JEREMY Hunt’s UK Autumn Statement, delivered in Westminster yesterday, was a disaster.

We already know that the amount of the new money he allocated to Scotland is way less than is needed.

We also know that Hunt’s National Insurance changes can only make management of the Scottish tax system more difficult, as if he has no interest in supporting devolved taxation.

Difficult as these things are, though, they are not the real reason why this Autumn Statement was so terrible for Scotland. That real reason is the consequence of four things.

The first of these is that despite the National Insurance giveaway yesterday, the overall rate of tax paid by most people in Scotland will increase as a result of this Autumn Statement. That need not be the case.

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Hunt could have chosen to cut taxes for most people whilst increasing taxes on those with wealth. That way he could have provided a real stimulus to the economy, whilst cutting inequality that would, though, have gone against every Tory principle, so he was not going to do that.

Second, austerity is returning. The only way that Hunt could justify the tax and National Insurance giveaway that he made yesterday was by delivering lower levels of borrowing in the future. He is reducing borrowing by planning to spend less on public services.

It is true that some core activities, like health and education, are supposedly exempted from such cuts. But, the consequence of that is that the austerity to come in other services might be at least as bad as it was under David Cameron and George Osborne from 2010 until 2015. If you think services are bad now, things are going to get very much worse.

Third, as my calculations have shown, there is also a plan to cut government investment in the economy by 16.7% over the next five years. Although we glaringly obviously need more investment in social housing, flood protection, the green transition, the rebuilding of schools and hospitals that are impacted by failing materials, and so much more, less money is going to be made available for these purposes. That is quite staggering.

Fourth, there was the reaction of Labour spokespeople to this Autumn Statement. It was obvious to every single commentator who spent much time reading the budget documentation that this Autumn Statement is a plan for economic failure. Its sole real purpose is to booby-trap Labour when it comes into office. It does this by challenging them to adopt it, terrible as it is. And yet, none of those Labour spokes people would acknowledge that, or address the issues arising. They are all so terrified of making a spending commitment of any sort that they would rather say nothing instead of talking about what really needs to be done. In that case it seems all too apparent that Labour shares the Tory aspiration to fail. I strongly suspect that they will succeed in doing so.

All of this created an unusual problem for me. I rarely have a problem with going to sleep. I know that is good fortune. I sympathise with everybody challenged by insomnia. Last night, I got a little insight into what it is like to toss and turn, and to fret and worry whilst despairing about the options available, none of which appear to be good, because that is what I did until too long until the night.

We have a UK economy that is failing. Very largely it is doing so because of the actions chosen by politicians, or their beloved appointees at the Bank of England.

The National: The Bank of England will put banks and others through a test (Aaron Chown/PA)

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It is politicians who say that we cannot tax wealth more.

It is politicians have chosen to impose taxes on those least able to pay them.

It is politicians who have said as a result that we cannot afford to spend on essential public services.

And it is politicians who refuse to understand that the so-called national debt is nothing more than private savings deposited with the Government, because people wish for the security that government savings accounts can, alone, provide.

It is because of the incompetence of these politicians, most of whom were taught on one particular degree course at the University of Oxford, that we as a country face catastrophe. Their dogmatic refusal to imagine alternative economic models to the market based absurdity of neoliberalism that they were taught in the youth is what is condemning us to this mess.

This morning I have an overwhelming feeling that Scotland needs another plan. To be candid, I think the UK as a whole shares that need. The trouble is, no one has got close to writing it. What I have, somewhat reluctantly, asked myself as a result is whether or not I can now avoid having a go at writing that plan. After all, how much worse do things have to get before I am left with no choice but give it a go?