Inevitably, the defining feature of all the manifestos this election is the spectre of constitutional change.
For the UK-wide parties this is an issue of Brexit (or stopping Brexit), whilst in Scotland there is the added question of independence.
Beyond these major constitutional debates, reading UK election manifestos can feel a strange business from a Scottish perspective. Most of the policy pledges relate to areas that are devolved, with the next Holyrood election not for another 18 months.
Nonetheless, these pledges will still have major implications for Scotland’s budget, whilst also framing the view of what policies might be politically viable here. This is true for spending commitments, but it is now increasingly true of tax policy too.
The choices facing the electorate are stark, not just on the constitution but also day-to-day tax and spending choices. It is no surprise that with so much uncertainty, Derek Mackay has shelved plans for a pre-Christmas Scottish Budget
So what do the manifestos imply for Scotland and the Scottish Budget?Continue reading