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Rennie calls for publication of secret document on independence set up costs

May 29, 2014 3:07 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has repeated his callsWillie RennieWillie Rennie to the SNP Government publish set up costs for an independent Scotland.

During First Minister's Questions today Mr Rennie called on the First Minister to release work that the Scottish Government had undertaken to establish the set up costs of an independent Scotland.

In a secret Cabinet paper leaked last year, Finance Secretary John Swinney said "work is currently underway in Finance and OCEA to build a comprehensive overview of the institutions, costs and staff numbers which I will draw together and provide an update to the Cabinet in June (2012)."

Despite the First Minister saying during First Ministers Questions that work on set up costs underpinned the Scottish Government's independence white paper, the First Minister's spokesperson later said that no such work exists.

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

"People will doubt what the First Minister's spokesman said as John Swinney told the cabinet that work had already started. So where is that work? Was it completed? And if not who ordered it to stop?

"The information that John Swinney said exists must be published. To deliberately withhold such critical information could only be seen as a serious attempt to mislead people before the referendum.

"People will be flummoxed as to why the Scottish Government would wish to deny access to this important information on the set up costs for an independent Scotland."