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DWP admits ‘misleading’ public on Scottish independence

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The Department for Work & Pensions has admitted it misled a member of the public about the value of the state pension in the run-up to Scotland’s independence referendum.

In 2013, the DWP sent out a letter to a constituent of former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond, saying: “If Scotland does become independent, this will have no effect on your state pension – you will continue to receive it just as you do at present.”

The department later said it would investigate whether the contents of the letter had been misleading.

Following a Freedom of Information request, published recently, the DWP has admitted its letter was “misleading and factually incorrect”.

The DWP says: “At the time of the letter, the correct statement was: ‘In the event of independence, state pensions and benefits in Scotland for its citizens would be the responsibility of a Scottish government. Therefore, any questions about entitlements in an independent Scottish state should be directed to the Scottish government.’”

First minister Nicola Sturgeon signalled this week she would be seeking permission to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence, to be held in either autumn 2018 or spring 2019.

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Comments

There are 36 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Oh no… they should all be taken out the back and flogged within an inch of their lives !!

    Que the FCA ……. quick get in there, and order a skilled persons report which will cost the DWP 175 million

    People just cant make innocent mistakes anymore… well not in this game anyway !

  2. The headline is misleading and wrong. ‘Misleading a member of the public’ is not the same as ‘misleading the public’

  3. Should have said you will probably lose your pension and everything else as Scotland goes bust.

  4. I’m not sure who I mistrust the most – politicians, the DWP, journalists in general, or financial journalists specifically?

    I know, I’ll mistrust them all equally!

  5. Why will the media, when interviewing Ms Sturgeon, not ask her how she will deal with the following. It seems to be a forbidden subject. Why?

    An independent Scotland would have to apply to join the EU, a senior official in Brussels has said, complicating Nicola Sturgeon’s plans for a second independence referendum.
    A European commission spokesman indicated that any newly independent country would have to negotiate to join, referring to the position adopted by the former commission president José Manuel Barroso.

    So Scotland votes for Independence and ends up where? Not in EU as she claims and not in UK..

    • Or how about these ones? How much of the UK’s national debt would an independent Scotland take with it? At what junk bond rate would she expect to pay for this debt? How would Scotland cope with the 100,000 plus loss of jobs when major insurers bring operations down South and Faslane follows suit? Who will pay the additional £1,500 per head per annum Scotland currently receives from the UK Government when they fail the EU membership test?

    • Barossa has no authority to make such a statement, in fact the reason he did so is that he is vying for a top position with NATO and needs the support of the British Govt. to succeed. He was ‘encouraged’ to do so by Westminster officials.

    • I’m not clear about the point you are trying to make. Scotland will not be in the EU, and cannot apply to join until it is an independent country, and yes, it will not be in the UK either at that point. At the date of Brexit in 2019, the UK (including Scotland) will not be in the EU. However, as T Mays Brexit letter suggests, it is very likely that transition arrangements will be necessary ( code for longer than 2 years) .

      The Scottish exit from the UK, will also require a long ‘transition’, and may take several years to complete. However, Scotland will, with the good grace of rUK, seek a firm date for ‘Scoexit’, to allow it to seek membership of EFTA, joining Norway, Switzerland, Lichtenstien… This will be advantageous since it should be easier and quicker than applying for full EU membership. Scotland can then take stock, and in its own time decide, after wider public consultation, about EU membership.

      Nicola Sturgeon is not asked the questions you think she should be asked, because there is a perfectly plausible answer, that anti-independence campaigners do not want aired.

  6. Here we go again! Such a coincidence that they wanted to publicise this “Error” now.
    The British public should have learned by now that any kind of referendum is a cue for the bandying about of misinformation, false propaganda and barely-concealed threats.
    The best one in the last Scottish referendum was “You’ll get chucked out of the EU if you vote to leave the UK”. erm….they can’t really use that little lie again, can they?
    Maybe: “You’ll have to stay in the EU if you leave the UK”!

    • Erm… Scotland is leaving the EU. If it becomes an independent country by voting to leave the UK the it leaves the EU under the ‘Barroso Rule’ as confirmed this week by the Commission. If it stays as part of the UK then it will leave the EU through Brexit.

      Whose false propaganda and lies are we talking about here?

      • Barosso rule? Barosso has no authority to make ANY statement regarding Scotland’s member ship of the EU. The ONLY reason that he made any statement is that he is trying for a top position with I think NATO and he needs the support of the British government to gain the position. Listen to this interview where the BBC journalist is caught with her pants down, figuratively speaking.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQzm0FXXerM

  7. Surely it is as plain as day that Scotland, if it goes independent WILL have to apply to join the EU as an independent country? This will entail having to abide by all the rules/regs set down by the EU, same as any other country joining, including adopting the Euro. I heard yesterday on the news that other countries who applied and got in had to wait for 4 years to do so. Nicola Sturgeon is deluded if she thinks she will get a smooth and unchanged transition from Scotland being a current member via the UK and Scotland being admitted as an independent country. There was also a report on Scotland’s finances which shows that their “independent economy” is actually worse than that of Greece. Spain has already publicly stated that it will block any attempt for Scotland to join/remain in EU so that is Scotland in the worst possible situation. Not part of the UK, not part of the EU and an economy that isn’t worth “2 bob-tuppence-hapenny”. Good shout the Nicola

    • REALLY? Not according to this interview, smoke and mirrors won’t work this time.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQzm0FXXerM

    • There are so many holes in your argument I fear if you were a ship you would sink.
      Until negotiations are finished it is clear that Scotland may either a. Be allowed to stay in The EU .b. Be asked to join – there is no queue al- ( but we already fulfil many of the criteria ,having already been in the EU since the start ). c. Choose some other arrangement e.g. as other countries are , which mean we may or may not need the Euro.
      Which brings me on to currency. We may a. Keep the pound . b. Join the Euro .c. Have our own Scottish currency or d.Choose any other currency we see fit .
      As for the economy most of the figures for an Independent Scotland are not available and if they are they are estimates and do not take into account that Scotland would run a different budget and would choose to spend her money differently from the UK. We would also need to take with us 8.6% of UK assests. And we don’t have debt – we aren’t allowed to borrow. We have to balance our books every year , which we have done every year since Holyrood took over.
      Spain can’t veto us joining the EU. Absvthey said yesterday that they wouldn’t.
      I think Britain has enough to worry about with Brexit , Gibraltar , The Falklands , N Ireland , etc . Now do get back to your day job . It really isn’t any of your business. It is for the Scots to decide their own future and destiny. As in EVEL so be it with SVSL. With the mandate SNP have that should be relatively easy. Lastly the Empire is dead. So is the Union. It wasn’t destroyed by Scottish civic nationalism , but by English xenophobic , arrogant , extremist right wing Nationalism. Get over it. We certainly will.

  8. This article is equally ‘misleading’. It was one constituent mislead not the general public as whole.

  9. Perhaps, if you leave the UK you will also leave the EU.

    You can then re apply, and will re join as/when the EU re admits you.

    My understanding is that re admission is not seamless or guaranteed.

  10. Given that Scotland, Wales and N.Ireland do not want to leave the EU, the answer surely is for ENGLAND to leave the UK Union. At which point England would automatically be ejected from the EU but the rump UK would remain.

    Think how much THAT would save us.

    Simples!

  11. The issue of the EU has completely changed. Spain with Catalonia is obviously bleating about it’s own issues so why should Scotland pay heed to this? Please note Scotland is currently a member of the EU and it is the SNP’s position that an independent Scotland would remain. AS the UK negotiates to leave, Scotland negotiates to stay – that’s what elected governments do, carry out the mandate of it’s people! The EU would not support or give any positive comment regarding an Independent Scotland as the UK was a member state – this has changed. With regards to Trident, why waste another 100 Billion on a T. May’s ego trip? If Trident shuts down we have infrastructure to be the first serious port across the Atlantic, the seas are full of oil and we can’t access any of this while it is a military zone. I can’t even walk my bloody dog up the hill without kids wielding machine guns and hippies ascending. As for use, if used first it is not a deterrent it is a weapon, if used second at least you will not have to listen to I told you so as we are dead anyway. When you have higher levels or adult and child cancer rates, and live under a constant threat it perhaps changes your opinion on the necessity and benefits of Trident.

  12. Sorry, Marty Y, I think that comes under the misinformation banner. I don’t think joining the EU involves compulsory use of the Euro. About a quarter of the EU nations have their own currency, including the two newest members.

    The other point about waiting times is questionable as the laws and regulations are already obeyed by Scotland as part of the EU, so the same legal issues do not apply in the same way as they do with “New” applicants.

  13. yEAH AND JUST BECAUSE WE ENGLISH MIGHT BE HAPPY TO HAVE A RECIPROCAL ARRANGMENT WITH EU NATIONALS SO PEOPLE CAN STAY WHERE THE LIVE, DOESNT MEAN WE HAVE TO AGREE TO IT WITH THE SCOTS AND IF THEY WANT TO LEAVE, THEY CAN ALL LEAVE AND SHUT THE GATES AT HADRIANS WALL ON THE WAY OUT OF ENGLAND

    • Who are you?

    • Alasdair Sampson 18th March 2017 at 11:12 am

      Have you ever thought that Hadrian building his wall actually worked far more to the advantage of us Scots/Picts? We didn’t want him here so we made it difficult for him – the lost legion and all that – so he built his wall to delimit the farthest he could or dare try to go. And it kept you lot in your place.

      No doubt it may comfort you to think that should Scotland vote for independence, which I sincerely hope we don’t, that England can go on her merry way free of a burden.

      But should Scotland vote Yes, then it makes much more likely that there will be a referendum on Irish reunification – no doubt you would welcome that too as another burden gone.

      Even Wales has indicated that she would need to consider her position.

      Have you thought just how diminished in the eyes of the world Little England may then be seen? That the other nations of this small island had rejected England, because in essence if we all go that is what it means, will do immeasurable damage to English prestige and authority in the world.

      A country diminished in size and population with its one nuclear naval base in a foreign country? How long will England then continue to sit as a permanent member of the UN Security Council? Russia and China will press for your ejection.

      How long will a Little England outwith the EU remain as the financial centre of the world – probably not even as long as it takes Scotland to become a member of the EU at which point Edinburgh and Dublin as the two English speaking financial centres of the EU will seriously dent London’s business.

      We all need to be careful what we wish for.

      I have no truck for the anti-English rhetoric of the SNP. Just as I find the anti-Scots sentiment I find in blogs like this to puerile and unhelpful.

      I wish for and will vote for the UK to remain the UK. But if my fellow Scots vote for independence then I will either have to accept that democratic vote in which case I will work my butt off to make an independent Scotland a success – and I accept that at 63 I may not see that in my lifetime but our kids will – or I will have to leave and move to England.

      But do I really want to move to an England whose view of its neighbours both far and close is what it appears to be descending into?

    • Thanks Geography and history not a strong point Hadrian’s Wall is not the Border but please write to your MP stating your visited wish to remove Northumberland and a rather large swath of Cumberland the wall runs from Wallsend roughly following the route of the A69 South of Carlisle thank you Nameless and lost

  14. As I’ve posted on a completely different forum entirely, there seems to be a major logic gap in the SNP’s argument. Their answer to being subjected to a hard exit from the EU Common Market is to voluntarily pursue a hard exit from a Common Market that is 4x larger (which is what the rest of the UK represents). Scottish exports in 2015 (excluding oil) to EU valued at £12.3Bn, to rest of UK at £49.8Bn. The rest of the world was worth over £16Bn, by the way, so more important than the EU!

  15. Why did the MEP Alyn Symth get a standing ovation in the EU Parliment when he said “Scotland needs the EU and the EU needs Scotland” and Nigel Farage’s insulting, patronising and derogatory comments were greeted with boos and hissing? The EU, at least is prepared to listen, very sympathetically to Scotland’s plight, more than the Scot-bashing unionists in Westminster and their biased Tory press core including the BBC (Britshit Broadcasting Corporation.

  16. For all those who believe that Scotland would have to wait years to rejoin the EU post independence. Watch this please. You just have to love it when the interview does not go as planned.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQzm0FXXerM

  17. Another way of looking at this may be just how much are you willing to pay not yo get constantly shafted by a foreign government.
    That aside, however, the figures are debatable and do not consider the nature of trade. Scotland imports more from England than she exports. Can England afford to lose this market? Additionally, looking at the nature of the Scottish exports, they are largely essential goods and services that England cannot do without.
    Think, UK wish to impose sanctions on Russia, stop imports from an independent Scotland, AND still have enough energy (gas, oil, electricity) to keep the country running. This fracking had better be really good!

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