While Alex Salmond encourages his compatriots to vote “Yes” for Scottish independence, painting a picture of the bright prospects of “sustainable prosperity” across the whole country, skeptics have several questions for the First Minister. They want to know about the future nation’s currency, pensions, and funding for schools and hospitals if Scotland was to leave the UK.
According to Alex Salmond, Scotland will become independent “in more promising circumstances than virtually any nation in history,” the Scotsman reports. “We would be among the wealthiest nations in the OECD. Scotland would be 14th on the list, with the UK at 18th. Seven out of the ten wealthiest countries in the developed world have populations similar to, or smaller than, Scotland,” says the First Minister.
“Scotland has contributed more in taxes, per person, than the rest of the UK for every single one of the last 33 years. Over the past five years our public finances have been healthier than the UK’s by £8.3 billion ($13,96 billion), that’s nearly £1,600 ($2,690) per person,” Alex Salmond explains. He believes that Scotland possesses an “extraordinary potential” in such spheres as engineering, life sciences and energy, stressing that independence will help Scotland create a competitive and fair modern economy.
There are skeptics, however, who do not share Mr. Salmond’s optimistic position. Scottish Labour MSP, Jackie Baillie claims that the First Minister’s independence project lacks realism and pragmatism:
“Maybe if the First Minister had credible answers about what would replace the pound, how our pensions would be paid and what would happen to the funding for our schools and hospitals if we left the UK, his campaign wouldn’t be trailing so badly in the polls,” she said, cited by the Scotsman.
“As part of the UK we can have the best of both worlds; a strong Scottish Parliament, with the guarantee of more powers, backed up by the strength, security, and stability of being part of the larger UK. Only separation puts that at risk,” Jackie Baillie added.
Source: Voice of Russia