The Future of Scotland

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 10:58 am on 29th March 2007.

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Photo of Brian Monteith Brian Monteith Independent 10:58 am, 29th March 2007

The Parliament is not going away—that is an important statement for me to make, given my background before coming to here—but it requires reform. Politicians who do not raise the money that they spend suffer from complacency and arrogance in the selection of their priorities. Politicians who do not use the powers that they already have, but ask for more, show contempt for the electorate's intelligence.

This Parliament is spending far too much as a share of the Scottish economy. When we started, it spent £15.6 billion. Now it spends in the region of £30 billion—such a growth in eight years! I believe that we are creating an economic dependency culture that is stifling enterprise. It is not that we are not well off or that the economy is not growing; it is about our performance relative to others. If we analyse that, we can see that Scotland is underperforming. We could be doing much better and, when we do not do better, the people who lose out the most are the poorest in society.