c. ‘Why Independence?’

‘Why Independence?’

 

 

In recent weeks it has been announced that 2013 will focus on ‘Why independence?’. There are many reasons why a ‘Yes’ vote is desirable, this can be seen through the example of the recent benefits cap implemented by the UK government.

 

A report from public policy expert Dr Jim McCormick states that the bill contains ‘serious design flaws’ and will plunge far more Scots into poverty than expected. One of Dr McCormick’s suggestions was that Scotland should set up its own Financial Security Change Fund which would ensure those affected receive the maximum benefit they are entitled to. Moreover, the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations chief executive Martin Sime states that ‘The UK government’s £2.5 billion cuts in benefits must be seen for what they are: an assault on families, communities and the economy of Scotland.’ The evidence from the experts clearly show the benefits cap is detrimental to Scotland and shows how out of touch the UK government is to the needs of Scotland. These needs would be directly addressed by the Government in an Independent Scotland where 100% of the representatives will be elected by the people of Scotland compared to the 4% at Westminster. Out of all MPs from Scotland only 11 voted in favour of the Bill, yet it is foisted on Scotland nonetheless. Not only is the legislation itself shocking, likely to force 1 in 4 families UK wide in to poverty, it is also shocking that Scotland has had no real voice regarding the passing of the legislation. What makes matters far worse however is the fact that MP’s are now demanding a 32% payrise which would increase their MP salary to around £90,000. It does indeed seems that Westminster is beyond all hope.

 

Further reasons to ‘Why independence?’ is the fact that, as Blair Jenkins has stated, the UK is the ‘fourth most unequal and unfair society in the western world, with dreadful consequences for the health of our people.’ The current Scottish Government and previous ones have tried to address this issue with the limited powers available to them. However the main cause of health inequalities is economic and social inequality, powers in these areas remain largely under Westminster control. Westminster has just voted to make these inequalities even deeper. With independence Scotland has the chance to create an equal and fairer society for all, only Independence will give us all necessary powers to do this rather than ‘DevoMax’ or the weaker ‘DevoPlus’ . Under Independence we will have the economic resources available to us to make this achievable.

 

  • Scotland currently has 8.4% of the UK’s population and pays 9.4% in tax to the UK treasury but only receives 9.3% of UK spending.
  • Scotland would also have an annual saving of £50 million from no longer paying for Westminster politicians and £250 million saving from no longer contributing to Trident.
  • On average we pay £1000 more tax per household than the rest of the UK.
  • It is estimated by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development that
  • Scotland would be the 6th most prosperous nation in the world after independence.
  • Although a lot has been said about North Sea oil, it is not necessary to make Scotland economically viable but is worth £1 trillion to Scotland.
  • Scotland has a current account deficit of around £6.6 billion or 4.4% of GDP. You may have heard a larger number, but those higher figures exclude revenues from oil & gas, which would go to the Scottish Exchequer if we were Independent.
  • The North East also looks set for an employment boom with the creation of up to 50,000 jobs in the North Sea oil and gas industry according to the OilandGasPeople.com
  • Scotland, despite ‘No’ campaign scare stories, has proved a very attractive place to invest, the latest report on foreign direct investment from Ernst and Young highlights that Scotland is the top performing location in the UK for securing inward investment jobs for the second year in a row.
  • In 2012 City firm M and G Investments showed that Scotland’s debt as a percentage of national wealth was smaller than the UK’s and that Scotland’s starting point looked better than that of the UK.
  • Over the last 30 years Scotland has contributed £19 billion over and above our share.

By this I hope the reasons as to ‘Why independence?’ has become clearer.

 

Andrew Smith

Thurso and District SNP

Press Officer

 

 

 

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