Scottish independence: Parties demand 'Yes' cost release

Alex Salmond Alex Salmond has attacked the UK government's estimate of the set-up costs of an independent state

Scotland's main opposition parties have jointly called on First Minister Alex Salmond to publish the cost of setting up an independent Scottish state.

They said voters needed the figure to make an informed choice, ahead of the 18 September independence referendum.

A spokesman for the first minister said much of the infrastructure for an independent Scotland "already exists".

And he said the letter was an attempt to divert attention from "misleading" UK government figures on the issue.

A letter to Mr Salmond, signed by Johann Lamont, Ruth Davidson and Willie Rennie - the respective Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat leaders - claimed it was now known that Finance Secretary John Swinney agreed in 2012 to produce a report on the issue.

It added that, last week, a spokesman for the first minister said the figure had not been calculated and that no such estimate would be given.

"It is simply unthinkable that a government would pursue such a radical and irreversible policy such as independence without first undertaking any modelling work or providing any estimates for the cost of that change," stated the letter from the three politicians.

"There are now little more than 100 days until the people of Scotland go to the polls. We now urge you to publish this important information without further delay.

"Without it, voters will not be in position to make an informed choice when they go to the polls in September."

letter Opposition leaders set out their demands in a joint letter to the first minister

Mr Salmond previously rubbished UK Treasury analysis putting the start-up cost at £1.5bn - a figure the Treasury said could be twice as much, if based on a different study by Prof Patrick Dunleavy, of the London School of Economics.

Prof Dunleavy later accused UK ministers of a "ludicrous" use of his research, prompting Mr Salmond to say the case for the figure had been "destroyed".

The academic later estimated the Scottish cost could be between £150m and £200m - a suggestion the first minister said was reasonable.

A spokesman for the first minister said of the opposition letter: "This is a blatant attempt to divert attention from the fact the UK Treasury were last week caught red handed trying to cook the books on an independent Scotland's finances - that was a deeply dishonest attempt to mislead people, for which they should now apologise and withdraw their bogus figures.

"The question the Westminster parties now need to answer is how much they plan to slash Scotland's budget by in the event of a 'No vote' - what are their secret plans to cut Scotland's cash and will they be straight with the people of Scotland before the referendum?"

The spokesman added: "Much of the infrastructure for an independent Scotland already exists, and we already pay our fair share of running costs for all services.

"We are also entitled to a fair share of all UK assets."

More on This Story

Scotland Decides

More Scotland politics stories

RSS

Scotland Live

  1.  
    12:03: Video - Ross County reaction to Adams's sacking

    Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor speaks to BBC Scotland's Andrew Thomson about the sacking of manager Derek Adams and his father George, who was director of football at the Dingwall club.

    Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor
     
  2.  
    11:59: Never Miss A Beatt John Beattie BBC Scotland

    Would a Yes or a No vote be better for business in Scotland? 79% of jobs in Scotland are private sector.

    You can listen to the Beattie Show here.

     
  3.  
    11:56: Get Involved Gordon Brewer BBC Scotland News

    Radio Scotland's The Big Debate is holding a referendum special from the Gurdwara (place of worship for Sikhs) in Albert Drive, Glasgow, on 5 September.

    I'm looking for your questions on the economy. So, if you want to discuss issues like currency, taxation, oil and public services with a panel of guests, you can apply for a ticket by emailing: bigdebate@bbc.co.uk.

     
  4.  
    11:40: Goldie oldie

    DJ Goldie found the inspiration for his latest work in a piece of medieval religious music by monks from the Scottish Borders.

    The club star worked with an Oxford University academic to sample parts of the Hawick Missal Fragment.

    Goldie

    The piece will be part of a performance at Glasgow Cathedral on Saturday.

     
  5.  
    11:33: Independent Thought

    The Scottish secretary has indicated he could join Scotland's negotiating team for talks on independence if there is a "Yes" vote in next month's referendum.

    Scottish secretary Alistair Carmichael

    The Scotsman newspaper quoted Alistair Carmichael as saying he would find it "difficult" to remain in his current job.

    But he said be believed those negotiating on behalf of Scotland would face an "enormously difficult path".

     
  6.  
    11:26: Crash victim named

    A man who died after a crash involving a road roller on the A93 at Devil's Elbow near Glenshee on Monday, has been named.

    Ian Bullions, 61, originally from the Kirriemuir area, will be "greatly missed," his family said.

     
  7.  
    Referendum Debate - Your Views John Beattie BBC Scotland

    Hi business folks, why would a Yes or Better Together vote be better for you? Anyone prepared to say?

     
  8.  
    11:15: Cave monster

    A geologist claims to have identified Britain's biggest cave in Shetland.

    Calders Geo

    The Calders Geo sea cave at Esha Ness has been found to be 60ft tall and spanning a floor area of 5,600 square metres.

     
  9.  
    11:10: New York couple buy the Big Yin's Home

    A businessman from New York and his Scottish wife have been revealed as the new owners of Billy Connolly's mansion.

    Billy Connolly

    Marc Lino and his wife Lynne, 44, bought Candacraig House in Strathdon, Aberdeenshire, and its surrounding estate from the Big Yin and his wife Pamela Stephenson Connolly for almost £3m.

    Read the full story in The Scotsman.

     
  10.  
    11:04: Spring success

    Organisers have estimated the annual Spring Fling arts and crafts event in Dumfries and Galloway generated £1.4m for the local economy.

    Dumfries Spring Fling

    More than 40,000 people visited sites across the areas with an additional 18,000 visitors to three associated exhibitions.

    Dumfries and Galloway Council's Colin Smyth said: "The superb results for Spring Fling demonstrate the timeless appeal of the event, the hard work of its staff and board and the sustained investment that the council has put in over a number of years."

     
  11.  
    10:56: Van Dijk, Mackay-Steven and Legia fears

    Virgil van Dijk and Gary Mackay-Steven may soon be on their way out of Scottish football, while Legia's chairman fears a riot if the Poles draw Celtic in the Europa League.

    Virgil Van Dijk

    It is just another day in the world of football gossip.

     
  12.  
    10:29: Ryanair confirms Prestwick routes David Miller BBC Scotland transport correspondent

    Ryanair has confirmed it's to continue flying from Prestwick Airport next summer.

    The budget airline revealed in July that it was transferring several key routes from Prestwick to Glasgow Airport. That led to speculation about the future of passenger services at the Ayrshire terminal.

    Ryanair will operate a total of 44 weekly return flights from Prestwick next summer, and 57 return flights from Glasgow.

     
  13.  
    10:26: Travel update BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    An accident on the A96 Westbound in Moray between B9015 Mosstodloch and B9103 Lhanbryde has been cleared and traffic has returned to normal.

     
  14.  
    10:22: Man proposes to his girlfriend at Braehead

    A Glasgow man proposed to his partner at a popular shopping centre in the city.

    Tony Moore managed to persuade bosses at Braehead Shopping Centre to show a video of his proposal on a big screen, before he got down on one knee and popped the question.

    Read the full story in the Daily Record.

     
  15.  
    10:10: Managerial casualty

    Ross County have sacked manager Derek Adams and his father George, who was director of football at the club.

    Derek Adams

    In a statement, the club said that the parties "have come to an agreement".

    Adams led County to the 2010 Scottish Cup final during his first spell in charge of the club, and to promotion to the top flight in his second.

    Coach Steve Ferguson and captain Richie Brittain will look after the first team for Saturday's Premiership game at Hamilton Academical.

    County are without a point after four league matches this season.

     
  16.  
    10:05: Cancer sufferers need more help

    Three-quarters of cancer patients who are clinically depressed do not get the psychological therapy they need, according to research in the Lancet.

    Charities say the current situation is "heartbreaking".

    depressed man

    People often wrongly assume that major depression is part of a natural reaction to cancer - but this is much more than transient sadness, the Edinburgh and Oxford university researchers have concluded.

     
  17.  
    10:00: Morning Call - Get Involved

    What would you like to ask Douglas Alexander of the Better Together campaign before you cast your vote in the referendum?

    Louise White and Douglas Alexander

    Call 0500 92 95 00 or text 80295 with your questions.

    You can listen live to the debate here.

     
  18.  
    BBC Scotland Live - Your Views

    What do you think of BBC Scotland Live? We'd like your feedback about this service.

    We've introduced the rolling text service to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place.

    Tell us what you think here.

     
  19.  
    Text using 80295 Referendum - Your Views

    Andrew, ex-pat in County Durham: It's intriguing me as to what will make the difference in the vote outcome - is it just one vote? If so, why aren't the two sides using this as a strong point in getting their voters into the booths? Also - where will the vote be announce and whom will announce it?

     
  20.  
    09:49: Squirrel leprosy danger

    Scotland's red squirrels are facing a new threat from a form of leprosy, according to scientists in Edinburgh.

    Red squirrel

    Six cases caused by a bacteria similar to Mycobacterium lepromatosis have been confirmed in squirrels in Dumfries and Galloway and the Moray Firth since 2006.

     
  21.  
    09:41: Page turner

    Edinburgh author Alexander McCall Smith has been shortlisted for the Scottish Children's Book Awards.

    McCall Smith's Precious and the Mystery of the Missing Lion is in the younger readers' section.

    Scottish Book Awards

    One of the other shortlisted authors is Alex McCall, a 20-year-old screenwriting and filmmaking student at University of the West of Scotland in Ayr, who will be hoping to win with his work Attack of the Giant Robot Chickens.

     
  22.  
    newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk 09:28: Your Photos

    Reader Karen Brown sent us this stunning image of Glen Affric near the village of Cannich in the Highlands.

    Glen Affric

    You can send in your own photographs via email or twitter using #ScotlandLive

     
  23.  
    Text using 80295 Referendum - Get Involved

    Stephen, Ayr: In the event of a No vote can we, the British people, claim back all the money wasted on this needless campaign?

    Derick, Monifieth: If we're 'Better Together,' why aren't better together now?

     
  24.  
    newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk 09:00: Where do we go if it's No? - Get Involved

    There has been plenty of talk about how things will change if there is a "Yes" vote in the Scottish referendum on 18 September.

    But what about if Scotland says "No"?

    BBC News political correspondent Tim Reid says it will be far from "business as usual".

    What do you think? Tell us by texting 80295, via email or at #ScotlandLive.

     
  25.  
    Text using 80295 Referendum - Your Views

    Chris, Dunoon: What happens to the Barnett Formula?

    Anonymous: If we are 'Better Together' why have food banks quadrupled? Why is there an increase in people in poverty with health problems due to malnutrition?

     
  26.  
    08:46: 'I'm your biggest fan'

    The mum of a five-year-old boy who wrote an "amazing" fan letter to Scottish Commonwealth swimming champion Ross Murdoch says he will be "over the moon" to meet his hero.

    Brian Fitzpatrick's note reached the swimmer despite being addressed simply to "Ross Murdoch, Commonwealth Champion, Balloch".

    Brian Fitzpatrick and Ross Murdoch

    The 200m Breaststroke gold medal winner asked Twitter users to help him get back in touch with the youngster.

    Brian's parents, who live in Dumbarton, got in touch after the appeal was retweeted more than 1,300 times.

    Ross now plans to meet Brian and show him where he trains.

    Brian's mother, Claire, said: "He loves swimming and is very excited at the prospect of meeting Ross.

    "To start with, I had no idea Brian was writing to Ross. He started school last week and I just thought he was doodling when he asked me 'Mum, how do you spell, I am your biggest fan?'"

     
  27.  
    08:38: What the papers say

    The Scottish independence debate continues to dominate the front pages ahead of the 18 September vote.

    Newspapers 28 August

    The Scottish Sun leads with a story claiming that senior Conservatives confident of a "No" vote have planned a champagne bash after the poll.

    Elsewhere, The Scotsman claims that Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael would leave his UK government post in the event of a "Yes" vote.

    You can read more in our daily newspaper review.

     
  28.  
    Text using 80295 Referendum - Get Involved

    Duncan in the hills: If Scotland votes No this must mean an end to international football and rugby. International comes from Latin, "between nations". Voting No means you deny that we have a status as a nation.

    Anonymous: My question is exactly what extra powers will Scotland be offered?

    Robert from Larkhall: I want to ask that if the Scottish economy is withdrawn from the Bank of England wouldn't there be another banking collapse?

     
  29.  
    08:22: Pro-independence drive

    More than 200 business figures have signed an open letter backing Scottish independence.

    Stagecoach chairman Sir Brian Souter and Clyde Blowers boss Jim McColl are among signatories who say independence is in Scotland's economic interest.

    It comes a day after a similar letter from 130 pro-UK business leaders said the case for independence had not been made.

    The pro-independence letter has been published in The Herald newspaper.

     
  30.  
    08:16: Travel update BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    In Glasgow, delays on the M74 around Rutherglen and congestion on the M8 heading eastbound at around Junction 28 Glasgow Airport, and Junction 27 Arkleston.

    Surface water on the M80 Northbound between Junction 4A Low Wood and Junction 5 Auchenkilns is also causing delays.

     
  31.  
    08:10: New York, New York...

    Andy Murray will aim to avoid the cramp he suffered in his first round win at the US Open, when he faces German qualifier Matthias Bachinger.

    Murray's second-round match at Flushing Meadows will open the late session on Arthur Ashe Stadium in the Big Apple.

    Andy Murray

    "I didn't feel unbelievably nervous before my first match (against Robin Haase)," Murray told BBC Sport.

    "I wasn't putting too much pressure on myself either - no-one really has any expectations of me here anyway.

    "I don't feel any different but I'm happy I'm still in the tournament. I could easily be on my way home."

    The Scot will take centre stage from 00:00 on Friday.

     
  32.  
    08:05: Morning Call Louise White Presenter, Morning Call

    On Morning Call we are giving you the chance to put your questions to the politicians at the heart of the referendum campaign. Tomorrow it's the First Minister Alex Salmond, but today it's the turn of Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander.

    Louise White Morning Call

    So what question do you want to ask Douglas Alexander of the Better Together campaign before you cast your vote?

    Tell us what you think by calling 0500 92 95 00, texting 80295 or via email. The lines are open now.

    You can listen live to the debate here.

     
  33.  
    Weather Update Judith Ralston BBC Weather presenter

    Rain sweeping north becoming confined to Orkney. Shetland staying dry with sunshine. Dry for a time before showers develop mainly in south. A lot of dry, sunny weather in the north pm. Temps ranging from 15C n/e coast with some mist here. 18/19 for most, 21C Inv & Moray.

     
  34.  
    08:01: Economy Boost

    The UK is "an economy of opportunity" which supports one million Scottish jobs, David Cameron is to tell business leaders.

    The prime minister will address the CBI conference later, calling the UK one of the "most successful single markets".

    Prime Minister David Cameron

    The speech takes place in the final weeks of the referendum campaign.

    Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond challenged Mr Cameron to name a single job-creating power certain to come after a "No" vote.

     
  35.  
    08:00: Rise and Shine... Thomas McGuigan BBC Sport

    Good morning and a warm welcome from the Scotland Live team as we provide our rolling live text service of news, sport, weather and travel from across the country between now and 6pm.

     

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.