The Herald also reports today on what is estimated to be £420 million shortfall in Local Government spending over the next three years:

Scotland faces massive cuts in public services unless the executive comes up with nearly half a billion pounds over the next three years to fund a planned freeze in council tax bills, The Herald has learned.

Senior council sources estimate that ministers will need to find an extra £70m every year in order to allow local authorities to provide the current level of services while not increasing council tax charges.

The SNP administration wants local authorities to freeze the council tax at current levels for the next three years, by which time it hopes to be able to replace it with a local income tax.

According to estimates seen by The Herald, to achieve this councils will need an additional £70m in the next financial year to cope with inflationary factors such as salary increases and fuel bills.

In the next year, the extra funding required will be £140m, rising to £210m in the third year. This means that overall, the additional funding required from the executive will be £420m.

Perhaps an outsider might respectfully point to all the luxuries enjoyed by the Scottish people courtesy of the Barnett Formula with which you may have to dispense to meet this bill instead of getting out the begging bowl again.

Many English people who want the Union to continue find it increasingly hard to do so when faced with the assumption that we English should and must feel like feather-bedding Scotland for ever and a day when Scots ought to be made to live in the real world and pay their way.

That way they might come to understand the need for a return to the Scottish virtues of prudence and, dare one say it, tightfistedness which virtues are espoused by classical conservative policy.

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