THE contrast between the Queen’s Speech, delivered in the Palace of Westminster on June 21st, and Nicola Sturgeon’s “programme for government”, delivered in the Palace of Holyroodhouse on September 5th, is startling. Both speeches were designed to highlight the legislative agenda for their respective institutions. The queen’s spent nine minutes demonstrating that “my government” would do almost nothing over the next two years but see Brexit through. By contrast Mrs Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, spent 40 minutes outlining 16 new bills and set aside three days for the Scottish Parliament to debate her many proposals.
Mrs Sturgeon laid out some ambitious spending plans. She will abandon the 1% cap on pay increases for public-sector workers and instead base future increases on the cost of living. She will invest more in Scotland’s infrastructure. She raised the possibility of using the country’s devolved powers to increase taxes. This is fairly routine…Continue reading