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Public Responsibility For Social Justice

Part of Orders of the Day — Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 6:17 pm on 10th March 1997.

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Photo of John McFall John McFall , Dumbarton 6:17 pm, 10th March 1997

I said "Opposition" because my mind is travelling ahead, as it should be. The Government have not answered the case morally or economically.

The Secretary of State goes on about the tartan tax, but the people of Scotland do not believe what he says. The real tartan tax is VAT on fuel. He and his colleagues voted, not once, but twice for that unfair tax: they voted to introduce it and then to double it. The Tories are the party of unfair tax. A fifth term of Tory Government in Scotland would see the reintroduction of VAT at 17.5 per cent., but they will not get in.

The Secretary of State and his colleagues have devalued Scottish democracy. Ten Scottish Conservative Members—and the five in St. Andrew's house—are responsible for the £6.9 billion that has been spent on quangos. There are now nearly four times as many quango members, personal appointees of the Secretary of State, as local councillors.