Alex Salmond warned independence is ‘switching off’ voters
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The Alba Party leader outlined his economic vision for independence ahead of the Holyrood election on May 6. The former First Minister said Scotland should pursue a “clean break” from the UK and start from a “zero borrowing position”. The fiscal plans proposed by Mr Salmond has triggered a backlash from a number of Express.co.uk readers.
Online readers let their opinions known in the comments section of an earlier story about Mr Salmond’s economic vision.
One reader wrote: “Scotland will of course pay its share of the UK national debt before it leaves the UK.”
A second user wrote: “Interesting policy, wonder if my mortgage provider will accept the same suggestion?”
A third commented “This man lives in cloud cuckoo land. His numbers did not add up before the 2014 referendum and he has obviously not done the sums now.”
A fourth added: “Considering Scotland received money from England I think they owe us?”
Meanwhile, a fifth said: “Not a chance matey. Your debt you’re taking it with you.”
The SNP has vowed to hold a second independence referendum if the party wins a majority in the Scottish Parliament election next week.
The Alba Party will field candidates in the regional lists and Mr Salmond aims to create a so-called “supermajority” in parliament in favour of breaking up the UK.
Scotland receives funding from Westminister via the Barnett block grant formula.
In 2019/20 the Scottish Government was handed £32billion, according to the Institute for Government.
Mr Salmond shared the Alba Party’s economic vision for an independent Scotland in an interview with the Daily Record on Saturday.
He explained the financial policy was in contrast to when he led the SNP government during the 2014 ballot, which said Scotland would agree to pay off some of the debt as part of a settlement.
Mr Salmond said: “We think now, as opposed to 2014, there should be a clean break settlement between Scotland and the rest of the UK.
“All we’re doing is putting forward a contribution to the economic debate.
“We’re saying you can’t go into a referendum with the same economic policy you had seven years ago when the world was different.”
He added: “You’d start with effectively a zero borrowing position.”
Mr Salmond also stressed an independent Scotland should move away from the Pound to establish its own currency within months of independence as the ability to issue debt would be crucial.
The previous policy, Mr Salmond said, was based on retaining the pound and having a currency union with the rest of the UK, but this has been rejected by the UK Government.
It comes as Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) warned Scotland’s fiscal deficit could be as high as 25 percent of GDP as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The IFS published its analysis on Thursday and said spending could have outstripped revenue north of the border by between 22 percent and 25 percent in 2020-21, an increase from 8.6 percent the previous year.
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The figure for the UK as a whole is just 16 percent.
Mr Salmond has also said Scotland “cannot wait until next year, or the year after” for independence, after SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said the coronavirus pandemic was her first priority if she is re-elected as First Minister.
He said: “This crystallises the difference of strategy in this election campaign.
“Alba believes that for Scotland to recover from the coronavirus we need the financial recovery powers that we can only have through independence.
“Our economic recovery can’t wait until next year, or the year after, it must be a recovery led by Scotland’s Government right now.”
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