when it cams tae ony mention o their taxes bein raised. It’s aa the mair o a meesterie whan ye conseider that it wis the Tories theirsels wha gien the green licht an fiscal pouers tae the Scottish Government in the first place, as a reaction tae the independence referendum, tae raise (or lower!) wir ain taxes. Sinsyne, sindry Tory politeecians hae threipt, “Weel, gin ye dinnae like the wey Scotland’s financed, ye can aye pit up the taxes!!” – weel nou we hae verra modestly duin that, an yet Ruth the Mooth an her cronies are aa verra much up in airms aboot this? Ah weesh they’d mak up their minds!

It’s no lang syne, ye’ll hae mind, that Tories up here wir fair cockapentie that they wir oot in front o Labour in their birr fir devolution, wi guid raison! But they blaw hoat an cauld gin Scotland exercises ony o the true pouers o that devolution; anely alloued tae bark whene’er their englis maisters gie their ‘branch oaffice’ leave tae dae sae. We aa ken wha wears the galluses in that relationship!!

Forby, ony increases in income tax are likesay gey tottie; anely a penny or sae up or doun oan current rates. It wis tellin that the “Daily Heil!” prentit the banner headline that a million mair Scots wid pey heicher taxes – whan they cuid jist as easy hae said ‘TWA MILLION SCOTS WID PEY LOWER TAXES’! But why prent a guid news story when ye cuid prent a bad yin? An agane, as stated, this peedie wee rise in tax, fir thaim wi the braid shouthers tae cairry it best, wull see its revenue ettled in pairt an ring-fenced fir spendin oan wir NHS an ither public services, a canty sum o around £164m! Thon’s shairly guid news fir ony NHS service uiser!?

Auld Tory grandees luik oan tho an spit bluid at the thocht o the rich haein tae pey a penny mair in tax – in fact they threip the opposite an in their blinkert greed demand lower taxes fir the rich! Nae wunner the great Scots poet Hugh MacDiarmid taen sic a staw at the englis. Talkin aboot the difference in the character o the Scots an Englis natiouns he said, in this abridged extract; ‘there are not two nations under the firmament that are more contrary from each other than Englishmen and Scotsmen. The English are ambitious in prosperity and the Scots are humane in prosperity, the English are cruel when they get victory, and the Scots are merciful when they get victory. The Scots and English cannot remain under one government because their natures and conditions are as different as the nature of sheep and wolves….’. An gin ye pit a penny oantae the taxes o the richest fowk in the kintra ye’re nae lang in seein the rapacious jaws o these lupine Tory monsters snarlin in their feral fury agin a fairer system an distribution o wailth fir aa oor citizens!

Fir aa the talk o Labour governments fir decades hae ye mind o a single wan o thaim that taen ony rael radical steps tae create a fairer tax system in the UK? Here nou in Scotland we nou hae a much fairer five-band system, as opposed tae the auld three-band system in the rUK.

Keep mind tae that there is alsae the £340m seed-corn fundin tae set up the new Scottish National Investment Bank. An idea that hud it bin possible in the early 70’s, whan wir ile stairtit flowin, that cuid nou (lik Norway) hae no bin warth hunners o millions – but hunners o billions!

In the UK the nou wan per cent o the population hae pouer ower 22 per cent o the kintra’s wailth. Thon’s up frae 15 per cent in 1984! Wid it no be better fir the feck o the people gin that siller wis shared oot in a fairer fashion? These arenae wee steps that the Scottish government hae taen re taxation; they are giant steps!