Sputnik: So Scotland most senior conservative Ruth Davidson has challenged Theresa May to ditch immigration targets to fund the NHS and help young people to buy homes… How significant is this and is it a realistic proposal?
Colin Fox: First of I think Ruth Davidson is right about the underfunding of the NHS both at local level and national level. The blame for that lies with the Tories in Westminster and the SNP in Scotland. The fact of the matter is the SNP is underfunded because it spends far too much of its budget on these hugely unpopular and unprofitable PFI contracts. Here in Edinburgh, the Royal Infirmary, it would have cost us £300M if we had bought part of the traditional NHS budget but cost us £3Bn. Similarly, the SNP’s sick children hospital, being built under the Scottish futures trust, costing us a fortune, and we don’t even own it. If that what she’s [Ruth Davidson] getting then she’s right but I suspect she’s not. The NHS needs more funds and more funds spent on frontline services instead of these huge PFI contracts.
READ MORE: Scotland to Mull New Independence Vote When There's Clarity on Brexit — Sturgeon
Sputnik: This statement from Davidson follows an analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies setting out how necessary NHS funding increases will require taxes to rise by up to 2.6 per cent of GDP or £2,000 per household. It seems like revenue earned from scrapping immigration targets still seems way off from meeting this 2.6 per cent rise in GDP…. Is this actually a commitment from Ruth Davidson or just a ploy to win over voters?
READ MORE: Post-Brexit Agendas & Power Hunger: Political Dynamics of N Ireland & Scotland
Sputnik: Parliamentary elections in Scotland are just around the corner… What effect will Davidson’s comments have on the SNP — Scotland’s largest party?
Colin Fox: With less than a year away from Britain leaving the EU, I feel that has been much talk by people like Nicola Sturgeon, Ruth Davidson and many others, most of their forecasts have been well off the mark. These people were saying in 2016 when we voted to the EU, they were forecasting doom and gloom and it’s not happened. We’re all entitled to feel jaded about these Nostradamus-like predictions. They’re not honest, they didn’t vote to leave, so they’re hardly likely to give their best intelligence about what’s going to happen. I think Brexit will happen and very little difference will be made, working people still find themselves working for poverty wages in Scotland, insecure contracts, young people still find themselves miles from decent accommodation and their own house – that’s not going to change by Brexit. The real policies that we need will not be coming from Ruth Davidson and Nicola Sturgeon. I suspect the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections we’ll see a very very great change in political horizon that we’ve got at the moment.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.