The Herald writer’s piece today has a strange, vague headline. Having read it, I feel sure he’d agree that our one, above, more accurately captures the gist of what both he and the ‘SNP Finance Secretary’, as he terms her, think.
Here’s the key bit:
The report [Scottish Fiscal Commission] prompted SNP Finance Secretary Kate Forbes to say the crisis showed the need for Holyrood to have more borrowing powers. She would, of course, have said Holyrood needs more borrowing powers pre-crisis. But in light of Scotland’s looming economic plight – the Commission calls this moment a “structural break”, a shock so bad that past shocks are no reliable guide – Ms Forbes’s point surely rings true.
The Fiscal Framework is a relic. It was due to be reviewed next year anyway, but that exercise should now be expedited and expanded. Holyrood’s finances are too rigid for the times, too stiff for the hills the country now has to climb.
If the Treasury tries to keep Holyrood on a short rein, MSPs of all parties, not just the SNP, will bridle at being denied the means to calibrate Scotland’s recovery. The electorate will notice too.
After Covid-19, the last thing Holyrood needs is a straitjacket.
Footnote: Why Gordonstoun?