James Millar says “the SNP insist Westminster will pay pensions”. However, that isn’t what it says in pages 126-129 of the Scotland’s Future document, published in 2014 before the independence referendum.
It is clear that an independent Scotland will have to fund its own pensions scheme because, contrary to what many believe, there is no UK state pension “pot” that has accrued for each citizen – in fact, it is paid out of yearly tax revenues.
Scottish state pensions cost around £9 billion per year – so no UK government would, or could afford to, take on that liability without the tax revenues that go with it. Even if they proposed it there would be an outcry by voters.
During the recent election an organisation called “Believe in Scotland” erected billboards saying “let’s double it” – meaning the state pension in an independent Scotland.
Clearly they hadn’t read the leaked 2013 report by John Swinney which questioned whether Scotland could pay pensions at the UK rate.
I wonder what Nicola Sturgeon’s answer is?
Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven
Politicians, climate scientists and the Green Brigade are demanding everyone reduce their individual emissions.
They should lead by example and sign a legally binding agreement to cut their own emissions. Here is a template.
“I pledge to reduce my emissions by the following actions.
“I will never own, drive or travel in a petrol/diesel vehicle or have goods delivered by one. I will only travel by public transport. I will turn off my gas supply and until electricity is 100% produced from renewables I will switch it off. I will not fly or go on foreign holidays.
“I will not eat meat. I will downsize my home and only have one child.
“I will not use a wood burning stove and I will not buy goods from China which is responsible for 30% of global emissions.”
Clark Cross, Linlithgow