Treasury: Scottish people '£1,400 a year better off in UK'

Scottish people will be £1,400 a year better off if the country remains in the UK, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said. However, the Scottish government claimed an independent country could be £5 billion a year better off.

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Row over the costs of Scottish Independence

The people of Scotland were presented with contrasting and some say confusing information about their financial future after September's independence vote. One side of the campaign says they will be a £1,000 better off if Scotland votes "yes".

The other side say that a "no" vote will benefit them by £1,400.

ITV News Correspondent Martin Geissler reports:

Alex Salmond: Alexander 'caught red-handed' on costs

Alex Salmond claims Danny Alexander has been "caught red-handed" with "scaremongering" claims about the impact of Scottish independence.

The SNP leader told the BBC the Treasury's calculations had been "blown to smithereens" by the same academic whose work underpins the British Government's analysis.

Professor Patrick Dunleavy of the London School of Economics said Treasury figures about the cost of setting up a new independent government were "bizarrely inaccurate".

Mr Salmond seized on Professor Dunleavy's words, saying: "We have the Chief Secretary to the Treasury left with no credibility whatsoever. He’s been caught red-handed engaged in a scaremongering campaign.”

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Treasury says Scots '£1,400 a year better off in UK'

People in Scotland will be £1,400 a year better off if the country remains in the UK, new analysis from the Treasury claims.

The document claims a combination of factors - including rising debt interest, falling oil revenue and "uncosted policies" from the Scottish Government - would all contribute to Scots being worse off in an independent nation.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander presenting the report.

Introducing the report this morning, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said his fellow Scots would get a "UK Dividend" from staying in the union.

“Today we have shown that, by staying together, Scotland’s future will be safer, with stronger finances and a more progressive society, because as a United Kingdom we can pool resources and share risks," the Lib Dem minister said.

Independent Scotland 'could be £5bn a year better off'

New analysis from the Scottish government claims the country could be £5bn a year better off by 2029 if it becomes independent from the UK.

The Outlook for Scotland's Public Finances says Scotland would start life as in independent nation with "strong and sustainable" finances - contrary to what has been claimed by British Government minister.

The document also claims that a lowering in Scotland's debt would enable a future government to push ahead with a savings fund for the country's oil revenue.

Independence 'means tax hikes or spending cuts'

Scots would face tax rises or "substantial" spending cuts if the 'Yes' campaign win September's referendum, Lib Dem minister Danny Alexander has claimed.

Speaking on Radio 4's Today programme, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury said a decline in oil revenues and the impact of an ageing population would mean a tough financial outlook.

Danny Alexander claims Scots will face a severe financial impact if the country becomes independent. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

"That creates a widening gap in the public finances which would mean there would either have to be large tax rises or substantial spending cuts just to balance the books in an independent Scotland," he said.

Danny Alexander: Taxpayers 'better off in Union'

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said:

The Scottish Government is trying to leave the UK but it won't tell anyone how much the set-up surcharge is for an independent Scotland.

As part of the UK, Scotland gains from a strong and stable tax and benefits system and our comprehensive analysis, published this week, sets out how much better-off Scottish taxpayers are; that's why we're better off together.

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Scotland and Westminster to outline 'Yes' vote costs

First Minister Alex Salmond with Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Cabinet Secretary for Finance John Swinney pictured in January. Credit: PA

Competing estimates of the costs and savings of Scottish independence will be set out today as the Scottish and UK governments outline their visions for the nation's constitutional future.

The Scottish Government is expected to set out several billion pounds of savings if assets such as embassies and defence equipment cannot be shared after independence.

The Treasury said its paper will put a figure on the amount which will be saved by people in Scotland if it "avoids the public spending cuts and tax rises that an independent Scottish state would have to undertake, in order to offset the fiscal impacts of independence by 2035/6".

Swinney: Treasury independence claims 'ludicrous'

In his letter to Sir Nicholas MacPherson, John Swinney wrote:

It is essential that the public can make a balanced judgement on the referendum debate.

The misinformation presented in this publication places serious doubts over the accuracy of the full Treasury analysis expected later this week and previous Treasury works on Scotland becoming independent.

Mr Swinney continued:

A simple comparison with the 24 departments of the UK Government shows how ludicrous the claim was.

The Scottish Government has no intention of creating 180 government departments or even 180 public bodies as was later claimed by UK Government press officers and special advisers.

There is no mention of this in the Scottish Government's white paper Scotland's Future.

I would appreciate urgent clarity from yourself as to whether this material was approved by you and on what basis and an explanation of how such blatantly false figures came to be presented to the media on behalf of the Treasury.

Scotland and Treasury in row over independence figures

Scotland's Finance Secretary John Swinney has written to the Treasury's top civil servant following a row over information released by the UK Government department on the costs of independence.

The Scottish Government says figures quoted by the Treasury in a presentation on the financial implications of a Yes vote are based on "blatantly flawed and false information".

Mr Swinney has written to the department's Permanent Secretary Sir Nicholas MacPherson calling for an "urgent investigation" into the matter.

His complaint comes ahead of the publication of the Treasury's latest analysis on the costs of independence over a 20-year period from 2016 to 2035/36.

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