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Scottish Referendum Facts

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Scottish Referendum Facts, This week, the widely respected and independent Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) had their say, publishing a weighty report on what a separate Scotland’s finances might look like.

Having looked at an extensive amount of economic and demographic data, experts from the IFS came to the conclusion that, if Scotland decides to leave the UK, taxes will need to rise or spending will need to be cut to the tune of £6 billion per year.

That would translate into a staggering 9% hike in income tax for Scots workers.

Normally, the publication of such a substantial body of independent research would be seen as a welcome contribution to the debate over the future of our country.

However, the kneejerk reaction of the SNP was typically dismissive.

When presented with the conclusions of the report, they did the political equivalent of sticking their fingers in their ears.

They simply didn’t want to know.

The IFS are not the only independent body to raise such pertinent questions over key aspects of the independent debate.

The Centre for Public Policy and Regions (CPPR) predicted a similar black hole in the finances of a separate Scotland.

Furthermore, accountancy body ICAS has cast doubt over the affordability of pensions in an independent Scotland.

These are all independent experts making their contribution to an important debate, yet dismissed out of hand because their findings are an inconvenient truth to the SNP.

The very least people expect to know before they cast their vote next September is how an independent Scotland would pay for itself.

This in turn affects what taxes we will pay, what interest rates will be and what public services we can afford.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has insisted the answer to every question on independence will be contained in the White Paper when it is published next week.

It is expected to run to several hundred pages – and yet there are some questions the nationalists simply cannot, or will not answer.

So, there must be room for opinions from anyone who wants to contribute to such an important debate.

However, we have had the unedifying spectacle of a Scottish Government minister trying to prevent a university academic from having his say on why Scotland is better off in the UK because it goes against what the SNP believes in.

Scotland is facing its biggest decision in 300 years and people must be given all the facts on what affect independence would have on their daily lives.

The SNP can make a good start on doing this by not shutting down debate and ensuring next week’s White Paper contains answers to the many questions people are asking.

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