Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, December 02, 2013

Preparing talking points

Proponents of Scottish independence have published a large White Paper touting the benefits of independence from the UK. Opponents have published estimates of the tax increases in Scotland necessary to maintain the status quo. Let the debating begin.

Scottish independence: Referendum White Paper unveiled
Scottish first minister Alex Salmond has launched his government's independence blueprint, calling it a "mission statement" for the future.

The 649-page White Paper promised a "revolution" in social policy, with childcare at its heart.

The launch came ahead of next September's independence referendum…

Launching the paper - titled Scotland's Future: Your guide to an independent Scotland - in Glasgow, Mr Salmond said: "This is the most comprehensive blueprint for an independent country ever published, not just for Scotland but for any prospective independent nation…

"Our vision is of an independent Scotland regaining its place as an equal member of the family of nations. However, we do not seek independence as an end in itself, but rather as a means to changing Scotland for the better."…

The Scottish government said Scotland's finances were healthier than those of the UK, providing a strong foundation to put the focus of the referendum campaign on Scotland's future.

Mr Salmond said the list of policies would help address what he described as the "damage caused by the vast social disparities which have seen the UK become one of the most unequal societies in the developed world"…

But [Alistair Darling, leader of the campaign to keep the Union], said… "Instead of a credible and costed plan, we have a wish-list of political promises without any answers on how Alex Salmond would pay for them."…

Scottish independence: Treasury claims taxes could rise by £1,000
Taxes in Scotland could rise by £1,000 per person per year if it leaves the UK, a British government minister says.

Danny Alexander said Treasury analysis suggested millions of taxpayers would pay more if Scotland voted for independence in next year's referendum…

The SNP have said Scotland's public finances are in better shape than the UK's as a whole and Scotland has raised more in tax per head of the population than the UK in each of the last 30 years.

"Only independence will give us the chance to change things for the better, creating jobs, boosting growth and delivering a more prosperous and fairer society," the spokesman added.

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