Row over 'realistic' cost of Scottish independence

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has called on the Scottish Government to produce its own "realistic analysis" of the cost of independence as the Treasury prepares to publish its findings on the financial impact of a Yes vote.

Postal workers urged to vote 'no' on Scottish independence

Postal workers are to be urged by their union to vote against independence in Scotland.

The move was agreed at the annual 800-strong conference of the Communication Workers Union in Bournemouth, which has 17,000 members working on postal and telecoms services in Scotland.

(File) General Secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) Billy Hayes. Credit: REUTERS/Phil Noble

A motion recommending "all members in Scotland that they vote 'no' in the forthcoming Scottish Independence Referendum" was passed at the conference in Bournemouth.

Two polls of members showed the majority of Scottish members would vote No (60%).

CWU general secretary Billy Hayes said: "We are recommending a 'no' vote to our Scottish members in September's Scottish Independence Referendum.

"This decision is based on a need for unity against austerity and the barrage of cuts from the coalition Government and the SNP in Scotland.

Read: Row over 'realistic' cost of Scottish independence

"This is an extremely important constitutional debate and it is crucial that as a trade union we are able to assist our members on the impact this will have on the Scottish economy and that of the rest of the UK.

"A 'no' vote would be in the best interests of our members."

Questions over Scottish Independence 'detail in figures'

The Chancellor George Osborne and Douglas Alexander have asked the department's economists to calculate "in detail the figures that illustrate the benefits of the UK and the cost of independence". Economists spent months analysing forecasts, and spoke to independent bodies, the UK Government said.

Douglas Alexander has questioned Alex Salmond's plan for Scottish independence. Credit: PA

The analysis will set out "in more detail than ever before the impact of having to absorb the higher spending and lower tax caused by declining oil revenues, an ageing population, the Scottish Government's uncosted policy pledges and the set-up costs of independence in a much smaller budget".

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: "The fact is Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries per head in the world and is more than capable of being an economically successful independent country - the fiction is coming from Mr Alexander and his colleagues in the Tory-led No campaign."

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Row over 'realistic' cost of Scottish independence

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has called on the Scottish Government to produce its own "realistic analysis" of the cost of independence. The Treasury is preparing to publish its findings on the financial impact of a Yes vote "in more detail than ever before".

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

He will use a speech in Edinburgh on Wednesday to launch a fresh attack on the proposals set out in the SNP administration's white paper on independence, focusing on what he described as "over-optimistic assumptions" about oil revenues.

His latest intervention comes a few weeks before the Treasury's most detailed fiscal analysis is due to be published