Thursday, 11 September 2014

Should Scotland Choose Independence? YES

by Gemma Liu

Independence for Scotland means all governing powers move to the Holyrood government: they will be in full control of the country’s resources and wealth. Scotland will be able to make policy to tackle Scotland’s particular needs.  Here are three arguments supporting a Yes vote for Scotland.

1. Scotland is a wealthy country. Over the last five years, Scotland's public finances (tax and spending) have been stronger than the UK as a whole by £12.6 billion - almost £2,400 per head. Every year since 1982, Scotland has contributed around £1,700 more tax per person than the UK as whole. Including the share of North Sea revenues, Scotland would rank 14th on GDP per capita against the 34 OECD countries, surpassing the UK (18th) and France (17th). Even without North Sea oil and gas, GDP per capita remains virtually identical to the UK.

2. Local government will adopt policies to encourage growth and job opportunities in current strong growth industries such as food and drink, energy, and creative industries. There would be falling unemployment due to the creation of an estimated 27,000 jobs and rising investment as businesses become more competitive. Wage growth will greatly improve, so increasing the quality of life for many people in Scotland.

3. Social reforms will deal swiftly with the problems of relative poverty, geographical wage differentials and income inequality. Independent Scotland stands to gain on grounds of equity because becoming a self-governing and self-determining nation is the first step to a fairer society. The importance of democracy and social justice is not to be underestimated.

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