ref date:24 Sep 1998 (SI)
Labour continues to push economic lies on Scottish voters
This statement was made by Donald Dewar, the secretary of state
for Scotland (London appointed lackie) concerning Scotlands economic viability
as an independent state
Some facts before his words
 Scotland has the worlds 7th highest GDP (independent stats announced last week)
 The so called "UK' lags at number 17 out of 27.
 The Scottish Office HAS NOT released all economic stats to the SNP
(a) so that they can lie about how we Scots live off Londons grace
(b) So the SNP cannot prove once and for all that Westminsters claims are lies
Dewars statement - my comments in BOLD....
I DO not dispute the SNP's right to argue the case for independence, though its vision is very different
from mine. But I am determined that Scotland should have the right to make an informed choice.
Yes, so why does London NOT release all economic information from the
Scottish office to the SNP and all Scots so they can see for themselves if your claims about an independent Scottish economy are true?
This week the SNP itself has chosen to highlight the economic arguments to bolster its case. To
examine any of its assertions brings shrill cries of Nat-bashing. But it is my conviction that what it
holds out as facts are largely myths and should be exposed as much.
A lie from LabourSee Independent Economic report -old but as London wont allow more recent economic stats out...
It is said that Scotland does not get its fair share of public expenditure. That is simply to fly in the
face of the facts. If you take identifiable public expenditure for 1996-97, these show that Scotland
receives 24 per cent more per head than in England.
No one has said this in the SNP, what is clear is that Westminster plans
to CUT public spending in Scotland after the election TO FORCE the Scottish
parliament to raise taxes to cover the Westminster induced shortfall
Faced with these facts the SNP claims that Scotland pays a hidden penalty because it is
underfunded from other areas of Government spending which cannot be identified and defined, such
Again, the evidence is against it. The figures show that Scotland's share of defence contracts and
personnel (both military and civilian) is roughly in line with our population share.
SO: where are the documents to prove this, Westminster big on words but no
The SNP claims that an independent Scotland would be better off outside the UK than within it
because of the impact of oil revenues on the books of a separate Scottish government. But Scotland
currently pays substantially less to the UK exchequer than it receives. The latest figures show that
an independent Scotland would have had a deficit of £7.4 billion.
A lie: see the Scottish Office own figures showing how the Scots have been ripped off the last 20 years...
Even if we add in the 90 per cent of oil tax revenues from the North Sea which the SNP claims would
be Scotland's, we would still be left with a deficit of over £5 billion.
And this gaping hole in Scotland's finances would not disappear in the near future.
For example, over the first three years of the new parliament, this deficit is likely to average over £5
billion excluding oil and over £3 billion a year even if 90 per cent of oil tax revenues were included.
In order to bridge the gap the SNP could: cut back services; increase personal taxes; or increase
The impact on services if these were to bear the burden would be catastrophic, equivalent to around a
quarter of the current Scottish Office budget. Alternatively the basic rate of income tax would need to
rise by over 20p.
Neither of these responses are credible for a party which wants to remain electable. So the only
option left would be that businesses would be forced to pay.
It is this financial hole which gives lie to Mr Salmond's tax-cutting strategy for business.
All the above scare mongering from Mr Dewar flies in the face of the Scottish office
If Labour is serious then release ALL requisite economic statistics as the SNP have requested
I want to stress that I have no sympathy with those who argue that Scotland is "subsidised" by the
rest of the United Kingdom. The country is a partnership where we pool our resources and distribute
them on an agreed basis.
Yes; Scotland pays its way and then is short changed NOT by the English - but by Westminster.
The reason for the higher public expenditure allocation in Scotland can be explained and justified in
terms of sparse population, the islands with their increased costs, the weather patterns, the high
stock of public sector housing and, sadly, our health statistics.
The Weather? Is Westminster expecting anyone but a moron to believe this is true? Scotland has a population roughly 9 times LESS than England, do they
really think we BELIEVE we spent 9 times more.... because of rain????
A further fallacy is the claim that there will no extra costs associated with a separate Scotland. No
matter how good a deal the SNP thinks it could get in terms of the divorce settlement, Scotland
would inevitably face very much higher costs in order to maintain the same levels of service.
When Scotland runs its own income tax collection FOR ITSELF and
only has to do so for roughly 5 million people, it will be a smaller system, it won't have the same running costs as the monolithic money swallowing Inland Revenue. We can save a fortune by shutting DOWN the Scottish office, it will no longer be needed, it never was. Why is there NO English office as the Scottish
and English parliaments were meant to have entered the Union of 1707 on an equal footing?
It stands to reason if Scotland is to match the United Kingdom's network of embassies and trade
missions there would have to be considerable additional investment.
YES: And London is doing all it can to STOP Scotland asserting its independent voice in the world as it sits on the UN security council and directs the British Standards Institute to block Scotlands moves to establish E-commerce independence on the Internet (breaching the
1707 free trade
legally binding guarantees London made.)
Likewise, if Scotland has to run a tax collection system, then clearly similar sophistication to the UK
system has to be achieved on a very much smaller population and revenue base.
A further myth, much favoured at the moment by Nationalists, is that United Kingdom economic
policies are geared to London and harmful to Scotland. In fact, decisions on United Kingdom
economic policies are based on economic data for the whole of the country, not for Scotland or for
Yes, policies tuned for Southern England generally, as thats where the bulk
of the voting population is.
Recently the SNP has targeted current interest rates as being in some way "anti-Scottish".
One of the first decisions of the Labour Government was to replace the responsibility for fixing interest
rates with the independent Bank of England, though instructing it to work within the framework of
Government policy, and in particular inflation targets.
The whole point is to ensure that there is no return to the boom and bust cycles of the past that have
been particularly damaging in Scotland.
I am particularly confused by the Nationalists' position on interest rates.
Mr Salmond believes that there should be a different interest rate in Scotland and he objects strongly
to control resting with independent committee acting for the whole of the United Kingdom.
At the same time he is in favour of entry, at least in due course, to the European Monetary Union,
when Scotland's interest rates will be set by an independent committee of bankers operating from
Frankfurt and covering the whole of European Union.
Yes: the bank of ENGLAND, setting rates to benefit the manufacturers
in the Southern portion of the so called "UK". An independent bank where
keeping in with Westminster can land you a nice knighthood in the
unelected house of Lords if you're a good old boy.
With monetary union at least Scottish bankers WOULD have a direct input
into the process, an input that the bank of England would rather give up
as it sits on the fencepost watching EMU and sucking its thumb, sulking.
Nationalists have recently put great emphasis on parallels with Ireland.
Mr Salmond is fond of promising substantial cuts in corporation tax but there's no evidence that in
Scotland's case, in the longer term, the lost revenue would be recouped through higher yields.
As the Governor of the Bank of Ireland, Maurice O'Connell, has pointed out, Ireland introduced its 10
per cent corporation tax in 1980 and in very different circumstances from those to be met by an
If corporation tax were reduced to Mr Salmond's 12.5 per cent it would result in a shortfall in revenue
of up to £1.5 billion.
This would be a genuine problem for any SNP Chancellor. As Jim Sillars pointed out this week, it
would almost inevitably lead to higher taxes with a hike either in VAT, income tax or National
Pure speculation Labour, give us the FULL economic statistics for Scotlands
economy, so much for your damned idea of open government, open when it suits you.The Eire bank chief has to say Scotlands would fail, if it succeeded then
Eire would have problems, but what if Scotland and Eire made deals
within the EU, then London would be worried, non?
Mr Salmond, too, while quoting some of the admirable achievements of the Irish economy, does
rather overlook the fact that they have a top rate of taxation of 46 per cent which kicks in when
income reaches £13,000.
If we were to apply that regime here, a Scot earning £20,000 a year would be paying something
around £1,500 more in income tax.
The great objective of the Labour Party's policy is to maintain stability in the United Kingdom
economy, with a growth rate that can be sustained. We want to avoid the highs and lows of economic
activity which has often left Scotland struggling at the wrong end of the economic arithmetic.
Recently the SNP has been touting the claim that, on its own, Scotland would be the seventh
wealthiest country in the world.
This is based on adding all of North Sea GDP to that of Scotland. But oil is an international business
run by companies that are not mainly UK owned so much of the wealth accrues overseas. The UK
does benefit from the taxes on these companies' profits.
An independent Scotland would indeed get a share of the taxes on these North Sea oil profits - but,
as explained above, oil taxes are not nearly enough to plug the average £5 billion annual hole in
Put bluntly, separation just does not add up.
Put bluntly, Donald is a mouthpiece for the London appointed, unelected so called Scottish Office, who have not had the guts to release the economic statistics
to let the truth about Scotlands economy be known. This is a deliberate ploy
to scupper the SNP and other parties in Scotland from making CLEAR economic statements. The deck is loaded in Londons favour.