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.