British & Scottish Politics

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The Chancellor has used the Budget to limit the Scottish Government's room for manoeuvre, say David Bell, particularly through changes to Corporation Tax and the National Minimum Wage.
 
Once again, George Osborne has proved himself to be a clever politician.
 
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Income inequality in Scotland (and the UK) was low and stable throughout the 1960s and 1970s. The 1980s saw a significant increase in inequality, driven by a variety of factors. Deindustrialisation and technological change caused a fall in demand for many middle and lower-skilled occupations, and this combined with an erosion of trade union power and labour market deregulation led to a relative decline in wages at the lower end of the distribution. Financial deregulation and a reduction in top rates of income tax contributed to a rise in salaries at the upper end.
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Constitutional discussions frequently obscure wider policy debates in Scotland, says Paul Cairney. His current research demonstrates that, as well as being obscured by constitutional clashes, issues of inequality are frequently treated with flashy quick fixes at the expense of long-term results. 
 
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The new government has thrown open the European questions but, asks Michael Keating, what - if any - answers might prove satisfactory?

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