What is the net income of Scotland, the sum from which revenue could be raised to fund public services?
HMRC has never bothered to find out.
That’s because the socially-generated rents of land, public value currently flowing into private pockets, would need to be assessed. Land speculators in control at Westminster would lose that portion of the Public Purse which they have succeeded in diverting to their own bank accounts.
This information is urgently required by Parliament and voters alike: How much unearned economic rent is there, that could be collected with AGR? Parliament needs regular re-assessments of the rents being generated by the efforts of society in Scotland.
Net taxable income provides the best single numerical indicator of the health and wealth of communities at all levels – local, regional and national. HM Treasury and the statistical agencies have chosen not to compile data on economic rent. That omission needs to be corrected. We therefore make this demand of both Westminster and Holyrood.
Parliament will publish an annual assessment of economic rent generated from all sources in Scotland.
Without this information, the performance of Parliament cannot be objectively assessed, and elected representatives cannot be held accountable. Parliament must enact legislation which orders that, on an annual basis – when the Budget is submitted to the Scottish Parliament for scrutiny – the Cabinet Secretary for Finance will publish revised statistics on the rents generated within Scotland over the previous 12 months.
Armed with this information, full evaluation of the AGR fiscal instrument and how it compares with alternative strategies can be undertaken. At which point Scots may choose to mandate the reconstruction of their public finances.