Robert Scott’s letter in last week’s Citizen deserves to be challenged on (at least) three counts.
1. His belief that SNP politicians wish to cut off relations with the UK is quite misguided. Rather, the aim is to interact with other countries as an equal rather than a subordinate nation. This would entail the freedom to borrow and invest as suits our own population, circumstances and resources.
2. To call Kate Forbes, Scottish Finance Minister “chief malcontent” is unfair. She pointed out that in the summer statement, the Barnett consequentials for Scotland would be £21 million and not the £30 billion that the Tories claimed. She was accused of lying and faced a barrage of abuse from Jackson Carlaw and other Scottish Tories. However, it turned out she was right. Peter Phillips from the Institute of Fiscal Studies, after further research, drew attention to Treasury fiddles and lack of transparency, saying “the Scottish Government won’t, as I initially presumed, get extra funding . . . it will get £21 million, the figure quoted by the Scottish Finance Minister.”
3. Mr Scott moans and groans that Westminster SNP MPs “continue to moan and groan.” However, they are well justified in drawing attention to the UK Government’s wish to turn back the clock and steal our democratically-won devolved powers. Pursuing this action could pose a real threat to the health and wellbeing of Scottish people, for example through lower food standards and erosion of minimum unit pricing for alcohol.
Dr Susan Pollock