Deals and taxes.

It is ironic that those who advocated the creation of the devolved parliament in Edinburgh wanted one with tax raising powers.


Their view was it should have the ability tom raise funds independently, or it wouldn’t be worth the effort.

The legislature in Holyrood does indeed have tax raising powers although it has never used them.

The Scottish executive exists on a block grant from Westminster.

I have today been reliably informed from two excellent close to the action in Holyrood that Scotland’s First Minister would love to attract the glory of “the man who saved Rangers” and this can only be done with a Creditor’s Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

That will only happen with the agreement of the major creditor in this equation, and that is HMRC.

As a long-time admirer of the political skills of Alex Salmond, I realise that all successful politicians have to be able to grasp a populist opportunity.

I doubt very much if there is anything that leaves the First Minister’s mouth in any interview that he had not thought extremely carefully about.

The position he proffered on Al Jazeera   bore all the hallmarks of a “testing the water” exercise to first establish that the survival of Rangers is essential for the public interest.

The second part would be then to facilitate HMRC going along with a CVA.

This would, of course, mean that Scotland’s establishment club would not have to meet their full financial responsibilities to HMRC and to the British state.

The First Minister would then be hailed as the man who prevented the liquidation of Rangers.

Now I fully understand that Mr Craig Whyte may harbour a somewhat cavalier attitude to the paying of taxes, but not someone whose job it is to deploy those monies in the public interest.

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