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First Minister lets cat out of the bag on White Paper manifesto

January 31, 2014 9:15 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrats are writing to the Permanent SecretaryLiam McArthurLiam McArthur Peter Housden to call for a refund of the money spent on the white paper after the First Minister revealed the 650 page prospectus reflected "SNP policy".

During an exchange with Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur at First Minister's Questions today on Liberal Democrat plans to raise the income tax threshold further, Alex Salmond slipped up by admitting that the document set out SNP policies.

Speaking after First Minister's Questions, Mr McArthur said:

"The First Minister has let the cat out of the bag. Why are Scottish taxpayers paying for what Alex Salmond admits is a 650 page policy document for the SNP? Even when questioned on this the First Minister dug himself even further, qualifying that half of the document set out SNP party policies should Scotland vote to leave the UK.

"If it is the case that Scottish Ministers are misusing public funds and public office in this way, taxpayers deserve a refund. I will be writing to the Permanent Secretary Peter Housden to ask that he clarify this immediately.

"People will be appalled that the First Minister is so blasé about this given that the white paper did nothing to set out the costs, transition process or red lines for any negotiations that would be needed should Scotland vote to leave the UK."