We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Rennie: SNP cannot duck big questions on pensions

July 31, 2013 10:11 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP has said that theWillie RennieWillie Rennie SNP can no longer afford to duck key questions on the sustainability of pensions in an independent Scotland after a major report published today challenged the SNP to ensure that any radical independence promises were fully costed. The report from the Institute of Fiscal Studies looked at pensions and welfare spending in an independent Scotland.

The report said that a more generous pensions system could not be sustained without increasing taxes, cuts to public spending or a slower path of deficit reduction.

Commenting, Mr Rennie said:

"The nationalists' simplistic assurances that there will be no problems with pensions in an independent Scotland have been dismembered by the well-respected Institute of Fiscal Studies. John Swinney probably agrees with the report in private but would never be allowed to say so in public.

"The IFS has laid out clearly the backdrop to which the nationalists would have us leave the UK. With a population ageing more rapidly than the rest of the UK, the more generous welfare system offered but not detailed by the SNP would have to be paid for through tax rises, cuts to public spending or a slower payment of the deficit. That is the reality which the SNP have refused to address.

"Liberal Democrat plans for home rule in a federal UK would give us a hand up rather than hold us back. It would transfer more financial power to Holyrood whilst sharing across the UK, meaning that we could face the challenges of an ageing population together whilst tailoring our policies to meet local needs."