Union dividend v Independence Bonus

Peter MacMahon looks into the issues of finance of an independent Scotland ahead of the independence referendum this September.

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Salmond claims independence will bring public spending boost

The Scottish parliament began its Summer recess today with the independence referendum still dominating debate.

It was raised in the final First Minister's Question's before the break, but there wasn't much of an end of term atmosphere in the parliament chamber earlier.

The independence referendum is just over 80 days from now in which Scots will be asked to decide if they want to leave the United Kingdom.

Labour's leader Johann Lamont raised criticisms from doctors' leaders in Scotland of the SNP's stewardship of the NHS.

But it was not long before First Minister Alex Salmond turned his answer round to what he claims are the benefits of independence - boosting public spending.


'No' campaign holds large lead in southern Scotland

An exclusive opinion poll commissioned for ITV Border’s political programme Representing Border, and conducted by ComRes, suggests a big majority of voters in the South of Scotland still intend to vote 'No' in the independence referendum.

In only the second survey to focus solely on the attitudes of voters in the South of Scotland, the poll found 26% of South of Scotland voters intend to vote yes. 61% said they will vote no. 13% are undecided.

Vote share for both Yes and No increased by two percentage points compared to the last poll conducted for Representing Border at the start of January this year. Of those who said they were likely to vote:

  • 26% of South of Scotland voters said they'd vote yes (January 24%)
  • 61% of South of Scotland voters said they'd vote no (January 59%)
  • 13% said they didn't know how they'd vote (January 17%)

Full report: Pro-UK power promise to Scotland

The leaders of Scottish Labour, the Scottish Conservatives and the Scottish Liberal Democrats rarely come together to make announcements. But they have made a promise to Scottish voters that if they vote 'no' in the independence referendum, Holyrood will be given more power.

The SNP say the only way to gain more power is to vote 'yes' and become independent.


SNP: 'The only way to deliver power is to vote yes'

The three main Unionist parties in Scotland are promising more powers for Holyrood if Scots vote 'No' in September's independence referendum.

Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats each have their own plan for further devolution. But they united today to promise that whoever wins the next UK election will hand more powers to the Scottish parliament.

The SNP say the only way Holyrood will become more powerful is with a 'Yes' vote.

ITV spoke to Ruth Davidson MSP, Leader of Scottish Conservatives, and Jim Eadie MSP, Scottish National Party on the matter.

Statement: Unionists deliver 'no' vote power pledge

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie, Scottish Labour Party leader Johann Lamont and Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson have published the following statement whereby they guaranteed to deliver more powers to Scotland in the event of a 'no' vote in September's referendum.

“Power lies with the Scottish people and we believe it is for the Scottish people to decide how we are governed.

“We believe that the pooling and sharing of resources across the United Kingdom is to Scotland's benefit in a partnership of four nations in which distinct national identities can flourish and be celebrated.

“We believe that Scotland and the United Kingdom have been strengthened since the advent of devolution.

“We support a strong Scottish Parliament in a strong United Kingdom and we support the further strengthening of the Parliament's powers.

“The three parties delivered more powers for Holyrood through the Calman Commission which resulted in the Scotland Act 2012.

“We now pledge to strengthen further the powers of the Scottish Parliament, in particular in the areas of fiscal responsibility and social security. We believe that Scotland should have a stronger Scottish Parliament while retaining full representation for Scotland at Westminster. Our common agenda can bring people together from all of Scotland, from civic society and every community.

“The Scottish Labour Party, the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party and the Scottish Liberal Democrats have each produced our own visions of the new powers which the Scottish Parliament needs.

“We shall put those visions before the Scottish people at the next general election and all three parties guarantee to start delivering more powers for the Scottish Parliament as swiftly as possible in 2015.

“Our common endeavour will deliver a stronger Scottish Parliament in a stronger United Kingdom.”

– Willie Rennie (Scottish Lib Dem), Johann Lamont (Scottish Labour) and Ruth Davidson (Scottish Conservative)
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