Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Scots Better Off Poor in the UK

David Cameron made an astonishing admission in speech in Edinburgh last week when he said that he believed that Scotland would be successful as an independent nation. So was this a sign that the irrational argument of comparing like with unlike?

Well – no.

Just a few days later, and with no doubt the usual extensive research that we have come to associate with the unionists, the matriarch of the Scottish Tories, Ruth Davidson has told us that an Independent Scotland would be unable to finance the country’s welfare and pensions bill.

Speaking to “The North Britisher” (nee “The Scotsman”) she claimed that the welfare spending in Scotland has been greater than North Sea oil and gas revenue since records began in 2002. The message being the usual one that the Scots are better off as part of the UK.   

According to Davidson, a £100bn has been spent during the period in question while oil and gas revenue was £59.7bn. The Scottish Government’s figures show that the North Sea revenue collected by the UK Exchequer during the period was in fact £65.2bn. Not a big lie in the unionist scheme of things but still, simple arithmetic.

Figures aside, it does highlight though, the idea that the cost of high unemployment and relative poverty is seen by unionists, well the Tories at least, as a example of how Scotland is better off as part of the UK. Moreover it is another example of the unionist claim that an Independent Scotland couldn’t afford the cost of the London Government’s present-day mismanagement of the UK.

That irrational argument speaks for itself.