While some slight technical difficulties have meant that the blog has been off-line for the past couple of months, it has been a busy time for the SSP in Edinburgh.
In September a meeting was held to discuss our alternative to the Tory/Lib Dem/Labour/SNP cuts — the Scottish Service Tax (SST); a local income tax to replace the Council Tax. Currently the poor pay proportionately a much greater amount in local taxation than the wealthy, and despite both the Lib Dems and the SNP recognising this and promising the repeal the Council Tax at the last Holyrood election, neither have made any serious attempt to do so — both voting against it at various times. The SST would put this promise into practice, provide Scotland with the most progressive tax regime in Europe,and in the process raise enough to cover the entire budget deficit. The table below shows a breakdown of who would pay.
A full explanation can be found on pages two and three of September’s Scottish Socialist Voice (click here for a free electronic copy).
This was followed up in October by the hugely successful anti-cuts demonstration, bringing together 20,000 people from across Scotland to oppose not just the Tory/Lib Dem budget, but Labour’s planned cuts as well.
However, the SSP recognises that the Tory/Lib Dem government won’t be put off by the occasional mass demonstration, just as Labour weren’t put off of invading Iraq despite millions marching in London, Glasgow, and across the world. It is important to turn such tremendous shows of solidarity and opposition into concrete organisation and political action. To that end we have been and will continue to organise meetings to educate, agitate and build a genuine alternative to challenge the Tory/Lib Dem dismantling of the welfare system before it’s too late.