Was having this discussion with a Scot and he was adamant that with the oil,
Scotland paid more money to England than it received in subsidies. I always
thought it was the other way around. Which is it?
Depends which figure you use for comparison.
In terms of the block grant he is probably right.
However, the block grant is supposed to pay only for devolved services
and expenditure. There are a number of non devolved expenditures that
are paid for by the UK Exchequer directly and are still enjoed by the
Pensions and benefits (biggie)
Customs and Revenue services
The cost of Westminster government.
The UK Civil Service
Department of the Environment
Motor vehicle and Driving licence registration.
Air traffic control
Add in the pro rata cost of that little lot and his argument will be
nowhere near so convincing.
Sotland will need to make provision for virtually all of these were in
to become independent.
Because he is the Prime Minister of the UK and not of England. As such
he is committed to preserving the integrity of the UK. He will not be
Prime Minister of the Uk for ever any more than the Tory party will
win every UK General Election from now on.
This is not a party issue. The Tories, Labour and Liberal Democratic
parties are all pretty much in accord and will share a platform when
the time comes.
Because there is no way Scotland could sustain it's current standard of
living without the union. We'll see a slow exodus of Scots into the rest
of the Union (but primarily England) which will cause enormous social
problems. It's enlightened self interest.
I feel sorry for Scottish folk who feel "dictated to" by Westminster. But
overall Scotland has done well out of the Union, something that will
become painfully clear if real independence is ever granted.
The more the Scots crow about being "independent" the harder it will
be for English politicians to justify any state of affairs where it is
*perceived* that money is flowing from England to Scotland.
I would like to see DC asking the rest of the union if we want Scotland
to remain part of the UK, might take the wind out of the sails of Alex
Salmond if we vote to kick them out, no need for him to have a referendum.
Lets have our say first, make it easy for him, then as the costs of
running Scotland mount up, and they have to raise taxes to pay for it
all, he can have his "finest hour"
The problem is, if the UK did expel Scotland, their standard of living
would fall faster than Weimar republic Germany. We'd have an unbroken
line of refugees heading for England, with the associated civil unrest
No one I have spoken with seems to have mustered any firm opinion on the
subject in the same way they don't really have any firm opinion on
whether they should use cross-head or slot-head screws in building the
Mars rover. With the exception of a couple of Scots colleagues. They are
against independence, and have a surprisingly low opinion of Mr. Salmond.
Yes!! Why on earth should it be left to the Scots? Surely we have a say
too?? It is OUR Union too!
I am living in Scotland and expect HUGE tax rises before long:( Salmond is
keeping us sweet atm with free this and free that. It won't last and we
will have to pay for it hugely when he gets the power he wants.
I think the Scots are more canny than that ... I suspect Salmond is
jockeying for the "devolution plus" option, hence his fury that Cameron
has suggested a straight YES/NO referendum.
There is some truth to the view that Scotland is like a teenager, still
living at home (in the UK). They want their own space, but forget who's
paying the bills, washing their clothes, and providing them with meals.
Yeahbut the point is that Scotland would decide what Scotland wants. I'm
sure they don't want much of the UK's defence nonsense ;-)
The issue of a Scottish direct and indirect taxation system has been
alive and ignored for years - it's when the totals of what they get and
what they think they want are seen that the answer to this question
(gain/lose) will become clear.
However, what price freedom? ;-)