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May 2011 Election

  

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The SNP should scrap the free prescriptions thing too. Pensioners, kids and long term sick, ie cancer patients should be free but people like me should pay 5 or 6 quid. It would save some cash.

I heard someone from the SNP on the news (Sturgeon I think), and she was saying that in fact, once you'd made all the exemptions because of fairness, effectively, it was going to cost more to administer the charges than it would actually bring in. Its a clever bit of politics actually, reduce the charges a bit and give out more exemptions so that is no longer a viable scheme, and then phase them out, leaving "socialist" Iain Gray in the wonderful position of having to be the one to bring back prescription charges! :D

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Its a clever bit of politics actually, reduce the charges a bit and give out more exemptions so that is no longer a viable scheme, and then phase them out, leaving "socialist" Iain Gray in the wonderful position of having to be the one to bring back prescription charges! :D

Sounds a little underhanded really. What happens if the SNP retain power, then they have to go back on their election promise and prior policy would they not? It would seem a little off if the government introduced a policy before the election, then scrapped it once they got re-elected. Either way it seems a little sneaky. Or have I misunderstood your post?

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Sounds a little underhanded really. What happens if the SNP retain power, then they have to go back on their election promise and prior policy would they not? It would seem a little off if the government introduced a policy before the election, then scrapped it once they got re-elected. Either way it seems a little sneaky. Or have I misunderstood your post?

I can't see the SNP going back on it, not on something like that, but the SNP plan to fund this by spending cuts (like the merging of the police forces), and by scrapping expensive projects. Labour on the other hand already plan to raise council tax, before even contemplating free prescriptions. If they oppose this policy, then it leaves them in the slightly uncomfortable position of being the "Socialist" party who would like to raise prescription charges!

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Put Conservative down in the vote, but that's only because I'll be voting for them on the additional member's ballot. No idea of the constituency vote, though - I actually don't mind Marilyn Livingstone, and would happily vote for her on the basis of an MSP. However, I really don't want to give that prat Gray a vindication by voting for someone who could potentially win him the election.

I've been unhappy on the whole with the SNP, but that's because I don't agree with them on a lot of policy. I want rid of them, but there's no chance Gray should be anywhere near the head of an executive branch.

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I can't see the SNP going back on it, not on something like that, but the SNP plan to fund this by spending cuts (like the merging of the police forces), and by scrapping expensive projects. Labour on the other hand already plan to raise council tax, before even contemplating free prescriptions. If they oppose this policy, then it leaves them in the slightly uncomfortable position of being the "Socialist" party who would like to raise prescription charges!

Are raising council tax and not raising prescription charges mutually exclusive? (Just to re-iterate I know nothing about Scottish politics and am asking out of interest and no other ulterior motive, I plan on voting Labour at the Scottish election more because I feel aligned to the Labour party in Westminster than anything to do with Holyrood politics).

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Turned 18 since the last election but I still support the SNP so have put no change for the third one. I hope that I am on the electoral role, parents have assured me I will be. I am looking forward to voting for the first time, complete opposite to my older siblings, 24 and 21, who have yet to vote <_<

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Are raising council tax and not raising prescription charges mutually exclusive? (Just to re-iterate I know nothing about Scottish politics and am asking out of interest and no other ulterior motive, I plan on voting Labour at the Scottish election more because I feel aligned to the Labour party in Westminster than anything to do with Holyrood politics).

Well yes, but its when you put it all together. Scrapping prescription charges is a bit of a populist gesture, but for Labour, the perception could be that they are offering to increase taxes, as well as scrap things like free prescriptions. Its not a good combination!

Incidentally, on the subject of the economy:

http://newsnetscotland.com/economy/831-former-world-bank-chief-economist-joseph-stiglitz-to-be-advisor-to-first-minister-alex-salmond

n a sensational development Joe Stiglitz (pictured), former chief economist of the World Bank and key advisor to former US President Bill Clinton, will join Scotland's Council of Economic Advisors (CEA). The news was broken dramatically by Alex Salmond in a rousing final speech to his party's 1200 delegates on the last day of the SNP's annual conference in Perth on Sunday.

Arguing that it was time for “fresh thinking” on the economy Salmond told his party members to rapturous applause:

"Conference I can tell you today that Joe Stiglitz has agreed to advise the Scottish Government on our country’s economic future. A Nobel prize winning economist backing Scotland.”

This development is a coup for Alex Salmond as he seeks to establish his government's economic credibility with the electorate ahead of the Holyrood elections on May 6th next year.

The CEA which meets quarterly and offers recommedations to Scottish ministers was established by Alex Salmond in 2007 after the first ever SNP government was formed. Its members include world-renouned economists like Andrew Hughes Hallet but none of the Council's advisors have the international profile of Stiglitz.

Edited by xbl

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Free prescriptions is a fair enough policy, doesn't cost a lot, and apparently would cost more to administer unless you made a majority of people pay. No problem. Continuing the council tax freeze, however, is complete madness. (And I policy I think the SNP may struggle to deliver anyway, should they win the election, due to spending pressures).

It's particularly bad in areas where councils, for popularity reasons, already had low rates + were already nearing the bare-bones.

In times of mass public austerity, something like council tax is exactly the sort of thing that shouldn't be re-frozen.

The freeze was only created in first place to buy time for the Local Income Tax... now, it's disappeared, but the freeze remains. As a vote-winner. The SNP say that this will be paid for by, for example, "police force mergers" and by a set of "expensive projects being scrapped" (which ones?): but presumably the police are still going to have to find ~25% savings on top of that, to absorb the budget cuts?

It's illogically expensive gesture politics, in my book. Irresponsible.

I want the SNP to do well, I've been impressed with lots they do, they'll likely get my list vote. But the council tax move has really disappointed me.

Edited by HibeeJibee

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I'll vote Conservative and hope they get a majority. They are the only viable party. The SNP are soft on terrorism, Socialist Scottish Labour are culpable for making Scotland taxpayer reliant and the Lib Dems would only push Scotland further into the Public Sector.

Free Prescriptions are a complete waste of money, council tax rates should be cut and local authorities should be forced to make much better use of their resources and we should reinstate the much fairer poll tax system.

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I'll vote Conservative and hope they get a majority. They are the only viable party. The SNP are soft on terrorism, Socialist Scottish Labour are culpable for making Scotland taxpayer reliant and the Lib Dems would only push Scotland further into the Public Sector.

Just out of interest, exactly what policies are the Scottish Tory party offering? Genuine question as even at their conference, I barely heard a peep about Scotland. If you're going to vote for them, can you furnish the rest of us as to their plans and policies?

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You should have added an option for constituency and list, many will no doubt split their vote, I certainly will be.

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You should have added an option for constituency and list, many will no doubt split their vote, I certainly will be.

It wasn't meant to be a simulation of the election, I just wanted to capture moods and feelings (hence the question about vote swaying), and also serve as a starting point for an election thread!

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Just out of interest, exactly what policies are the Scottish Tory party offering? Genuine question as even at their conference, I barely heard a peep about Scotland. If you're going to vote for them, can you furnish the rest of us as to their plans and policies?

f**k knows. But seeing as we have six months before anybody needs to bother about it, who gives a shit? And even if they were handing out free gold bars nobody would vote for them up here. Tribal hatred rules in Scottishland.

The Scottish Tories have their own separate conference anyway to announce policies, it wouldn't be done at the national conference mainly because the bulk of the people there are English and really couldn't give a f**k about the Scottish Parliament or it's policies. It only affects about five million people anyway. Boris Johnson has a bigger gig being London Mayor.

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