The Left have to talk about distribution when discussing tax

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There's a good article in the Scottish newspaper The Herald this morning. Commenting on reports of the increasing income divide between rich and poor throughout the UK it notes that:

While the SNP minority government has said plenty about its aspiration to make Scotland the third richest economy in Europe, it has said next to nothing about how it would go about reducing material inequality here in Scotland. Its big tax pledges - to freeze and then abolish council tax, replacing it with a flat 3p rise in basic-rate income tax, while still within the UK; and to slash tax on corporate profits once independent - will do nothing to address the growing wealth and income divides which already characterise modern Scotland.This is all meaningless until Mr Salmond tells us an awful lot more.

Quite right too. Salmond says he's Left of centre - but his tax policies give no evidence of that at all. Slashing corporate tax rates is a tax cut for the well off. And as Ireland is finding- the gains are hard to sustain as this is a route to non-taxation of wealth and transient economic activity.

The Left has to do a lot better than that if it is to be credible. And addressing the distribution issue is a measure of credibility that is still completely appropriate. not least because all the evidence shows that people are happier when the gap between rich and poor is reduced. And happiness is what the game is about - not material well being (over a necessary minimum).