Scottish referendum: Alex Salmond says Scotland can afford independence


Alex Salmond has been putting the economic case for independence

Scotland can "more than afford' to be a successful independent country, its first minister has said.

Alex Salmond was speaking as he launched a paper outlining the nation's key economic strengths.

He said the document offered a consolidated picture of the country's strong financial foundations, diverse economy, ingenuity and natural resources.

Scotland's electorate will vote in a referendum on independence next year.

Both the Scottish and UK governments have been publishing documents that illustrate their cases ahead of the vote, which will be held on 18 September, 2014.

What does it say?

The Scottish government paper, Scotland's Economy: the case for independence, concluded that Scotland had "more than enough resources" if it had the powers of independence.

At-a-glance: Scotland's economy post-independence

The latest Scottish government paper, entitled Scotland's Economy: the case for independence, was launched by Mr Salmond and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the Alexander Dennis bus manufacturing plant in Falkirk.

It said that rising inequality under Westminster and consistent economic mismanagement by successive UK governments was costing jobs and depressing growth.

The paper focused on Scotland's potential for growth as an independent nation, where the Scottish government would have key economic decision-making powers.

Mr Salmond said Scotland had generated more tax per head than the rest of the UK for every one of the past 30 years.

What would Scotland control after independence?

Fiscal levers Non-fiscal levers

Oil and Gas Taxation

Consumer Protection

Excise Duty

Industry Regulation

Value Added Tax (VAT)

Energy Markets and Regulation

Air Passenger Duty

Implementation of EU Legislation

Capital Borrowing

Competition Law

Welfare and Social Security

International Trade

Corporation Tax (base and rate)


Public Sector Pay/Pensions

Public Provision and Procurement

Capital Gains Tax


Rural and Environmental Taxation


He also highlighted Scotland's strength in industries other than oil and banking, which have been the focus of much of the debate ahead of the referendum.

Mr Salmond said they included;

  • the country's food and drink industry, which has seen rising exports and an annual turnover of more than £12bn
  • creative industries with an annual turnover of £4.8bn
  • and life sciences, which employ more than 30,000 people.

The first minister said: "This document sets out the enormous attributes and key strengths of the Scottish economy across a diverse range of sectors. We have a vast array of human, financial and natural resources, which many other countries do not enjoy.

"Scotland has a strong onshore economy and vast offshore potential, as well as a highly educated workforce and world class technology and research.

"But despite all of these inherent economic strengths, Scotland's long-term economic growth has lagged behind that of comparable European nations, many of which do not have the natural advantages we do.

"The explanation for that rests in the fact that Scotland's economic strength is not yet in Scotland's hands."

Mr Salmond said the powers that come with being an independent country were needed to boost Scotland's competitive position, support greater innovation and investment, become more internationally-focused instead of threatening to leave the EU and to become a wealthier, fairer country.

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Today's publication by the Scottish government opts very strongly for fight. It lists in some detail Scotland's goodies - oil, renewables, food and drink, manufacturing, IT, creative industries etc.”

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He said the Westminster system of government was holding Scotland back in six areas, including:

  • The decision of the last two Westminster governments to cut capital spending which would have supported an additional 19,000 jobs in Scotland
  • The UK government's failure to establish an oil fund for future generations, similar to the Norwegian fund now worth an estimated £450bn
  • The decision by the UK government to engage in a boom in credit and debt expansion
  • Allowing income inequality to grow dramatically in the UK
  • The decision to concentrate economic activity in London
  • And the decision to pursue austerity rather than focus on growing the economy.

However, the head of the Better Together campaign, Alistair Darling, said that when asked what independence would mean for them, the corporate affairs director for Alexander Dennis said it would be "ridiculous" to speculate.

Mr Darling said: "Yesterday the nationalists once again accused us of scaremongering for saying that there was no detail on what separation would mean for the financial and banking sector.

"Today the company that hosted the launch of their flimsy economic plan said the exact same thing.

"This is a total humiliation for Salmond and Sturgeon. They can't answer the most basic questions on banking or whether we will be able to use the pound. Their case fell apart within minutes of launching it."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 2027.

    toorie Scotland is a vote for independence. Thats all it is all it ever cares about. Still here though after 60 years of all this. What a waste of taxpayers money.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2026.

    It doesn't take long to spot the trolls from the "Better Together" campaign which is orchestrated from London or the Scottish quislings bleating like lambs. I wonder if we can take them at their word when they say that when Scotland votes on the18th Sept 2014 and gains Independence they will ALL emigrate to England. Bye! Bye!
    Vote YES!

  • rate this

    Comment number 2025.

    I don't think the Orkneys, the Shetlands or the Hebridean islands will want to go with you if you do go.

    That'll make the Oil claims quite interesting, won't it Mr. Salmond. Can you do it without the Shetlands?

  • rate this

    Comment number 2024.

    His own words Alex Salmond on national TV. This is not independence but "scottish Independence" the rest of the world will not see it as Independence. Why all this waste of time and money then. Its not like our politicians have nothing better to do. Unless of course its all a scam because our politicians dont know what to do.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2023.

    forgot to reply to 1897 - cheeryallyj,

    Yes we did vote for labour. Its strategic voting. Where you vote for the party you dont mind winning to stop the party you really dont want from winning because the person you do want to win doesnt stand a chance.

    SNP will never gain a majority in westminster because of the number of seats Scotland holds in total. Therefore we voted labour


Comments 5 of 2027


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