Money in an independent Scotland is what really matters to the majority of folk considering the decision they’ll make next year. Oh I know there are a few of us who would vote yes even if we were going to move into a cave the day following independence but for the majority of the folk in Scotland, it’s the money that dominates the debate.
They need to know that there will be money to live, money to keep the company or organisation that they work for alive and kicking, money for their pension, money for social security, money for the Scottish NHS and all the other services that we all rely on and finally what that money or currency will be? After all as the saying goes”no mun – no fun”.
The yes campaign have been the most scrutinised independence campaign in the world – ever. Here, just have a look at this;-
They spend a large part of their time answering the same questions over and over again even when it has been proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Scotland provides more in taxes as a proportion than any other part of the UK and can well afford to “go it alone”. That is the strategy of the “Better Together” campaign that is working to ensure that Scotland remains shackled to Westminster and keeps Scotland’s wealth flowing south. It is however. high time that they told us what would happen if we vote no, we should now be shining the spotlight on that house of cards, shouldn’t we? I digress. Let’s just look at some of the stuff where we are being fleeced on paper…..
We pay too much for the interest payments for the UK debt which now sits at just below £1.3 Trillion to the tune of £64 Billion so far. I’ll let Business for Scotland explain that one….
Also there are the “hidden” taxes that aren’t even added to Scotland’s bottom line. Did you know that England produces large quantities of Scotch Whisky? Well no they don’t. The Whisky is produced in Scotland and instead of crediting Scotland with the tax that’s charged on it, the treasury takes £2.6 Billion as the Whisky passes out of the UK at Felixstowe. After independence those export duties will flow straight to the Scottish Treasury.
GERS is another laugh. That’s the creative accounting calculation that the Treasury feed yearly, they must be tickled that they’ve got away with it for so long. Anyway, “GERS” stands for Government Expenditure Revenue Scotland. The oil revenues are shown on a per head basis and as a geographic share. That means that we’d only be entitled to 8.4% of the oil revenue if we regained our independence and be happy for 92.6% of the revenue to keep flowing to London (a city in a foreign country) if the “per head” calculation was used. Aye right!
Also there’s the wee matter of 6000 square miles of Scotland’s seabed that was transferred to England (stolen).
Craig Murray who was a British Ambassador says it best;-
” It is essential that Scotland is not conned into accepting the existing England Scotland maritime boundary as a precondition of any independence referendum. This boundary must be subject to negotiation between equal nations post independence, and in my opinion is most likely to end with referral to the International Court of Justice. I have no doubt the outcome would be a very great deal better for Scotland than the Blair-Dewar line, which would cost Scotland billions.”
I should explain that I was the Alternate Head of the UK Delegation to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and was number 2 on the UK team that negotiated the UK/Ireland, UK/Denmark (Shetland/Faeroes), UK/Belgium, and Channel Islands/France maritime boundaries, as well as a number of British Dependent Territories boundaries. There are very few people in the World – single figures – who have more experience of actual maritime boundary negotiation than me.”
The UK’s other maritime boundaries are based on what is known formally in international law as the modified equidistance principle. The England/Scotland border was of course imposed, not negotiated. It is my cold, professional opinion that this border lies outside the range of feasible solutions that could be obtained by genuine negotiation, arbitration or judgement.
It ignores a number of acknowledged precepts in boundary resolutions, most important of which is how to deal with an inverted right angle coastline, as the Scottish coastline is from Elgin to Berwick, with the angle point around Edinburgh. It also fails adequately to close the Forth and Tay estuaries with baselines – by stark contrast to the massive baselines the UK used across the Thames and Stour.”
Does anyone need any more information than that? The oil is ours and that seabed is ours as well. The most important thing to remember that even though we’ll have that oil revenue, it’s a bonus that we can put to good use. Scotland has a GDP that is 99% of the English GDP without the oil. With the oil our GDP rises to 120%.
The next bit is the pensions. Now that is a laugh. It seems that a fair proportion of the population believe that there’s a huge pot of money hidden away in the UK Treasury built up by all our National Insurance payments over the years. They couldn’t be more wrong. That link was broken a long time ago and now it is taxes collected today that pay the pensions today. The pot no longer exists, it was spent years ago. The population have been duped. Again.
However, because Scotland provides more in taxes than the rest of the UK, your pension will be paid just the same as it is now and to begin with, we’ll add a bit to make your state pension the highest in the British Isles. Not by much (we’ll be working on that one) but still more. Do you want to live in a country that pays you £6000 odd a year or do you want to live in an independent Scotland that aspires to give you at least double that? Germany pays their pensioners £25,000 a year and Sweden £22,000 a year. What’s not to like? No more decisions over whether to run the heating or eat today because you can’t afford to do both! How unjust is that? We’ll have all the tools to fix that one if we opt for independence. To those who have private pensions, nothing will change as those pensions would still be paid into your account even if you moved abroad, so no change there. And to those who have a public servant pension, nothing will change, it’ll be just the same. If we stay with Westminster I would see that as the next thing they’ll be looking at. A no vote would be a bit of a “shoogly peg” just waiting on the UK chancellor to decide that as he’s taken everything else, your pension is next. Ouch.
The social security payments will continue as well and the Scottish government have already said that they are against the “universal credit” and will change it to a fairer system when independent. Bedroom Tax will also be abolished as it’s just a crazy idea and if Scotland had been independent already, no one, even on a bad day would have come up with such a stupid idea that ends with the eviction (to where?) of people that are unable to cope with the extra costs for their home. Those people don’t have much to begin with and don’t be drawn into the nonsense spouted by rags such as the Daily Mail, there are no millionaires living on benefits apart from the Royal Family.
Finally we come to the currency. What will it be? Sterling, Euro’s, “Bawbags” even? The Scottish government have kept on about using Sterling which after all belongs to us. We certainly can’t use the Euro because to use that, we’d have to be in the ERM (Exchange Rate Mechanism) for two whole years before even being considered. Even the Bank of England is part owned by Scotland even though it has an unfortunate name – it should have been called the “Bank of UK” or some other name. Our part ownership of that independent organisation is a fact that wont go away much to the disgust of the British Establishment and the unionists.
Let me explain why those in Westminster will come scuttling to the negotiation table with their common sense heads on if we vote yes;-
We are “warned” that the rUK (rest of the UK) wouldn’t want to enter into any currency union with an independent Scotland. Is that so? This is something that I as a pro-independence supporter and promoter am completely at ease with.
Scotland is an exporting nation and England is an importing nation. That is just a plain, un-argued fact.
The two balance out so that the balance of payments are kept relatively stable. Sterling benefits from that balance of payments, and if it went negative, it would cause inflation and a necessary devaluation of the pound to boost exports.
Now lets look at both scenarios that are possible;-
Scotland sets up its own currency
The rUK would have to manage a devaluation in stages to boost exports but that would feed more inflation as goods bought from abroad would cost more. Scotland would also have a currency that would predictably become very hard and it’s value would rise and cause problems with exports due to a high price for the currency. Imports to Scotland would be cheaper of course but not an ideal situation. Scotland would have to consider giving trading loans to countries that we wished to sell to. Other countries do it but sometimes the loans go bad.
Scotland uses Sterling in a currency union with the rUK
This deals with problems on both sides quite nicely as the rUK would benefit (the same as before independence) from Scottish export sales to keep Sterling stable. Having a stable currency would benefit Scotland as it could get on without having to worry about a currency becoming too hard. This would keep the cost of imports and exports for both the rUK and Scotland on a stable footing so both benefit. Both Scotland and the rUK would also have the benefit of being able to keep selling goods and services to each other without the impediment of exchange rates.
I’m a pragmatist, and look at the bluster that’s being produced right now as temporary until the people of Scotland vote to regain their independence. Once that happens, common sense will kick in and both sides will come to the negotiating table because they’ll want to. Because both sides will benefit from a currency union, I’m sure that the negotiations will be sensible and provide Scotland with terms that are favourable and takes away the temptation to form our own currency initially, which of course would be our choice if the terms became unworkable in the future anyway. The obvious fact that budgets would have to be agreed on both sides – by both sides is largely a given and we would agree the rUK’s and they would agree ours.
This would give Scotland the set-up needed to progress as a nation. And the favourite argument of the unionists where interest rates would be different in Scotland…..give me a break! The Bank of England would set one interest rate for all on these islands, if not we’ll just vote with our feet, it’s as simple as that. Don’t forget we already have our own notes and the IMF are just as good a lender of last resort as the Bank of England are.
I hope this helps everyone. Just think it through yourselves and you’ll come to the same conclusion as me. It’s not rocket science you know, it’s just people like George Osborne, Danny Alexander and Alistair Darling trying to make it seem that way. They’re just not telling us the whole story, that’s the problem.
Add to this the fact that we’ll be able to make decisions that benefit Scotland and Scotland alone means that we’ll be able to put up the sign that says “Scotland is open for business”. With international companies setting up in Scotland and providing jobs and investment I predict good times ahead. We just need to get by the stupid arguing and politicking stage and realise that we’ve already got everything we need to make Scotland what we always wanted it to be; a small, rich, normal, fair, equal, independent European country brimming with hope and opportunity for all those that live here.
I cannot wait to get started!
David Milligan Lvss