The Scottish government is to argue independence could bring about an “economic bonus” worth £2,000 for each household, as the UK prepares its own contrasting costs figures.
The BBC reports Treasury ministers are preparing to publish their cost estimates on Scottish independence, and that the UK government will argue that keeping the union will ensure a dividend for everyone in Scotland.
The Treasury analysis on costs will be published by Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander. It will highlight an ageing population, declining oil revenues and the prospect of higher interest rates as particular challenges for an independent Scotland.
Alexander told BBC’s Scotland 2014 programme: “One of the frustrations here is the nationalist government has not set out any costs at all of setting up a new state – they seem to assume it’s free.
“Just like they seem to assume that you can get all the oil out of the North Sea for free, just as they seem to think that they can get away with trying to bamboozle people to vote for independence on the basis of numbers that simply don’t add up – on oil revenues, on set up costs, on tax and on spending.”
But First Minister Alex Salmond has argued the Treasury calculations are based on a misrepresentation of research carried out by the London School of Economics, after LSE academic Patrick Dunleavy tweeted: “UK Treasury press release on #Scotland costs of government badly misrepresents LSE research.”
Salmond said: “This is a devastating verdict on the Treasury’s figures from one of the authors of the report they have been using to base their work on.
“And it totally undermines everything they have to say this week about the finances of an independent Scotland.”
He added: “The reality is Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, more prosperous per head than the UK, France and Japan, but we need the powers of independence to ensure that wealth properly benefits everyone in our society.”