Talking Scotland

Here’s a chatty interview I took part in yesterday with Norrie Hunter of the excellent Caledon Radio – talking about Don Roberto and his life, along with land issues, my own journey to Yes, and where we are now on the path to independence.

1 thought on “Talking Scotland

  1. My whole adult voting life has been around the vision of an independent Scotland. Since 1975 actually when I voted for Gordon Wilson in Dundee, which has become “YES City” in the following decades. I now live in Bridge of Allan and the support for independence is somewhat diluted as I look around my adopted home town. I try to persuade my unionist acquaintances ( You can’t help having them here, as SNP supporters are in the minority). The biggest push back from the ones that are open to a genuine discussion is centred around money. The media and to some degree our own Scottish government give credibility to GERS(Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland) report. This continually shows that Scotland is in a deficit situation. Yet GERS is a financial statement of Scotland still within the UK and as such very much controlled by Westminster due to several “Reserved” items such as –

    1. Taxation – VAT, Corporation TAX, Fuel duty, Alcohol Duty, etc. Scotland can’t set rates or alter these to boost the economy and even Income Tax changes are limited.
    2. Defence – Aprox £49 Billion in 2021-22 or 2.5% of GDP. In GERS Scotland gets allocated a population based amount(8.2%) of this = £4.0 Billion aprox. Yet in an independent Scotland none of the 145 military installations in over 20 foreign countries would be Scottish. We would not have a nuclear deterrent and the submarines and storage facilities for nuclear war heads. We would not have aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates , tanks, fighter jets etc etc. The Rebublic of Ireland spends less than £1.0 Billion on Defence. I see no reason why Scotland would differ greatly from this.

    Transport – Scotland gets allocated £4.8 Billion for what? To pay for HS2 and London Cross Rail? We have already electrified the highest volume commuter routes. Again ROI spend £0.60 Billion on Transport, so why is Scotland which has a slightly higher population than ROI getting an allocation of £4.8 Billion?

    Energy – Scotland exports renewable electricity and also gas generated electricity. It has oil and refines this into petrol and other petrochemical products which are also used UK wide. Yet Energy is reserved to Westminster and all the Corporation Tax, Fuel duties, VAT etc flows to the UK treasury.

    GERS has no realistic bearing on how an idependent Scotland’s finances would look like.

    So I ask SNP and the Scottish Government where is GERIS( Government Expenditure and Revenue Independent Scotland). If I had this and it showed a neutral or even a positive balance between Revenue and Expenditure, then more marginal NO voters would turn to YES.


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