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Rennie challenges First Minister over new set up cost figures

June 26, 2014 1:51 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has challenged the Willie RennieWillie RennieFirst Minister to come clean on set up costs. The call comes after LSE Professor Patrick Dunleavy published a blog this morning where he said:

"Scotland's voters can be relatively sure that total transition costs over a decade will lie in a restricted range, from 0.4 of one per cent of GDP (£600 million), up to a maximum of 1.1 per cent (£1,500 milion). This is a step forward in debate and I am grateful to Iain for helping to bring it out."

The figure comes significantly above the original £200m cited for set up costs in work from Professor Dunleavy which the First Minister referred to extensively this afternoon at First Minister's Questions.

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

"Alex Salmond's favourite set-up costs adviser has now accepted that total additional costs for establishing an independent Scotland could be up to £1.5 billion. That's more than seven times higher than our First Minister will admit and an eye-watering figure that will cost Scottish public services dear. The First Minister should now come clean and accept that Professor Dunleavy, an academic he has quoted often in recent weeks, is now stating the real cost of setting up an independent state over the first decade will be between £600million and £1.5billion.

"The First Minister is now isolated with even his favourite adviser distancing himself. It is therefore incumbent on the First Minister to publish full costings for setting up an independent Scotland."
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