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Chris Deerin: Scotland, we have to talk about tax reform

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Few of us are keen to pay more tax.

Increasingly, though, it looks like something we will all have to get used to, one way or another. Particularly in Scotland.

The current cost of living crisis, as we face rising bills for heating, the weekly shop and mortgages, is causing pain across the nation, and will cause more as the year goes on.

Important parts of our wealth-creating private sector – particularly retail – are struggling to recover from the Covid-inspired lockdown and changes in our consumption habits. Government debt has soared, due to the many billions spent protecting us from Covid, such as through the furlough scheme, and now on cushioning us through the downturn.

But, as hard as all this has been, the economic storm clouds continue to gather above a future that will require big and difficult decisions to be taken by our political leaders.

One reason for this is that Scotland’s population is ageing rapidly – faster than the UK’s as a whole – at the same time as our working-age population is shrinking. This means that a smaller group of younger and middle-aged people are having to fund public services that are being used by a growing number of elderly.

It’s towards the end of life that we come to rely on the state more heavily – the........

© Evening Express

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