If we can now imagine a world with the virus under control, the question returns to managing the economic and social fallout. The coronavirus started as a public health issue, but its economic after-effects will continue to transform everyday lives with major political consequences.

Source Direct: Vaccine roll out begins, but what now?


The UK Government’s budget deficit for this year will reach 19 per cent of GDP for 2020/21, according to Chancellor Rishi Sunak. It’s worth reflecting on that figure in the context of the Scottish independence debate. For years, we have been told by opponents of independence that a prospective budget deficit in an independent Scotland […]

Doubling down on the Growth Commission is a huge mistake


Tory attempts to justify opposition to free school meals over the holidays are becoming increasingly desperate, and have a shrinking audience among the public. “Not destroying the currency with excessive QE is also one of our duties,” backbench Tory MP Steve Baker barked on Twitter at Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford, who successfully led a […]

Analysis: QE, Rashford and the new Tory milk snatchers


There are two stories about austerity in the news this morning. First, NSPCC Scotland and Barnardo’s have published new research on the impact of austerity on families, looking at what’s changed since it last studied this issue in 2013. The report finds that poverty remains the core issue, but that there has been a marked increase in […]

Big in Japan: Why high public debt is not so scary


Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s speech to the virtual Tory party conference yesterday was interesting because of the framing of his argument around public finances.  “We have a sacred responsibility to future generations to leave the public finances strong, and through careful management of our economy, this Conservative Government will always balance the books,” he said. “If […]

“What is the point in us?”


Merry GERS-mas! No, Lionel Messi is not signing for Rangers. GERS day is the geek term for the ultimate geeky day in Scottish politics, where a statistical publication is wielded like a constitutional axe, weaponised as the definitive financial statement of whether an independent Scotland is perfectly viable or a disaster waiting to happen, depending […]

On GERS day 2020, we should remember that economics is about choices