More tax anyone?

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her Finance Secretary, Derek Mackay, have launched a discussion paper to gather thoughts on the possibility of raising more income tax in Scotland.

I wonder if you would agree to any increase or if you are vehemently against it?

The issue seems to be up for discussion now because, they say, the UK Government has been cutting Scotland’s budget for the last few years and there are worries about large-scale job losses once Brexit happens.

There are also concerns that, as people are living longer, the cost of providing NHS services will increase dramatically.

According to the Scottish Government, some 70 per cent of workers will see no change in their tax payments.

But surely there are other ways for money to be raised without having to increase income tax at all?

Instead of suggesting a possible increase in income tax, how about targeting waste and doing things differently?

For example, how about a ‘blacklist’ of items that can be bought over the counter more cheaply than if a prescription was issued.

The likes of ibuprofen and paracetamol tablets can be bought over the counter for less than 20p a packet and yet I would imagine that, if a prescription is written, it costs us – the taxpayers – much more than that.

So why do some doctors do it?

It costs us for the prescription to be written – in time and effort by the doctor – and then taken to the chemist, if the surgery is not online, and a pharmacist then has to spend time issuing the prescription – again, at a further cost.

Who pays for that? Yes, that’s right, it’s down to the taxpayer.

Instead of the government chasing us for additional pennies through income tax, it would be good to see them chasing down the many, many thousands of pounds that could be saved by thinking about wasted spending and how it can be reduced.