How you feel, the decisions you make; often these are more affected not by where you are now but by where you think you will be in the future. The direction of travel is key.

This is something the Scottish Government does not understand. Perhaps they don’t want to understand but they should.

The ministers in the present Scottish administration are, from top to bottom, of remarkably low calibre. Few have done anything of note, to have actually had to satisfy customers to keep a real job, to understand that all the nice things they would like to spend money on require a profit to be made. They have little idea of how a market economy works.

There are roughly 40,000 top rate tax payers in Scotland. From April they will now pay a rate of tax increased by one percentage point, with National Insurance on top that means half of each extra pound they earn is taken by the state. A few years ago it was 47 per cent, then 49 per cent, now it is 50 per cent. In England it remains 47 per cent.

After allowing for what the experts call "behavioural change" the amount raised by the extra top tax rate will be a pittance, perhaps as low as £8 million pounds, enough to run the NHS for a few hours.

The people who pay the top rate of tax in Scotland – less than one per cent of the adult population – pay over 20% of the total income tax raised in Scotland. A lot.

Top rate taxpayers are not heroes or villains but they tend to have two key attributes.

First, they are high achievers; doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, the people who drive the economy forward and provide the expertise to make our country work. We need more of them not fewer.

Second, they are highly mobile. The very best professionals are not just wanted in Glasgow but also in Manchester, London and New York. The entrepreneur may well have more than one home but chooses to be resident in Scotland. That is a choice which can be unmade.

There is another group, ignored by the politicians, who are actually in the long run probably even more important. These are talented people who are not here today who might come to Scotland to make their homes, work, start businesses and pay tax to fund our public services.

The premium for a top rate taxpayer to live in Scotland compared to England – or barrier if you are outside looking in – is three percentage points – in other words a bit over six per cent extra tax. A price worth paying? Actually in my personal view, yes.

The problem is the direction of travel.

The SNP have proved to be incompetent in Government, schools, health, education, roads, rail, ferries, the list of failures is endless. They confuse investment with spending and do an excess of the latter. They blame Westminster but we have all now worked out that is not true – Scotland unequivocally benefits from being part of the UK.

The Scottish Government, despite our more generous funding than the rest of the UK, cannot make the sums add up. They would like to borrow in the bond markets, thank god they cannot. The First Minister's recent claim we would all be thousands of pounds better off if we separated from the UK is laughable, either stupid or dishonest, I can’t work out which.

Taxpayers see incompetence, ever increasing spending, an unwillingness to embrace new ideas to drive efficiency, a lack of understanding of business and a deficit that will only grow.

When the Scottish Government faces hard choices it avoids dealing with them. Entrenched unions do need to be taken on, new operators do need to be allowed to run our ferries, the private sector should deliver more healthcare. The SNP Government doesn't cut the cost of the public sector as it knows it should but bails itself out in the short-term by dragging more money out of taxpayers.

The real problem is that the SNP Government's incompetence, waste and overspending won't stop. What happens next year when the sums don’t add up again? Or the year after that? Where does the top rate stop? 55 per cent? 75 per cent? Who knows. Losing half of each additional pound you earn already stretches the goodwill of those taxpayers who contribute the most to the very limit.

The Scottish Cabinet, so desperate to be "progressive” , don’t seem to grasp that what they are doing with taxation rates will drive down the revenue they collect – people will see the direction of travel, they will just leave or rebalance their lives slightly to not be tax resident in Scotland or they won’t come here in the first place. Scotland, all of it, all of us, will be the loser.