The economic case for independence is dead

robert hoskinsAs speculation mounts about a second independence referendum, Robert Hoskins re-examines the economic case for independence and finds that while it was dubious in 2014, it is now effectively infeasible.

 

During the 2014 independence referendum campaign I attended a ‘Just Say Naw’ meeting. Once the obligatory nationalist hecklers had been identified and evicted and the speeches began, the contribution which stood out the most for me and still resonates to this day was that of the University of Glasgow’s Research Professor of Macroeconomics and International Finance, Ronald MacDonald.

Professor MacDonald gave a withering critique of every aspect of the Yes campaign’s economic case for independence, including its impact on currency choice, deficit and debt. The deficit and debt arguments in particular had never been properly aired during the campaign itself. Using layman’s language to communicate complex economic arguments, the good professor not only blew the economic case for independence out of the water but he also warned of the economic catastrophe which awaited had the country voted Yes.

A fiscal deficit of £4 billion would have arisen even after the fabled £6 billion of oil tax receipts had flowed into the Scottish treasury. Prof MacDonald argued that the only option for reducing this deficit would have been to go to the money markets and borrow. But how do you borrow when Scotland’s population share of its UK inherited debt in 2014 amounted to £120 billion?

We were told if this debt was paid off over 20 years that would have resulted in £6 billion per year plus the interest payments associated with servicing that debt amounting to an additional £5 billion per year. The combined cost of the fiscal deficit, the debt and the associated interest payments that a newly independent Scotland would have been saddled with came to an eye-watering £15 billion per year. To put that figure into perspective, Scotland’s NHS costs £13 billion per year to run.

This message failed to get across in 2014 as the nationalist leadership cleverly rebutted such inconvenient truths as being part of a wider conspiratorial ‘Project Fear’ campaign designed to specifically undermine the case for independence. The economic argument which did connect with the electorate focused almost exclusively on currency choice to the exclusion of the pounds, shillings and pence of the fiscal deficit and debt figures.

I went into this meeting in September 2014 thinking that my knowledge of the economic debate was better than most. I left it with only 4 days to go to the referendum wondering why I, let alone the rest of the nation, had not heard about this £15 billion per year which an independent Scotland would have been saddled with from day one. If the electorate had been properly informed of the dire economic cost to them and the turbo charged austerity that awaited if the nation had voted Yes, the dynamic of the referendum debate surely would have dramatically changed and would have boiled down to the simple question of whether penury is a price worth paying for independence.

If a referendum broadcast slot or two had been dedicated to getting this figure and this question across it could have convinced far more than just half of the 30% of undecided voters to vote for the union due to the turbo-charged austerity, tax hikes and swingeing welfare cut backs that would have inevitably followed a Yes victory. The constitutional question would indeed have been settled as the threadbare oil-dependent pro-independence argument would have been exposed to the electorate for the cruel con that it was.

If the nationalists are to be believed another referendum (however unwanted by the vast majority of the electorate) is apparently now ‘inevitable’. The most bizarre aspect of the SNP’s clamour for a second referendum is the complete absence thus far of any new economic case to put before the electorate, two and a half years since their defeat. The only attempts at rectifying this were the recent Indy 2 conference and the Common Weal White Paper Project, whose well intentioned efforts at tackling how an independent Scotland would create deficit parity with the UK without cutting public services has subsequently been brutally dismantled and has exposed an alarming naivety in strategic thinking amongst the separation camp.

If the SNP leadership and activist community have had little to say in terms of what the economic case for a second independence referendum might look like, what about the pro independence opinion piece journalists who write weekly columns in the main stream press, surely they would have been able to offer some fresh ideas on how an independent Scotland would solve its currency, deficit and debt dilemma?

Sadly the only thing which appears to unite pro-independence journalists – apart from their fundamentalist belief that independence is the answer to every Scottish political question – is their complete silence on the economic case. They have made no attempt to open a debate with their readership with regard to what services would be cut or what taxes would have to rise to fund the mountain of debt which would arise from Scotland’s burgeoning fiscal deficit and population share of UK debt.

It appears that all talk about a second referendum has been held in an economic vacuum, with all debate in the press and media being stripped of any economic context. The failure to provide any sort of fiscal scrutiny to the case for a second independence referendum might also explain why it has taken two and a half years for the pro-separation vote to recede to nearly its September 18th 2014 level.

How much weaker would the economic case for an independent Scotland be if there indeed was a second referendum, bearing in mind that the last GERS figures stated that oil receipts have slumped to £60 million and show no signs of recovering in the next couple of years? To answer that question let us re-visit Professor MacDonald’s 2014 figures and put them into a 2017 context. This will give us an updated snapshot of the economics which will shape any upcoming referendum debate.

Due to the collapse of the oil price since the last referendum, Scotland’s fiscal deficit has increased from an estimated £4 billion in 2014 to the current £15 billion. Even if we leave Scotland’s share of the UK national debt unchanged at £120 billion, paid off over the same 20 year period at £6 billion per year incurring the same £5 billion of interest charges per annum, the combined debt in 2017 would rocket to more than £26 billion per year – which is more than twice Scotland’s NHS budget.

If the aim of the pro-UK side this time is to achieve what they should have done at the first time of asking and deliver the knockout blow to the economic case for independence, the current set of figures could not provide it with better ammunition. Remember, this calculation does not include the additional billions of pounds which would be needed to setup the new structures necessary for an independent country to function, nor does it include the £40 billion of foreign exchange reserves which Prof MacDonald argues would eventually have to be found to support a new Scottish currency.

As the clock ticks down to the triggering of Article 50, signifying the start of the UK’s departure from the EU, the speculation surrounding a second independence referendum is reaching fever pitch. It is a damning indictment of the mainstream media that they are, with a few notable exceptions, sleepwalking their readerships into another referendum by not giving them access to the above information.

The evidence is clear. The financial consequences for an independent Scotland today would be far more devastating, for rich and poor alike, than it would have been in 2014.

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109 thoughts on “The economic case for independence is dead

  1. Surely it is to everyone’s benefit for the SNP to draw up a “business case” for Scotland leaving the UK which shows how we’d deal with the financial position outlined in the blog above*. This could then be used to approach the credit rating agencies to see how they’d view Scotland. Now, why would the SNP not want to do that?

    Scott

    *Yes, I expect divisive nationalists will say there is lots of uncertainty in this data (i.e. the actual situation could be a wee bit better or a wee bit worse), but let them come up with a better analysis if they can!

    1. It would benefit everybody to know what the UKs “business case” is going to look like post Brexit.

      What Government of any country anywhere would formulate a business case based on the gibberings of an online troll within a blog site?

      What kind of a cretin seeking public office would expect one to?

      We already know that Standard and Poors will rate an Indy Scotland with a triple A rating they’ve already stated as much.

      What should be noted however is the delay in the recovery of the Triple A rating to an rUK in the event of Scottish Independence.

      https://uk.news.yahoo.com/scottish-independence-delay-uk-return-aaa-rating-fitch-105448556–business.html

      There is no uncertainty in the “Data” Its a load of made up projections made without access to a single calculated mathematical derivation and based on UK Government spending choices and an Oil revenue PRT cut to 0%.

      Still gibbering for England Scott.

      Am I missing an Uncle Tam of the year competition?

      1. Ah Mike, that’s a typical response from you – personal abuse and a link to a 2014 article.

        When did “Standard and Poors” say Scotland would get an AAA rating – can you give us a link to what they said? We both know you can’t because it’s a lie.

        They actually said: “The macroeconomic profile of the wealthy and open Scottish economy conforms
        with the typical profile of sovereigns rated in investment-grade categories (i.e., ‘BBB-‘ or higher).”

        That was in 2014, since then the oil price crashed.

        1. http://www.businessforscotland.com/independent-scotland-could-be-aaa-rated-standard-poors/

          The Oil price has crashed relative to When Scott?

          Will it have crashed relative to When Scotland becomes Independent?

          The Oil forecast for the end of this year is about 61 dollars a barrel in what yooniverse would that be measured in terms of a crash?

          Had Scotland been Independent today it would be enjoying an Oil revenue boon from an asset worth 53 dollars a barrel with production figures in excess of 1.4 million barrels a day.

          Is that a crash Scott? How does that compare to Duncans figures of a grand total of 60 million inclusive of VAT and Corporation Tax attributable to a Scotland within union? A 60 million we wont even see as its reserved revenue.

          The oil price didn’t crash Scott it fluctuated now its fluctuating upwards does that make it a case FOR Independence Scott?

          Still cant stop gibbering for England eh Scott?

  2. The economic case for independence is surely that, Scotland, a country famous for its engineering skills, finds a huge oil field on its door step. After 40 years of exploiting that oil field, when the price drops we are told our country is “bankrupt” because the revenue went south and wasn’t spent to refurbish our clapped out industry or infrastructure ( check what share of the National Infrastructure Plan was spent here).
    We can compare Scotland’s experience with that of Norway which utilised its indigenous industry in the main, to exploit its share of that same oil field.
    In 2020 we are certain to be told Barnett will finish, and we will get a set per capita “share” of funding, even though it costs 16% more to fund services in Scotland. Raise your taxes we will be told, in effect the bad side of independence without any “good side” ( the ability to join the EEA, or become a more competitive economy).
    One thing. When rUK vetoes us using a common currency( which is a daft thing in any case), and all the rest, then they also keep ALL the debt. Vienna Convention I believe?

    1. Ah, the time travel argument. Didn’t go down well in 2014, but if that’s the only tune you’ve got I guess you’ll just have to play it again.

      Couple of detail points. First, you say it “costs 16% more to fund services in Scotland”. I presume this is compared to England. But surely if you dig down, it must cost roughly the same to deliver services in, say Cumbria as it does in, for example, the Borders. It’s only when Scotland and England are taken as a whole that the difference looks like it happens on the border. It doesn’t really. And it’ll be a similar cost to deliver services in Edinburgh as in Manchester too. Beware simple stats that hide complexity.

      The other detail item is that your point about refusing a currency union means UK has to pay off all the debt is just made up nonsense. It has literally zero basis in reality. It’s the sort of thing Wings would publish and pretend was fact. Is that where you read about it?

        1. I might want to read an article in the laughably biased National from the SNP shill Gordon Macintyre-Kemp from the SNP front Business For Scotland?

          I might not, you know.

          1. Could you not have managed to get another SNP reference into your first sentence, Duncan? I’m not sure that two are enough to make your point.

          2. Are you going to answer the question – did Westminster state the debt is theirs on not?

            Or are you just going to attack the source of the information – usual Labour tactics.

      1. Funding. Perhaps you havent read in the southern media where they compare funding in SCOTLAND with funding, not in Cumbria, but with ENGLAND ( London also gets more per capita, but that is ignored). I dont know where the 16% stat comes from but its a fairly old figure, and seems to be undisputed, so probably dates to when Scottish Labour ruled the roost. Its for Scotland as a whole, so the fact that cities in Scotland cost less to service is beside the point surely, as the 16% will be the median? Any complexity on this matter, is in your own head, and not in the funding allocations.

        I read about of the dissolution of Unions, some years ago at the time of the break-up of Czechoslovakia. It is based on the Vienna Convention, and the “Successor State” and the legality and status of any other entity.
        I’m sure that ALL those on the Better Together side stated categorically that rUK would be the Successor State and Scotland would be a “New” State. Am I wrong?
        I don’t claim to be an expert in International Law, but its obvious that one part of a separated, previously multi-country State cannot, and could not, just claim all the ASSETS and Treaty Obligations( as rUK wants, allegedly. See Currency, but also seats on international bodies, etc), but then expect the LIABILITIES to be evenly divided.
        The USSR was the main exampler used by Better Together, if I recall.
        I would be quite happy to read other serious opinion on this, if you have something to recommend.

        1. The funding I refer to, is the 60% of UK State spending covered by Barnett.
          The other 40% is never raised by British nationalists. Wonder why?

      2. All public services are provided for from the £30bn DEL and the additional NDRI element of AME £3bn.
        Since the Scottish Government have not borrowed, they have received precisely the sum they have spent and accrued no deficit.

        the deficit arises from Westminster allocating spend on reserved areas over which the Scottish government has no control.

        to use they’re figure for deficit as the only one available, and a true reflection of how money would be spent in an independent Scotland is laughable

  3. If an Irishman may comment?

    Surely the UK has failed Scotland if (as claimed) the latter is not viable as an independent country after 300 years of Union?

    A mischievous question; is Scotland is such a basket case why do English Unionists so desperately want to preserve the Union?

    I’ll let myself out.

    1. Yes, it’s the question they dare not ask. The useful idiots on this website would rather see the working classes they claim to support suffer more years of Tory misrule, than even consider supporting Scottish independence for a nano-second.

      They’ll bang the drum about social justice having no borders (whilst backing the Tories as they pull us out of the EU) and they’ll whittle on about bus drivers in Aberdeen standing shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with bus drivers in Aldershot, then march through the voting lobbies in Westminster with the Tories to impose more austerity.

      Labour’s branch office in Scotland talk about maybe getting federalism in 15 years if we’re lucky, and their socialist utopia sometime in the near future. I’ve been hearing that since the 1970s…

      I’ll shed no tears for this wretched shell of a once great Labour party as it’s finally put six feet under, and good riddance to it, but for the people I know who supported Labour for years, only to be stabbed in the back by them, those people have my sympathy…

    2. A statement so obvious that unionist defenders not addressing it makes the lies obvious

    3. Scotland agreed to the Act of Union because it was a financial basket case after Darien and the seven lean years. after joining the Union, and accessing the English colonies, Scotland became an economic powerhouse. Read Tom Devine’s ( an independence supporter) trilogoy on the creation of modern Scotland

      1. Those who were in the parliament at the time were bribed. That’s why they had to sign the agreement in a shop basement away from the public.

      2. Scotland was not bankrupt. It was trading profitably.
        The people who were in financial trouble were the aristocracy, who had expected a trading post across Panama, from the Atlantic to the Pacific to be a huge success—witness the canal today.
        They hadn’t been aware of the appalling diseases which wouldn’t be conquered for another two hundred years. They hadn’t factored in the treachery of the King and the English Parliament.
        Scotland did become an economic powerhouse. It has been in economic decline since before the end of the nineteenth century. ScotlandSturgeon indiginous industry has been bought over, stripped of assets and closed down or moved south. We have lost substantial numbers of people who have had to migrate to find work.
        But hey, we are told daily that the Union is a great success—-just not for Scotland!

      3. For crying out loud Jim Bob Scotland didn’t lose any public funding as a result of Darian it was purely a private funded enterprise.

        There is nothing in any history account especially not Tom Devines which links Darian to the Act of Union 1707.

        Yer a gibbering arse reduced to making up mince because yer totally devoid of anything real to contribute.

      4. Scotland was not an economic basket case after Darien. A few individuals were bankrupt after it and were bought off by “England”.

        The only thing strangling the Scottish economy before the Union were English sanctions. After the Union, Scots were barred from English markets, access to “English” colonies and trading with England’s European enemies (which was just about everyone at the time).

        Afterwards, it was illegal trading using the distance to London (a lot further away in relative terms in the 18th century) as a “shield” that allowed trade to recover. Basically, it recovered despite the Union, not because of it.

        And in any case, only “wealthy” Scots benefited. The average Scot never benefitted from the Union and arguably never has.

      5. Certain nobles agreed to the act of union, not the scottish people. Your even trying to put labour lying spin on something that happened 300 years back.

    4. I wouldn’t suggest that Scotland COULDN’T go it alone, and I don’t think anyone else is either. The question is, is it in Scotland’s best interests economically, to leave the rUK in order to rejoin the EU? (Brexit is being used by the nationalists as the main reason to push for indyref2)

      So, is it? It’s quite clear since Brexit (and during the indyref campaign a few years ago Alex Salmond was caught out lying about this too) that iScotland would have to go through the process of rejoining the EU, Brexit or no Brexit. So for a time at least Scotland would be outside both the rUK AND the EU. How will that affect Scotland, economically? We will have to significantly cut our deficit, which is currently nearly 10% of GDP, in order to meet the criteria for EU membership. That means large tax hikes, swingeing cuts to services or indeed both. It is surely undeniable to even the most ardent nationalist that Scotland cannot and will not live as it does now, at least initially, in iScotland. I don’t mean individuals, I mean the country as a whole. Economically it just won’t be possible.

      So do we fully go it alone? A hard Scoxit if you will, and would we be better off in the medium to long term for it (clearly in the short term we wont) and do you trust our politicians to deliver that better medium to long term future in a fully independent Scotland? To answer that last question, given the SNP’s record over the last ten years with the economy, the NHS, education and other services, as well as the sheer paucity of effective opposition, I certainly do not!

  4. I read the headline and immediately thought of a world without Independent national boundaries. A world Governed by Westminster.
    Millions of MPs from millions of constituencies sitting in a single massive Parliament. All waiting to be heard in a single Parliamentary session.
    And then I came back to reality and remembered I read it on Labourhame.

    Ah its not Independence that’s dead its reality. Reality has died on Labourhame once again and gone bye bye.

    And its all based on the political tainted ramblings of yet another Yoon supporting professor whos entire argument is based on the value of Oil remaining stagnant and UK Government spending choices automatically transfering over to an Indy Scotland.

    In other words he doesn’t actually come up with any new arguments or even provides a shred of evidence to support old arguments he just reinforces the claims made by the No campaign without dealing with the inherent flaws that plagued “Project Fear”.

    I bet not even the illustrious Ronald MacDonald can point out any of the advantages Devolution has over Full Independence. Cant point to a single economic advantage single social advantage single political advantage single practical advantage single national advantage single fiscal advantage.

    What about you Robert? Can you find us anything from Ronalds Yoon tainted ramblings to show us a single advantage?

    Heads up once again folks. Scotland doesn’t have a deficit. Any deficit Ronald in Yoonian refers to is a UK deficit born from a UK Government spending spree. and the value of Oil to Scotland within Yoonion is ZERO pounds ZERO pence no matter what value it sits at. The value of Oil only has to be 1 dollar a barrel for it to be an economic plus to an Indy Scotland in relative terms to Scotland in Yoonion.

    The TRUTH is there is no economic case for Scotland in Yoonion. The Barnett block grant Vs Full fiscal autonomy. Less than half our revenues Vs All of our revenues. UK spending commitments Vs Scottish Government spending commitments.

    Its a no brainer always has been always will be and no amount of politically tainted academic rambling can change it.

  5. “that the last GERS figures stated that oil receipts have slumped to £60 million ”

    They didn’t slump to 60 million the UK Government made an ideological choice to reduce the revenue percentage Of Oil.
    PRT was reduced from 75% to 50% then 35% and from March 2016 was abolished altogether.

    But of course lets not forget the other values the UK gets from Oil extraction. Apart from the Sales prices there is the Corporation Tax and the VAT on top of the sales price.

    These are values hidden as far as the argument over the value of NS Oil is concerned. Not counted as part of the overall value of the asset.

    We don’t know how much the UK Government makes from Corporation Taxation from the Oil and gas industry nor do we know how much VAT they rake in because they never publish these figures separately and never count them within the overall value of Oil and Gas to the UK.

    Maybe you can tell us Robert? Maybe you can explain how and Indy Scotland wouldn’t benefit from these revenues and help explain how a Scotland in Yoonian is benefitting from them now?

  6. Looking at Holyrood’s budget. It seems to add up to around £35 billion. For health, justice, education, local authority funding, etc. – devolved issues, basically.

    So explain to me how come GERS says Scottish revenue is £56 billion and total assigned expenditure is £68 billion? It seems to me that £30bn of “Scottish” spending – practically half! – is controlled at Wesminister and you’re going to have hard times convincing people that Westminister is in any fit shape to be making decisions over the next few years.

    1. The 56 billion is derived by giving Scotland ONLY a 7.9% share of Oil and gas revenues NO share in the Oil and gas Corporation Taxation and NO share in the Oil and Gas VAT receipts.

      The 68 billion is derived by charging Scotland a 7.9% share of every UK Government spending commitment at home and abroad added to a Scottish Governments 100% spending commitment within Scotland itself.

      Neither figure can be attributed to an Indy Scotlands revenue potential or spending commitment and yet every bare faced lie put out by the Yoons and Uncle Tams with regards to an Indy Scotland is based on figures derived by the fact that Scotland doesn’t have control over its own economic balance.

      In other words Scotland cant be Independent because its economy cant be balanced when it isn’t.

      There’s your economic argument for Yoonion right there.

      1. Categorically untrue, Mike, as I suspect by now you know. It’s a geographic share of oil and gas revenues, and it includes calculations of the likely VAT, corporation tax and other revenues.

        It’s the SNP Scottish Government that produces these figures, Mike. When will you stop pretending they are a unionist plot?

        1. Stop lying about GERS being a Scottish Government published account.

          As GERS is derived MOSTLY from RESERVED spending and Revenues which NO Scottish Government would be privy to ONLY a UK Government has the means to publish them.

          Which is why beneath every GERS table there is a Note stating Figures taken from the OBR and it is published by the SCOTLAND OFFICE not the Scottish Government.

          What Scottish Government has ever been privy to UK Government spending plans Duncan?
          How would they know how much Oil revenues the UK will take? How much VAT? How much Corporation Tax?

          The sum stated is 60 million. a “Geographic share” would mean that the total revenues taken from NS oil by the UK was 63 million.

          And according to you that would be inclusive of VAT and Corporation Tax.

          Is that right Duncan? Is that what you’re claiming today?

  7. i don’t see any counter of how much assets would be accrued by Scotland. You only seem to be divvying out the debt. Oil prices are continuing to rise (maybe not to the levels in recent past) so income will rise and there appears to be even more oil available than originally thought.

  8. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/9723913/North-Sea-oil-production-could-rise-in-short-term.html

    This is how the Yoons refer to the North Sea Oil BOON outside of Scotland. This is how they talk it up within a UK perspective.

    In Scotland we’re suppose to believe no Government is capable of squeezing more than 63 million from Oil extraction inclusive of VAT and Corporation Taxation from an Industry which delivers 1.4 million barrels of Oil a day on a price tag between 50 to 60 dollars a barrel.

    In case you havent done the sums at todays price of 53 dollars a barrel that’s an excess of 27 billion dollars over a year.

    If ONLY 50% is taken in revenues you’re looking at 13 billion in revenues on CRUDE alone WITHOUT THE VAT and CORPORATION TAX added.

    Now the price of Oil fluctuates as we all know only too well because its forecast to reach in excess of 61 dollars a barrel by the end of the year.

    But even if you took the value for the full year to be a low as 20 dollars a barrel you still get 10.2 billion dollars in crude production at 50% you’re looking at 5.1 billion dollars in revenues based on the price of Oil being no more than 20 dollars for a FULL YEAR.

    So why the fuck would anybody expect Scotland to remain in Yoonion based on an economic argument that has a UK Government giving away Scotlands Oil to Corporate industries for FREE? and then claiming this means Oil is worthless to an Indy Scotland.

    1. I realise it hardly needs saying but Mike’s grasp of oil and gas economics is as shaky as his grasp on reality.

      You’re a lying idiot, Mike.

      1. Not seeing you actually successfully refuting anything ive said Duncan. Again.

  9. There’s an article worthy of the Jim O’Neill & Hothersal standard. As soon as I read “as I attended a Just Say Naw meeting” you knew it would be just a pleather of pishe, it did not disappoint.

    I do hope with independence Scotland remembers each and everyone of you Scotland doom-merchants.

    The yoons must really be crapping themselves this week, to come out with this low level of Scotland bashing.

  10. “Mike,
    I quoted Standard & Poor. You quoted a NAT blog. That says it all.”

    I quoted a Nat blog that quoted Standard and poor so if quoting Standard and poor is unacceptable where does that leave you?

    1. No, Mike. You said

      “We already know that Standard and Poors will rate an Indy Scotland with a triple A rating they’ve already stated as much.”

      This was a lie. Scott pointed out your lie. He gave you the accurate statement from the real source. And you haven’t even got the gumption or the decency to acknowledge you were wrong.

      1. I provided a link that backs up my claim Duncan and in the context of this particular discussion it was the link and not my comment that was the subject of the accusation from Scott.

        He tried to discredit the link based on it being from Business for Scotland. I merely pointed out that Business for Scotland made reference to S&P in exactly the same manner he did thereby pointing out the fact that if you discredit the one reference you discredit both.

        And of course you jumped in trying to take it off into the wild blue yonder cos yer an idiot and not really any good at blogging.

        1. No Mike. You claimed that S&P said it would award an independent Scotland a Triple A rating. Your claim was proved false. You’re an inveterate liar who never acknowledges his lies.

          1. Are you saying I didn’t provide a link as proof to what I said and Scott didn’t try to discredit it even though its all visible and legible above? Seriously?

          2. Magnificent refusal to even acknowledge that what you said WAS NOT TRUE.

          3. Bottom line is, S&P saw no problem with giving an indie Scotland a high credit rating. That contradicts what “Project Fear” tried to convince us of. That’s all that matters.

          4. You don’t think it matters that Mike lied and lied and lied and won’t ever be honest?

            I think it matters, because I think Mike is typical of a certain breed of independence supporter for whom facts are malleable but independence is certain.

            Why won’t you tell Mike he’s a liar? You know he is.

          5. Because its a petty, personal spat and you need to be bigger than that.

          6. No, it’s about honesty and accuracy, one person posting evidence and another posting a lie. Shame on you for excusing the liar. Makes you as bad as him.

          7. If its about honesty and accuracy, why do you keep claiming GERS are the Scottish Govts own figures when all the UK spend figures are guesstimates from Whitehall? Why is that claim any more honest than Mikes? Why do you never call Unionists on this site liars when they state an indie Scotland in the EU would be compelled to join the Euro? Etc, etc. Let he who is without sin …..

  11. Duncan

    “Read it, rebutted it.”

    http://labourhame.com/labour-is-one-party-and-its-not-just-scotland-that-needs-to-remember-it/

    Read it, Rebutted it.

    Mike – June 9th, 2016 at 12:08 pm
    none Comment author #135158 on Labour is one party – and it’s not just Scotland that needs to remember it by Labour Hame
    “Labour is one party – and it’s not just Scotland that needs to remember it”
    Its only “Scottish labour” who are claiming it isn’t. Is it “Scottish labour” or Labour in Scotland Duncan?

    Mike – June 9th, 2016 at 12:10 pm
    none Comment author #135159 on Labour is one party – and it’s not just Scotland that needs to remember it by Labour Hame
    “A few weeks ago I took part in a panel discussion entitled How does Labour represent a multi-nation democracy”
    That’s fascinating cos it wasn’t that long ago you were arguing that the UK was a single Nation State.

    Mike – June 9th, 2016 at 12:17 pm
    none Comment author #135162 on Labour is one party – and it’s not just Scotland that needs to remember it by Labour Hame
    There is so much wrong with that article I am absolutely positive you wont allow me to highlight it all. Utter drivel once again Duncan you’re really earning your online rep.

    Mike – June 9th, 2016 at 12:21 pm
    none Comment author #135163 on Labour is one party – and it’s not just Scotland that needs to remember it by Labour Hame
    The “Scottish Greens” rightly call themselves the “Scottish Greens” in order to distinguish and separate themselves politically from the Greens in the rUK. Isnt that why “Scottish labour” does it as well? They want the Scottish electorate to believe they only represent Scotlands best interests not the UKs.
    Like I said its only “Scottish Labour” who are claiming they are distinct from their rUK comrades. Nobody else actually believes it.

    Mike – June 9th, 2016 at 12:30 pm
    none Comment author #135164 on Labour is one party – and it’s not just Scotland that needs to remember it by Labour Hame
    “Labour is one party – and it’s not just Scotland that needs to remember it”
    “The Scottish Labour Party couldn’t be clearer that we will defend Scotland within the UK”
    Can you truly not see or understand the in your face direct contradiction here Duncan?

    You didn’t actually rebut anything Duncan you just spewed discredited gibbering rhetoric as usual.

  12. “Magnificent refusal to even acknowledge that what you said WAS NOT TRUE.”

    Is that you avoiding saying yes or no?

    1. No. It’s not possible for you to have provided a link as proof of what you said because what you said was not true.

      Scott didn’t “try to discredit it” he simply pointed out that it was not true.

      It was not true, Mike. Try, for once, acknowledging that.

      1. And yet the link exists and its up there for all to see.

        Standard and Poors stated ” Scotland would qualify for its highest economic assessment”. That’s a statement endorsing a Triple A rating Duncan.

        Hows the UK doing? Oh rhetorical question as we both know the UK has lost ALL of its Triple A ratings for the foreseeable future which looks bleaker because of Brexit with another downgrade in the wind measured on just how hard the Brexit will be.

        So Brexit followed on by a Scottish Indy ref will see the rUK begging for trade deals with Botswana.

        Jam for bananas.

        1. No, Standard and Poors DIDN’T state that. That is a quote from a Business For Scotland (SNP front) article by Gordon MacIntyre Kemp (SNP politician).

          Standard and Poors actually said “The macroeconomic profile of the wealthy and open Scottish economy conforms with the typical profile of sovereigns rated in investment-grade categories (i.e., ‘BBB-‘ or higher).”

          You are explicitly lying about what they said.

          1. Being very selective with your quoting Duncan and taking it out of context as usual.
            That particular quote came under specific conditional premises.

            Yep that quote I gave you was directly taken from Standard and Poor and you know it all too well.

            ” Scotland would qualify for its highest economic assessment”.

            Willfull lying has really become your trademark Duncan.

            Shameful and pathetic.

          2. https://www.scribd.com/document/209646043/Standard-and-Poor-s-Key-Considerations-For-Rating-An-Independent-Scotland

            “Economic Structure And Growth Prospects: A Rich, Diversified Country
            The Scottish economy is rich and relatively diversified, with 2014 per capita GDP estimated to be US$47,369 (based on
            the Scottish government’s estimates, which include Scotland’s geographic share of North Sea output, abbreviated as Scotland (Geographical) in the table above). Scottish wealth levels are comparable to that of the U.K. (‘AAA’), Germany
            (‘AAA’), Ireland (‘BBB+’), and New Zealand (‘AA-‘). Even excluding North Sea output and calculating per capita GDP
            only by looking at onshore income, Scotland would qualify for our highest economic assessment. Higher GDP per
            capita, in our view, gives a country a broader potential tax and funding base to draw from, which supports
            creditworthiness.”

            LINE 12 “SCOTLAND WOULD QUALIFY FOR OUR HIGHEST ECONOMIC ASSESSMENT”

            Is that the sound of gagging? or spluttering?

  13. Can I say I have been a Labour Party member since 1983 .I am proud of it. I will be doing my best to help Labour retain control of North Ayrshire Council. Our Council Leader Joe Cullinaine and his team have produced a great manifesto packed with ideas to take us into the local election. That’s what we should be talking about until May. Not some Indy Ref that might not take place . If it does it probably wont be until next year. Reading some of the comments it appears we are fighting 14 again. The public deserve better than that. The SNP leadership in my opinion have done some very detailed planning on how to fight the ref and win. For the SNP its not holding a ref its winning it. Andrew Wilson has produced a report for SNP saying the team yes should leave oil and gas out of the next indy campaign. The FM has had this report for some time and has only now made it public. Agree or not with the report it is evidence of the kind of thinking and planning that the SNP have undertaken . I don’t see any evidence so far that team UK have carried out any detailed planning on how to fight Indy when its called. There are somethings I don’t want to see from both sides . Like abuse on the internet rent a crowd with placards standing the party leader. when one business man supports one side another will support the other. TV debates I would rather see the leaders being subjected to tough Paxman style questioning. I think the voters would learn more. Brexit will definitely play a part continued tory UK government will be in play. Corbyns performance might be in play . I think the PM will be a lot more hands on this time than David Cameron . The UK budget will be in play. It will in my opinion come down to jobs the NHS can we afford our pensions etc. I will want to see positive proof That Scotland will be received into the EU and other institutions. By that I mean I will want to see international statesmen standing up and saying welcome. Last time we had Alec Salmond a politician I respect regarding England saying we will be their best pals . I will want concrete evidence they will be ours. No project fear from both sides. If we just try to talk to people not at them the people will listen . Anyway that’s what I think although I might not expressed myself very well. Now for something completely different on BBCNEWS Patricia Cornwell author has named artist Walter Sickert as Jack the ripper you saw it here so all complaints to our editor ha ha

  14. My heart sank when I read this article. Not because it in any way destroyed the case for an Independent Scotland, but because it truly saddens me that Scots can have such an appalling view of the worth of their own country.
    A gathering of Scots is told their country is rubbish and completely unable to even dream of emulating ALL their small, independent neighbours …. and they crow about it. So very sad.

    If we are to believe this tale of woe concerning our country’s economic condition after 300 years of Union, is it not logical to ask why we would want to continue with it? It’s like being in partnership with some one who has robbed you blind but hanging on in there because it’s all you’ve known. So very, very sad.

    The whole bleak picture painted by the author and his source hangs on an Independent Scotland being forced to take on a popln share of the UK’s eye wateringly massive accumulated debt of nearly £1.7trn. A debt Scotland has been responsible for very, very little of, if any at all.

    But this would not be the case. ALL debt stays with the Successor State which had guaranteed it. In this case, the rUK. Indeed, the UK govt has already stated this would be so. An independent Scotland would retain all fixed assets while all mobile assets and debts would be retained by the rUK. At worst, we would take on only as much debt as was needed to pay for any Govt and mobile assets as we felt was necessary for a fledging independent state. A tiny fraction of the £120bn claimed in the article.

    That is international law and how it had worked with every other newly independent state. Is this another case of Scotland being uniquely unlucky in that it will be the only country ever to have to take on this kind of debt?

    Without having, for some reason, to take on UK debt, Scotland’s £4bn deficit becomes positively wonderful. Especially when compared to the UK’s current near £100bn deficit.

    As I said, it saddens me to see Scots so gleefully accept any analysis, however flawed, that paints a bleak picture of their country’s prospects. Its a view that has held Scotland back for centuries and continues to do so to this day.

    1. The SNP’s White Paper in 2014 stated that Scotland would take on a population share of the national debt. Was that Scots having an appalling view of the worth of their own country? Was that a flawed analysis?

      1. Only conditionally Duncan. It came with the caveat that Scotland would take a proportional share of all UK assets. No assets no debt. But you knew that.

      2. Duncan as you well know, that was our government offering to play fair even when they were not required to do so. You know fine the treasury announced in January 2014 that they were responsible for all UK debt.

        You should be embarrassed for trying to spin that as an SNPBAD issue, then again the way all you yoons are lying yer earses off just now is pretty unbelievable.

        You must all be getting the shites right up you about the next independence referendum, how else could you explain the total panic/lies being displayed.

        1. The Treasury made that announcement because without it the money markets would have been subject to wobbles around the referendum. They made it because they knew the referendum would jeopardise our shared economy. The fact that the UK Treasury was prepared to underwrite all debts in the event of independence did not take away the responsibility of an independent Scotland for its share of the debt.

          1. What does take away any debt obligations to an Indy Scotland is the status of a Seceded State. So whether or not Scotland will be obligated by a debt share will depend entirely as to whether the rUK goes on pretending it can be the UK without Scotland or not.
            If it insists on pretending it can be the UK then it will inherit the entire UK debt and Scotland will be free of any obligation to a debt which is registered by the creditors as a UK DEBT.
            If it doesn’t then it will have to proportionally share out all of the UKs assets including the Gold reserves the BoE and the currency.

          2. Duncan. What is Scotland’s “share” of the debt?
            On what is it based?
            Is it based on International Law?
            What precedent can you offer, to back up your assertion?
            I stated in a previous answer that my opinion was based on reading up on the Austria Convention. Successor States etc. You did not refute or deny my comment. You did not cite examples ( in law or in practice) as proof of your different perspective.
            I dont think you can, your answers are just waffle and deflection.
            I think you are full of shit.

          3. Duncan, are you daft?
            The White Paper stated that Scotland would take on a per capita share of LIABILITIES, in exchange for a share of the accumulated ASSETS of the UK, built up over three centuries.
            As I have stated, that reflects International Law on the dissolution of States. One Successor State with all assets, liabilities and Treaty Obligations, or the reasonable alternative offered in the White paper.
            THE UK TURNED THAT DOWN, FLAT!
            So, as things stand, Scotland would start life as a new State with zero debt.

          4. That is just complete nonsense. Stop believing what your read on Wings.

          5. Duncan, I didnt read it on wings. I have told you my source.
            You havent told me your sources. I dont believe you have any.
            As I told you, I think you are full of shit.

          6. How can I give you a source that says your assertion that “THE UK TURNED THAT DOWN, FLAT!” is false? It’s false because it never happened, so there is no source. 🙂

          7. Duncan. The source I asked you to provide is related to your assertion that Scotland would carry a share of the UK debt into independence, IF the UK insisted that it was the Successor State ( which it did during the referendum in 2014).
            The UK cannot be both the Successor State claiming all the assets and Treaty Obligations that goes with that, and THEN insist that Scots carry a share of the liabilities and accrued debt, when it would be a New State.
            Do you have a source for your ludicrous assertions?
            Or is it just Bullshit?

          8. I gave you the source, my angry little friend. It was the SNP Scottish Government’s White Paper, “Scotland’s Future”.

            From page 21:

            The apportionment of the UK national debt will be negotiated
            and agreed. The national debt could be apportioned by
            reference to the historic contribution made to the UK’s public
            finances by Scotland, or on the basis of our population share.
            We may choose to offset Scotland’s share of the value of UK
            assets against our inherited debt. On any realistic calculation
            Scotland’s inherited debt is projected to be a lower proportion
            of GDP than is the case for the UK as a whole.

            Or I can recommend reading from page 341 onwards which not only covers the transfer of national debt but also confirms the obvious point that an independent Scotland would be liable for state pension payments for its citizens.

            The whole thing is available as a handy download here:

            http://www.gov.scot/resource/0043/00439021.pdf

            Well worth a read. 🙂

          9. The UK Govt, with Labour watching on gleefully from the side lines, very publicly declared an Independent Scotland would not get to share Sterling or the Bank of England. Both UK assets. The constant stream of Whitehall briefing papers were all based on Scotland getting none of the UK’s assets. Hence the bloated “start-up” costs the Independent Scottish state would supposedly incur. They also declared all treaty obligations would be retained by the UK and declared the newly Independent Scotland would have to start from scratch. There were also many UK Govt assertions that the newly Independent Scotland would get none of the UK’s military assets with such classic one-liners as “how can you get half a ship” and the like. AND crucially, as you have already admitted, they took full responsibility for ALL the UK’s debts.

            However much you might try to obfuscate here Mr Hothersall, the UK state (both its Govt and most loyal opposition) declared ALL UK assets, treaties and obligations would be retained by the rUK as the Successor State. We all heard it, read it, saw it. That includes the debt. Without the debt, Scotland’s budget deficit is extremely modest.

            How you can claim this is not the UK “turning down flat” the SNP’s perfectly reasonable (though legally unnecessary) offer to take on a share of the UK’s humongous debt in exchange for a similar share in assets and expect to retain some semblance of credibility is frankly baffling.

          10. Hilarious, and entirely wrong. The UK government made no such statement. If it had it would have been pilloried, and not just by ranting idiots like yourself.

            Sterling isn’t an asset. It’s a currency. You really, really don’t have the first clue about what you are trying to discuss.

          11. Alas Duncan, if wit was shit, you would be constipated.
            You give idiots a bad name, but never mind. Your avoidance of serious debate, your pretence that Britnat 2+2 make 7 in Britnat bluster would be embarrassing to watch if it weren’t so funny.
            The Cameron Government asserted they were the SUCCESSOR STATE in regard to the EU, NATO, the UN etc.
            If you want to avoid facts, then hell mend you. The truth is out there!
            You are full of shit, my pathetic friend.

          12. As I said Mr Hothersall, “we all heard it, read it, saw it”. Not ” a statement”, but an entire campaign. But obfuscate and belittle all you like, it only makes you look more and more disingenuous.

      3. No Duncan, it is only Unionists that “have an appalling view of the worth of their own country”!

  15. “No, it’s about honesty and accuracy, one person posting evidence and another posting a lie. Shame on you for excusing the liar. Makes you as bad as him.”

    https://www.scribd.com/document/209646043/Standard-and-Poor-s-Key-Considerations-For-Rating-An-Independent-Scotland

    “Scotland would qualify for our highest economic assessment. Higher GDP per
    capita, in our view, gives a country a broader potential tax and funding base to draw from, which supports
    creditworthiness.”

    Always worth repeating.

      1. No you gibbering arse it clearly vindicates what I said.

        “Scotland would qualify for our highest economic assessment” That would be a Triple A rating Duncipoo. Unless they’ve upped it to a Quad A rating? Have they?

      2. Seriously. You are shown the truth and continue to lie and lie and lie just because you are labour and labour are on the side of the angels as I remember blair stating in one of his mor messianic speeches.

        In truth labour is the party that protects lords who rape babies.

        Makes you proud drunky wunky wanky.

    1. “We already know that Standard and Poors will rate an Indy Scotland with a triple A rating”

      You lied, Mike. It’s you who needs to apologise. But it’s okay, I know you won’t.

      1. How can you say Ive lied when I stated an event “WILL” happen in the future?

        You playing with yer crystal balls again Duncan?

  16. “Is that the sound of gagging? or spluttering?”

    “Finally acknowledging that you were lying Mike? Well done.”

    No that’s the sound you only get when reality itself has to be denied in order to avoid admitting the truth.

    Shameful and pathetic.

  17. I’ve always found a GERS a very impressive document and pretty much the best estimate we’re likely to get. It’s funny that many unionists and nationalists feel the need to criticise it for being too optimistic or pessimistic depending on their side.

    Scotland’s deficit is currently nearly as bad as the UK’s deficit was in 2009/10. Whether or not we become independent that needs to be fixed. The idea in the post that we can safely ignore it and the English will fund it for the next 20 years seems optimistic at best.

    The post gets on very shaky ground where it talks about repaying our entire national debt over 20 years. I’m not aware of any country that has done that and even the Conservative plans involve only a very small reduction in total debt over that period.

    It also seems pretty odd to say that Scotland would be unique among sovereign countries in being unable to borrow.

    Debt interest in the post is £5 billion per year. In GERS it is £2.3 billion. I don’t understand the difference. Also of course under QA the biggest recipient of debt interest is of course the central bank, currently the Bank of England, so you probably want to make an adjustment for that.

    Finally, Scotland would not require a £40 billion currency reserve unless the plan was to have a fixed exchange rate or currency peg which are both very bad ideas.

    The post would have been much better if it had stuck with the actual GERS deficit numbers rather than exaggerating them up to £27 billion. The truth is quite bad enough!

    1. GERS impressive? “The” GERS brought in by Ian Lang in 1992 specifically to present figures and data derived politically and not mathematically in order to verify Tory party ideology and nothing else? “The” GERS that today gets its data directly from the OBR?

      “The” OBR created by George Osborne in 2010 as another Tory party quango specifically to present figures and data derived politically and not mathematically in order to verify Tory party ideology and nothing else?

      That’s the kind of faith that has folk leaving chocolate biscuits out at night for the fairies at the bottom of the garden.

      1. GERS is produced by the Scottish Government with the minister responsible being Derek Mackay MSP. I think it’s a very impressive bit of work and makes me proud of our SNP government.

        1. No it isnt the Scottish Government contributes to GERS by supplying the Devolved data but the actual compilation of the full report is done by civil servants working for the Scotland Office under Scotland Office guidance.
          It started with the Scotland Office under Ian Lang and has remained a Scotland Office remit since. At no point has it ever been given over to the Scottish Parliament. Don’t forget the Scotland Office refers to itself as the Scottish Government because officially Westminster refuses to acknowledge the status of the Scottish Government as a Government.

          You need to get out more.

          1. The mix of abuse and complete lack of understanding of basic facts that are completely unarguable is hugely embarrassing.

            Those of us trying to campaign for Scottish independence are undermined by people like you.

            I suspect this is why LabourHame are happy to have you comment on their site as you make nationalists look completely ridiculous.

          2. “I suspect this is why LabourHame are happy to have you comment on their site as you make nationalists look completely ridiculous.”

            I couldn’t possibly comment. 🙂

    2. GERS does not reflect how Scotland’s economy would actually be, as it is largely based on guestimates and money attributed to Scotland rather than money spent here, as seen from Westminster, and is a reflection of how Scotland would be if we were STILL PART of the UK economy.
      Serious economic commentators understand this point.
      Scotland would not be committed to the enormous cost of infrastructure spends—all south of here. It would not need to spend 2% on defence. Indeed we will lose much of the UK defence structure here, but we will repatriate the funding ( and we pay more than is spent here) we provide, we can defer that spend until we can afford it. We will need to spend on State Infrastructure ( replacing government departments), but we will be repatriating spending from south to north of the border. £250 million back from the BBC is a small start.
      Of course we will need to “balance” our budget, but it isnt anything like as tough you imagine it to be.

      1. Yes of course, I didn’t say that GERS showed how an independent Scotland would function. However it’s very useful background material for starting to make the economic case for independence.

        The big difference is that an independent Scotland would be able to do things like adjust immigration and have more appropriate currency and monetary policies.

        I always feel that I’m getting things about right when I get equal amounts of abuse from nationalists and unionists!

        1. I think you’re setting too much store by GERS. It was specifically designed by Secretary for Scotland in a State Ian Laing to make the Scottish economy look like a basket case and scupper labour’s plans for devolution, with the S.N.P. as a secondary target. You can find his memo if you google it (other search engines are available). Most of the figures are at best guesstimates, produced from treasury figures, a treasury which, according to chief secretary at the time of the referendum Sir Nicholas MacPerson, saw its job as preventing a yes vote. They are, as you said a statement of Scotland in the union rather than an independent entity, and we both know that the point of independence is to do things differently. Finally, if they’re as bad as some people would have us believe, they’re not a great advert for continuing U.K. membership.
          You’re also right that we need a starting point for discussing the economy, but GERS tends to be used by the unionists as shroud waving

        2. That’s a blatant logical fallacy. It just means both sides see you are a prick.

          How come GERS gives Scotland £500,000,000 in spirit duty and england £4,000,000,000 when all the whisky comes from Scotland?

          5 Billion pounds worth of whisky sales at 79% tax. Spirited away to london before our very eyes. Bet you’re a proudscotbut yoon who sees nothing wrong with that?

  18. Hammonds budget is going to prove that the case for Independence is imperative not just beneficial.

    1. Our colonial press daftly assert this morning, that Scotland receiving a consequential share of 60% of spending in England ( while they ignore the other 40%), is proof the UK works.
      Nothing of the kind. Scotland’s economy collapsed throughout the period of the 20th century, and London did little to assist.
      Indeed our industry was bought out at bargain basement prices, stripped of assets and closed down or moved south.
      10 of thousands of tonnes of steel imported for the N sea, while Scotland’s steel industry was starved of investment then closed down.
      No new car manufacturing plants for Scotland, bought with our oil revenues. Scotland got screwdriver assembly plants, in direct competition with the third world.
      Labour and Tory—two sides of the same base coinage.

  19. I think that second time around the issue of finance will be irrelevant the the decision of many who voted for the Union after the last referendum had buyers remorse and will probably vote differently that is to say with the heart rather than the head. Project Fear is another factor it did not work with Brexit or Trump and this time it is excuse the pun doomed to failure therefore I expect with the many celebrities, media commentators and for example Sarah Smith BBC alongside down south Will Self and Toby Young supporting Scottish Independence it looks as if its Independence is a certainty and Happy Days are on the way. In the revised words of Private Frazer we are no longer doomed.

  20. “The mix of abuse and complete lack of understanding of basic facts that are completely unarguable is hugely embarrassing.
    Those of us trying to campaign for Scottish independence are undermined by people like you.
    I suspect this is why LabourHame are happy to have you comment on their site as you make nationalists look completely ridiculous.”

    What? What abuse? I’m pointing out how wrong you are about GERS. You only have to read the language of the report to see it wasn’t written by anybody sympathetic to Scottish Indy or Scotland in general. Its takes most of its data directly from the OBR. What self respecting pro Indy Government would do that? What self respecting Government that isn’t the Tories would do that? Even Labour wouldn’t touch the OBR with a barge pole.

    You sound like a Yoon when you start taking any level of criticism as personal abuse.

  21. I feel the narrative put forward in this article has to be challenged in the strongest terms.
    First of all on national debt. The reader could be forgiven for believing Scotland uniquely in the UK would inherit a massive debt. To ask how a country of 5.5 million could possibly service a debt of 120 billion when we all know the UK as a whole has a national debt of 1.5 trillion is the first fear tactic.
    Secondly both the UK and Scotland would inherit a budget deficit post independence.
    If Scotland inherits a larger budget deficit which is a fair assumption, why does a supposedly socialist Labour party espouse spending cuts in Scotland while higher borrowing in London?
    This is where Labour are guilty of deceiving Scots and betraying it’s politics.
    Thirdly these are not Scottish government figures.
    They are as McDonald states”‘the figures available to the Scottish government”
    They actually arrive through the treasury and make massive assumptions such as believing that an.independent Scotland would have exactly the same spending commitments as a Tory UK government. They are in fact the figures for a devolvef Scotland continuing.
    Finally there is the Brexit factor. The IK government already tells us that the UK may have to spend 66 billion extra per annum to finance Brexit. This massively incentifies an independent Scotland in Europe.
    The Labour party has capitulated to this neo liberal position on Scottish independence.
    In doing so it uses Tory arguments to belittle Scots .Just another reason Scots have had to desert them.

    1. The UK debt appears to be over 8 trillion actually when you take the entire debt obligations into consideration instead of dishonestly leaving them out.

      https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/taxpayersalliance/pages/5508/attachments/original/1434447400/Real_National_Debt.pdf?1434447400

      Why is it fair to assume an Indy Scotland would inherit a larger deficit? Why is it fair to assume it would inherit a deficit at all?

      There is no Scottish deficit Scotland doesn’t overspend ONLY the UK Government overspends in a UK wide capacity.

      Will you stop promoting “project fear”? Stop buying into the Horseshit. We have a population of 5.3 million and assets which would support a population 10 x bigger.

      When are people in this country going to start dealing with reality?

  22. “I suspect this is why LabourHame are happy to have you comment on their site as you make nationalists look completely ridiculous.”
    I couldn’t possibly comment.”

    I suspect he’s one of yours Duncan.

  23. I often wonder where the unionist factions get there strange claims from. As to their claims that the price of oil & gas can either boost or decrease the Scottish economy I really have to wonder where that particular madness originates. Scotland’s only gain is from the jobs and on-shore installations that the local council gains business rates from. However, most of the workers are resident furth of Scotland and spend their wages elsewhere than in Scotland. The companies mainly have their registered head offices in England. The truth is that when the oil & gas prices fluctuate the effect is mainly on the United Kingdom’s treasury.

    Every drop of oil and whiff of gas that has been extracted to date has not directly contributed a single penny to the Scottish economy. The revenues from Scottish Sectors of the Continental shelf are designated by the Westminster Establishment as being extracted from what they designate as, “The United Kingdom’s Extra-Regio-Territory”, and it goes directly into the United Kingdom Treasury. Not a penny of it is allocated to Scotland and not a penny of it is credited as Scottish earned revenue. They do, but only for deriving other statistical purposes, use a figure of 8.4%, (on a relative population basis), as being Scotland’s contribution to the revenue.

    The level of the three devolved country Block Grants is decided by Westminster and further regulated by Westminster by use of Barnett Consequentials, (both positive & negative), and the price of oil at the wellhead has no effects upon the levels of Block Grants. Thus, if the revenues from oil & gas in an independent Scotland was to only be 0.5 of a penny then it would be a clear gain to the Scottish Treasury Revenue.

    Not only that but in spite of the revenues being from Extra-Regio-Territory when it comes to collecting the cash from the Scottish territory when it comes to the costs of any criminal activity requiring investigation, police action and subsequent court action the costs are born by the local councils adjacent to where the criminal activity took place because it took place under Scottish legal jurisdiction.

    I have only one thing to say to describe the Scottish, Westminster based, unionist political party members, “Siccna paircel o rogues in a nation”.

  24. I see the professor had a flurry of these stunts during the independence referendum, with gloom and doom articles on how Scotlands’ economy would crash if we used sterling (in the guardian during the independence referendum campaign.

    Has he released his updated article on how Brexit will impact Scottish financial and job markets?

    I’m sure if he does and it reveals Brexit will cos widespread damage to Scotland’s public services and the loss of thousands of jobs, Duncan will be happy to publish it on labour hame and to apologise to Scotland for Labour leading the most dishonest political campaign in the history of UK politics.

  25. After 300 years on farms, in factories, in coal mines, in steel work, in shipping yards a very talented, well educated intelligent hard-working country of people are nothing?

    Let us accept Rob Hoskin’s argument and the $26Billion a year of liability.
    What should our response be to a Westminster Government and to a 300 year old constitutional status which has left us in such a mess? Accept more of the same is what Rob Hoskins suggests!!

    Rob, WE are already liable for substantial debt and are already funding it our of Scottish taxes. Nothing changes if we are Independent.

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