White Paper costs soar
The taxpayers, the workers of Britain, will need deep pockets this year. The cost of producing, printing and distributing 100,000 free copies of the over-600 page wish-list that is the White Paper advocating independence for Scotland has risen to over £800,000. That’s since its launch in November – it’s now in its fourth reprint – and costs will rise as the campaign intensifies over the next six months. This does not include the hundreds of civil servants working and advising on this separatist project, again at taxpayers’ expense.
The SNP has been enthusing about what it calls a “Boost for Yes after Unison branch debate triumph” after Skills Development Scotland had a debate at its AGM. But it turns out that the members had not been consulted and the meeting did not even take a vote. The branch secretary admitted, “We’ve not canvassed on whether our members are yes or no, but I got the feeling tonight Yes was dominant.”
Debts? What debts?
Finance Secretary John Swinney again said that an SNP administration would default on its £130 billion share of debt if Britain refused to share the pound. He warned of a “devastating impact” on public finances in Britain. Following this threat, an opinion poll suggested that 58 per cent of voters south of the border now want a say on Britain’s future, and that 62 per cent oppose a Scottish breakaway.
Oil’s not well
The Institute for Fiscal Studies predicted in March that an independent Scotland would need to cut a further £2 billion public spending or raise taxes to meet the deficit left by falling oil receipts – even before Chancellor Osborne’s budget warning of a further slump in oil receipts. Had Scotland already left Britain, it would have to have taken £4.4 billion out of schools and hospitals. In a united Britain, the money for schools and the NHS isn’t gambled on world oil prices or the declining reserves of the North Sea. ■