“Dare I say the YES campaign has been gaining momentum for a while but not as fast it has gathered pace as it has probably done so in the last ten days!
First we had Tom Carney the Governor of the Bank of England last week in Edinburgh to confirm that a sterling union between Scotland and the rest of the UK is totally possible and workable.
Now we welcome the news published by the Financial Times that an Independent Scotland will be better off by £7 billion a year.
Before you start searching for your calculators and scratching your head in some confused state, I know exactly what you are thinking of.
In all honesty I nearly fell off my chair when I read the news today because the figure of £500 which I had been quoting as the amount by which every Scot was going to be better off when we become Independent has been blown right out the window by the £7 billion revelation by the FT.
Actually the per head figure has rocketed to a staggering £1321 a year for every man and his dog. That is just under three times what the SNP government itself had estimated.
In fact the FT analysis details confirmation from Westminster’s own figures that an independent Scotland would be better off by 11% literally overnight.
Scotland would be one of the world’s top 20 countries by GDP per head – ahead of where the UK is now in rankings from the International Monetary Fund, and in the world’s top 50 by overall GDP according to the most recent figures.
Taking into account oil and gas output our GDP per head is actually bigger than that of France. Even excluding these valuable resources our GDP is still bigger than Italy’s.
Oil, whisky and a broad range of manufactured goods mean an independent Scotland would be one of the world’s top 35 exporters. The analysis also shows that even without oil Scotland would still be one of the wealthiest countries in the world and that an independent Scotland would have stronger public finances than the rest of the UK. The FT concludes that an independent Scotland could “expect to start with healthier state finances than the rest of the UK”.
James Knightley, senior economist at ING, believes that greater control over its economy- that is total control of our fiscal policies under independence will be a real advantage for Scotland. He argues that control of such economic levers as tax reform; welfare and immigration policy will make Scotland a fairer and wealthier society.
Had these figures been produced by the YES campaign or issued by the Scottish government I am sure they would have been dismissed by many as wishful thinking on our part but these are analysis based on figures that Westminster has itself produced. These figures and the analysis are very important to strengthen the road to independence and can address those who are unsure about the concept of independence or that it is unfeasible due to financial constraints.
This is veracious evidence that Scotland can go it alone and it comes from the staunchest of our opponents so both Better Together and Coalition must recognise and accept this fact.
Only by Voting YES will we be able to take full advantage what our economy has to offer the people of Scotland.