Scotland faces “severest cuts in political history, over and above the retrenchment of the last few years” if it votes for the status quo

Herald and Sunday Scotland

Wednesday 27 November 2013
 

Scotland will face the “severest cuts in political history” if voters reject independence, the country’s First Minister has claimed.

Alex Salmond
 

The day after he launched the Scottish Government’s White Paper on independence, Alex Salmond challenged the leaders of the pro-Union parties to spell out what the financial impact of staying in the UK will be.

The parties involved in the anti-independence Better Together campaign, Labour, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats, must now “provide answers to fundamental questions about if Scotland maintains the Union”.

Mr Salmond issued the challenge as MSPs debated the White Paper which runs to almost 670 pages and sets out the SNP administration’s aims for negotiating terms after a Yes vote on September 18 next year.

Ministers are relying on keeping the pound as currency, shared with the rest of the UK, and are working towards seamless transition to European Union statehood.

The document also indicates what an SNP Government would do if re-elected in 2016, including pledges to increase free childcare, scrap the so-called bedroom tax and remove Trident nuclear missiles from Scotland.

“The assumption has been so far if we don’t have independence, everything will continue much as it is,”

Mr Salmond said.

“That’s not going to be the case.”

“The Government has set out our case for an independent Scotland. What we want to hear from the Unionist parties, Better Together, is how big is the Better Together raid going to be on the Scottish Budget if Scotland votes No.”

The vision presented by the Scottish Government in the White Paper would be:

“contrasted against a future where they see low growth in population, low growth in the economy and Scotland subjected to the severest cuts in political history, over and above the retrenchment of the last few years”.

Mr Salmond said:

“Politics are about choices and the choice next year will be between that new society or the future offered by Better Together, which for many Scots will be no future at all.”

The white paper, titled Scotland’s Future: Your Guide to an Independent Scotland, sets out plans to increase the amount of free childcare youngsters can receive to 1,140 hours a year if the Nationalists form the first government in a newly independent Scotland.

Mr Salmond said if his party was voted into power after a Yes vote, by the end of the first parliamentary term £700 million would have been invested to provide this level of care to vulnerable two-year-olds and all three and four-year-olds.

“In the longer term our ambition as a country is to make these levels of care available to all children from the age of one,”

he said.

Opponents challenged him, demanding to know why Mr Salmond’s government – which already has power over childcare – had not done this already.

But the SNP leader insisted independence was necessary to implement this “transformational policy”.

He argued that a six percentage point increase in the number of women in the workforce could boost tax revenues by £700 million, and independence would mean this cash would all remain in Scotland rather than going to the Westminster Treasury.

The First Minister said:

“A childcare revolution is the sort of transformation under devolution that we can only imagine – with independence it’s one that we can implement.

“The revenues would flow into the Scottish treasury after independence, which would enable that transformational plan to be funded.”

He challenged his opponents to spell out how they would pay for such a policy under devolution without making “dramatic cuts”.

Mr Salmond said:

“In next year’s referendum the people of Scotland will be asked to choose between two futures – between taking the future into our own hands or continuing to allow key aspects of Scottish life to be controlled by Westminster governments.

“Yesterday the Scottish Government published our vision of a better Scotland. Across 670 pages and 170,000 words, addressing 650 questions, Scotland’s Future: Your Guide to an Independent Scotland sets out how we can build a fairer, more prosperous and more democratic country.”

Labour leader Johann Lamont attacked Mr Salmond over the Government’s currency plans.

She questioned how Scotland could be fiscally independent in a formal monetary union with the rest of the UK.

“We would have an independent Scotland which relied on a foreign bank and foreign taxpayers for our currency,” she said.

“A foreign parliament from which we had withdrawn would draw up the rules.

“This independent Scotland would have its interest rates, its spending policy, its tax policy, its borrowing limits set by a foreign country.”

Setting up such a monetary union would likely depend on a referendum for the rest of the UK, while Prime Minister David Cameron has said that such an arrangement is unlikely.

Maintaining the Bank of England as lender of last resort would also mean the rest of UK taxpayers bailing out a Scottish bank.

“Imagine if Scotland’s future currency depended on a referendum in which no Scot would have a vote,”

she said.

“The idea that you would abuse the rest of the UK for how they have done us down, and then go back to them and say, could you do us a favour and let us share your currency, simply beggars belief.

“The reality is better childcare, reform of the council tax, relieving the victims of bedroom tax. We could do all of these now, if (Mr Salmond) is serious about making this Parliament work.

“The White Paper is littered with con-tricks. Scotland deserves better and Scotland will see through it.”

Conservative leader Ruth Davidson questioned whether an independent Scotland could become a full member of the EU within the 18 months between the referendum and the Government’s independence date in March 2016, and whether it could remain in the EU while this process takes place.

Ms Davidson said that European officials have said Scotland would not be able to approach the EU for membership “until after it’s finished all of its negotiations with the UK”, which contrasts with the Government’s view.

These negotiations with the UK would need to be “completed in time to start a formal membership application which would require each of the institutions of the EU and every one of the 28 other member states – each one holding a veto – to agree to change the founding treaty; to open up and amend a number of other treaties; to agree all the opt-outs secured by Britain that the SNP want to keep; to add to the commissioners; to add to the voting”, she said.

“All of that in a matter of mere months when from application to accession it takes states an average of eight years to join.

“The Scottish Government are desperate to prove that they don’t have to come out of Europe before they get to go back in. And they are contorting themselves in every possible way to find a straw to grasp on this issue.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie criticised the First Minister’s pledge on childcare, complaining that he has not been able to match England yet.

“If he can’t even be trusted to match England on childcare, why I should I believe a single word he says on childcare for 10 years time?”

he asked.

Extending the current policy under the devolved settlement has been a key feature of encounters between the two men.

The Lib Dem leader frequently calls for a increased provision during the weekly First Minister’s Questions session at Holyrood.

Mr Rennie also attempted to poke fun at the SNP’s expense one day after the formal unveiling of the White Paper.

“True to form, it’s day two of the happy clappy sect’s starry-eyed optimisim, worshipping the god of positivity,”

he said.

“Alex Salmond – the patron saint of blind optimism.”

Green party co-leader Patrick Harvie said the No campaign must make clear its agenda for change.

“Scottish Greens are comfortable encompassing all shades of opinion on the question of independence, while having a clear majority in favour of a Yes vote,” he said.

“But our highest priority in this debate is to ask what kind of country we want Scotland to be, and that is a debate the No campaigners have so far failed to engage in.”

SNP backbencher Christina McKelvie launched into an analogy about the birth of a nation.

“This is the day, our day, Scotland’s day. The day that we can cradle in our arms Scotland’s future and hear the infant cries of a new country,”

she said.

“On September 18 2014 we will dispatch our child off to a new kind of school, one that recognises the worth of every single infant and gives her wings to fly.”

Heaping historical significance onto the White Paper, she added:

“There is a strong argument that this is the most important political document to be produced since our country’s nobles appealed to the pope in the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320.”

SNP backbencher Marco Biagi looked further back into history in an attempt to criticise Alistair Darling, leader of the Better Together campaign to keep Scotland in the UK.

“Alistair Darling could have been presented with the 10 Commandments themselves on the slopes of Mount Sinai and he would have dismissed them for saying honour thy father and mother, and asked if it includes adoptive parents,”

he said.

Herald Scotland

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36 Responses to Scotland faces “severest cuts in political history, over and above the retrenchment of the last few years” if it votes for the status quo

  1. George says:

    What happens if all the dream of a better tomorrow doesn’t happen,what if Scotland has to raise taxes to fulfill all the dreams of an independent Scotland,what happens if the is a massive migration South of the border to escape Scotland.
    Will the United Kingdom be expected to bale out a foreign country,by the name of Scotland?

  2. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    Sometimes the depths of depravity that the DWP will try to sink to reach another “nadir”………………………….

    Just had a letter from somebody called Charlotte Trusler who works at the Blackpool benefits office.

    It’s quite handy her living miles away on the opposite coast to me, as it gives her the anonymity, the cloak of darkness, that enables her to send out sanctions to an unknown, that will further destroy his life……………………….

    To call someone heartless, evil, and productivity driven, would be an understatement. She is the face of uncaring Britain, fuck you jack, i’m alright!

    Driving a family into destitution while reaching her sanction targets for the month is the norm, nowadays.

    Why should she care about a worthless cripple who pisses himself?

    Her letter makes fascinating reading, but before i continue i would like it known that i attended an ATOS medical and was found fit for work……….
    They took away my incapacity benefit altogether….

    ………the letter states;

    Mr Reynolds is entitled to the higher rate of mobility component from and including 14/11/2002,because he is virtually unable to walk considering the distance,speed, manner and time he is able to walk without severe discomfort.

    Mr Reynolds is entitled to the lower rate of care component because he cannot prepare a cooked meal.

    Mr Reynolds has back problems, rheumatoid arthritis, hearing problems and bladder problems.

    A DECISION WAS MADE TO SUSPEND MR REYNOLDS BENEFIT WAS MADE ON THE 24/7/2013 BECAUSE HE HAD NOT COMPLETED AN INQUIRY FORM.

    IT IS NOT DISPUTED THAT MR REYNOLDS HAS DISABLING CONDITIONS, HOWEVER MR REYNOLDS DISABILITIES ARE NOT AT ISSUE IN THE DECISION UNDER APPEAL.
    THAT DECISION IS BECAUSE MR REYNOLDS FAILED TO PROVIDE INFORMATION THAT WAS REQUESTED ON BEHALF OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE.

    ……….please enjoy your Christmas Charlotte. As for us at the other end of your brown envelope, don’t shed a single tear, you are only doing as instructed…………..

    ……..no income, no heating, no seasonal goodwill, just a chore to stay alive.

    My family would like to extend their thanks for all you have done………..
    Reply

    • bobchewie says:

      @geoff I wonder what her jobs worth ?

      • TODDY says:

        Her job is worth every ounce of pain she can inflict on a claimant without having to meet them or their families, face to face.

        It’s worth it in value terms too, value being remuneration for her unrepentant sins committed on the most weakest and less able in society.

        Wages of sin hold no boundaries to the pain that they inflict on others. Many references to these actions were displayed by the Nazis who were only following orders.

        Since when has it been acceptable to give out a sanction that could end in death, and then defend it by arguing that you had been instructed to do it?

        Murder is murder, whether administered by a weapon or an anonymous brown envelope!

        How would this woman feel if Mr. Reynolds took his life, starved to death or killed his family in a ritual pact of suicide?

        The actions of evil hold no boundaries as far as the DWP are concerned, life is cheap and ethnic extermination the newest tool in a growing hatred of the underprivileged.

        Charlotte, forgiveness you will never receive, your actions are reprehensible on a disabled man and his family.

  3. bobchewie says:

    @Black Triangle have noticed that tory law is all backwards ?
    1. Execution ..benefit claimant deaths
    2 punishment ..benefits removed
    3 on trial – daily hate judging them
    4 charged – accusations of being a scrounger
    5 arrested – malevolent benefit hotline fraud accusations fraud squad ..

  4. Meredith Ong says:

    HAVING STUDIED YOUR CASE, I CANNOT SEE THAT YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG WHATSOEVER.

    IF YOU INFORMED THE POWERS THAT BE, THAT YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE NOT CHANGED, YOU HAVE COMPLIED BY THE LETTER OF THEIR, (THE DWP’S) LAW.

    ON EVERY GOVERNMENT WEBSITE IT STATES CLEARLY THAT, THE CLAIMANT MUST TELL THEM IF ANY CHANGES OF CIRCUMSTANCE OCCUR, THEREFORE YOU HAVE FULFILLED YOUR OBLIGATION IN FULL.

    I SUSPECT THE QUESTIONNAIRE THAT THEY SENT YOU, ASKED FOR A SIGNATURE.
    I WOULD ADVISE ANYBODY NOT TO SIGN THESE DOCUMENTS AS YOU ARE ENTERING INTO A HIDDEN CONTRACT THAT HAS BEEN PURPOSELY DRAFTED TO FORCE YOU INTO A DEEPER AGENDA THAT REMOVES MORE OF YOUR FREEDOMS.

    PS THEY USED THIS CON TRICK TO CIRCUMVENT THE LAW AND PUSH CLAIMANTS OFF INCAPACITY BENEFITS AND INTO MEDICALS WITH ATOS, AFTER WHICH THEY WERE FOUND FIT FOR WORK AND HAD THEIR BENEFITS STOLEN. ESA, THEFT FROM THE WEAKEST!!!

    …………ALWAYS READ WHAT THEY SEND YOU. BY SIGNING YOU ENTER INTO A CONTRACT, WITHOUT YOUR AUTHORITY, THEY ARE SHAFTED.

  5. Stepping Razor says:

    Back again after a break – I couldn`t log in for a while.

    Sod the appeal system – Go straight to the DWP`s Data Protection Officer to get things fixed – Start working or lose your job DPO.
    SR

  6. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    BROWN ENVELOPES ARE FALLING,

    THE VICTIMS ARE AS WELL,

    CAMERON’S BIGGEST COVER UP,

    ONLY TIME WILL TELL……………………………………………..

    AND THOSE OF YOU NOW TWITCHING,

    WILL BE BROUGHT BEFORE THE COURT,

    YOUR HEINOUS ACTIONS QUESTIONED,

    FROM CORRUPTION THAT WAS BOUGHT……………………….

    WE ARE IN IT ALL TOGETHER,

    I REMEMBER ONCE YOU SAID,

    BUT CEMETERIES, NOW ARE BULGING,

    WHILE YOU TRY TO HIDE YOUR DEAD……………………………

    ONE THING BRINGS ME COMFORT,

    IN YOUR HASTE TO QUIETEN ALL,

    THE VOICES OF REAL PEOPLE,

    WILL ENSURE, YOU BASTARDS, FALL…………………………………..

    AND LOOKING BACK IN HISTORY,

    OUR MANUSCRIPTS WILL SAY,

    DISABLED PEOPLE MURDERED,

    EVERY SINGLE DAY………………………………………………

  7. Stepping Razor says:

    DWP Tick Box Workers are now doing undercover medicals so as to not make public they are not medically qualified what so ever!

    Yet another DWP fraud !!

    SR

  8. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    JEREMY HUNT HAS TWICE BEEN TOLD THAT HIS ATTEMPTS TO CLOSE LEWISHAM HOSPITALS A & E, WAS ILLEGAL.

    NOT HAPPY WITH THIS, HE IS NOW TRYING TO CIRCUMVENT OPINION BY GRANTING HIMSELF THE POWER TO DO IT ALONE.

    BLOCK HIS ATTEMPT TO CHANGE THE LAW BY ADDING YOUR OUTRAGE TO THIS MOVE……….

    PLEASE SIGN THE 38 DEGREES PETITION AND SEND THIS ARSEHOLE TO HISTORY.

    https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/nhs-section-75#petition

    Leave a Reply

  9. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    Thought i would give you an update of my condition since the joint theft of my subsistence by EMMA BRODRICK, a lying HCP, working for ATOS, and CHARLOTTE TRUSLER of Blackpool DWP

    BRODRICK’S lies took away my Incapacity Benefit and TRUSLER’S, my Disability Living Allowance……………………

    Notwithstanding, the government keep telling claimants that £71.20 is the amount of money needed to live on, yet i do not even receive this and was declared disabled for life after an accident at work…………….

    My hands are riddled with rheumatoid arthritis and i have problems wiping my backside. I wear disposable pads that hide the fact i cannot hold my bladder sometimes when rising from a sitting position.
    I purchase the pads and any medication i need from my own pocket, finding it cheaper than expensive prescriptions.

    Since my DLA has been stopped i cannot afford these “luxuries”, and have been stuffing old newspapers down the front of my pants.
    As a result of this i have become sore and developed thrush around my genitals. The tops of my legs have become red raw and a sickly sweet smell is evident.
    Behind my foreskin is also red raw and i am discharging liquid. When i urinate i get a burning sensation in my penis.
    I am not sure if the infection on my genitals is connected to having an ability to wipe my bottom properly, it could be a cross contamination of some kind.

    i have developed bad gumboils in my mouth. I am not sure if it is to do with my genital infection or eating bad foods.
    There are many fantastic adverts on our tv sets showing the finest of christmas cuisine, but this is a luxury that me and my family will never be able to afford. Todays menu will be the same as yesterday, an onion ring sandwich, and out of date at that…………………….
    The physical abuse that is being directed at persons with a handicap is no joke. The biggest perpetrators are our own DWP. It seems to have developed into a national sport where the criteria seems to include, who can do the most evil to someone in dire circumstances.

    No doubt there will be people just waiting to ridicule what i write, these are the people who sit back and poke fun at those in the weakest position, those not able to fight back.

    Please feel free to ridicule, as it is you, and not i, who needs help badly. You have succumbed to the lowest base possible……………………….

    “THE TRUTH HURTS THOSE WHO TRY TO CONTAIN IT”

    • Meredith Ong says:

      All the hallmarks of DWP Decision Maker;

      Maria Mandel was a Nazi official who worked inside Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp and Dachau concentration camp. She was the highest ranking a woman in a camp could receive. She only answered to the commandant. Her job was to control all female prisoners and all female assistants.

      She was directly responsible for some 500,000 women dying. Many witnesses remembered her standing at the gates of Auschwitz-Birkenau waiting for inmates to look at her. She would then pick those who looked at her for immediate extermination.

      In May, 1945, Maria fled into the mountains of southern Bavaria. Soon after she entered her former birthplace at Munzkirchen, Austria. United States armed forces personnel arrested Mandel on August 10, 1945 and interrogated her. They handed her over to Poland in November, 1946.

      In November, 1947, she stood trial in a Krakow courtroom and was sentenced to death. She was hanged on January 24, 1948

    • AL says:

      We just keep fighting. And don’t be shamed at what others have done to us. Shame back on the abusers where it belongs. Dealing with DWP is to enter a whole other world of crazy and some of them know it. We have to either fight each case individually, provide new supporting info and ask the DM to reconsider. What ever it takes. And or together try to CHANGE Govt policy.

      Appeals now taking 18m to 2yrs I’m maybe half way there. Tribunals are costing a fortune and they are stacked. Advice is to send info and see if DM will reconsider. Then we can start WCA all over again. And next time, we don’t mess it up! In march we will have daily signing, mandatory? voluntary work and the work programme to contend with. Not actual work I think but preparing and dreaming about it. To be carried out at a location as inconvenient as possible. And where are the employers who want to give actual jobs to weedy folks like us? Norfolk remploy closed this summer, 26 disabled people out of work and just ONE has since got a job. Impressive huh? Changing Govt policy seems an attractive option.

  10. Serenity says:

    GEOFF REYNOLDS, That anyone in a first world country should be left in such a dire, inequitable predicament as you have breaks my heart, do we really want too live in such a pitiless, inhumane society? I know I don’t!
    They have found evidence that Neanderthals cared for their old and sick, the mob in power clearly are the most unevolved of creatures.

  11. bobchewie says:

    As i said before crank science meets corporate interests and its called health
    aand social care in the UK.
    Otherwise known as disability denial industry

  12. Serenity says:

    New age airy fairy nonsense, what next? Will they be using horoscopes and mystic meg for future decision making. Positive thinking, grow rich while you sleep, a spell a day will keep the Dr away. Lucky charms and talismans, remind me what century is this?
    http://old.richarddawkins.net/discussions/532986-fighting-the-new-age-nonsense

    http://altreligion.about.com/b/2009/07/15/the-myth-of-subliminal-messaging.htm

    http://www.csicop.org/si/show/subliminal_perception_facts_and_fallacies/

  13. bobchewie says:

    Re DWP court appeal regarding discrimination against mental health sufferers.
    Q: why on earth did DWP appeal against its own rules on offering advice to GPs.
    Where it stated in its own document about submitting evidence about patients medical history where it states that they require facts not opinion and offers as example. ” patient symptoms eg suicidal thoughts with regard to depression..”

    This suggest to me that either DWP is out of control or the minister in charge is out of control…

    • Stepping Razor says:

      Contradictions – DWP appeals against its own rules.
      Having a contradiction policy means you can take your own rules to court for breaking it`s own rules. A contradiction is not fit for purpose & not worth the paper it`s written on because it is contradictory contradictions. What a contradiction muddle the DWP have got into with failures.

      SR

      • bobchewie says:

        @razor i strongly suspect the hand of IDS in all this…yep the hand of IDS is afoot…haha…

        • Stepping Razor says:

          IDS is a contradiction in terms. Not even elected terms. IDS has always been a failure. Roll up roll up the roll outs are all very very late. So no one takes pride in their work – Just, it will sort itself out in IDS`s lazy world.

          SR

          • bobchewie says:

            @razor can you be a contradiction and a failure at the same time ?

            • Stepping Razor says:

              @bobchewie – Not for me !! But if you can`t even get the contradictions right then it`s a failed contradiction policy. Pantomime season has started, using contradictions now !!

              • bobchewie says:

                IDS been on radio and reported in the graun…spot the tory troll IDS fan club ..
                In comments…sniffy really is a clueless
                Fuckwit….

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