East Lothian Courier – 16 September 2021


There’s no doubt that social care needs funded and the backlog in the NHS addressed. It’s who pays that’s the issue and that’s what makes Boris Johnsons National Insurance tax hike wrong. The low paid and young are bearing the brunt and that’s not right.

Income tax is far fairer than national insurance and taxing wealth’s what’s really required. Those who’ve been working in difficult situations and for low pay are already paying heavily, and this comes when prices in shops and for utilities are rising. Those with assets that are hidden away from the taxman whether here or abroad need to pay their whack, as to those with far larger salaries or income from other sources.

Moreover, individuals and corporations who’ve being coining it in during the pandemic need to be made pay not just their share but a levy on their ill-gotten gains. Some are as shameless in paying their staff, as they are in contributing to the tax take. Time for them, not those least able, to cough up.

Sadly, it’ll be driven through Parliament with the Tory majority this week and inequality that’s already amongst the worst in Europe will worsen. All that compounds the misery for many low paid workers with the universal credit uplift soon to disappear. It’s morally repugnant.

Last week I spoke in the Elections Bill. It’s a privilege to hold elected office and it’s the duty of those fortunate to do so, to nourish the democratic process. But this Bill will disenfranchise many, possibly millions, by placing impediments in the way of voting when we should be making it easier to do so.

Requiring photographic ID’s unnecessary as there’s no evidence of widespread electoral fraud and indeed what has been occurring has most often been in postal voting where this won’t apply. As many organisations have said it’s a supposed solution to a non-existent problem.

But it’ll interfere with democracy and that’s just not right. Many in this country have rightly condemned abuses perpetrated historically in the USA and now being repeated in parts of it. That it’s happening here’s shameful.