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Danny Alexander: 1400 reasons why we're better together

May 28, 2014 1:35 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

As the Government publishes the study of how independence would affect Scotland's finances over the next 20 years, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander spoke at the launch of the latest Scotland Analysis fiscal paper in Edinburgh.

By staying together, Danny stated that the Scottish and UK economies can continue to grow and prosper as we make collaborative decisions to grow our economy.

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If Scotland became independent, it would start off in life in a worse financial position than the UK.

Danny said:

"Even the Scottish government's own figures show that Scotland would face a shortfall between what the governments gets in tax and what it spends on public services.

So, as a separate country, Scotland would be running a bigger deficit than the UK - from day one.

Indeed, independent forecasters show that, in 2016, Scotland would be borrowing over 5% of national income. That is double the deficit of the UK."

In his speech, Danny pointed out five factors that would affect Scotland's finances if it were to become independent:

1. New institutions would have to be set up in Scotland, costing the country millions of pounds.

2. Scotland would have to pay higher interest rates to borrow, resulting in around £500 million per year in additional debt interest costs.

3. The Scottish government's new policies would cost at least £1.6 billion every year.

4. Revenues from oil and gas production would fall by around 95% over the next 20 years due to the decline in North Sea oil production.

5. The shrinking number of working age people would have to pay for Scotland's growing number of old age pensioners.

Danny mentioned that all of these factors would be worth £1400 per person in Scotland each year for the next 20 years, something that would be easily avoided by staying in the UK.

Danny concluded his speech by saying:

"Today we have shown that, by staying together, Scotland's future will be safer, with stronger finances and a more progressive society.

Because as a United Kingdom we can pool resources and share risks. It means a UK Dividend of fourteen hundred pounds a year for every man, woman and child in Scotland."