There was a brief lull in hostilities during the Commonwealth Games, but normal business will be resumed next week: the Referendum’s back.
Both Westminster and Holyrood governments will be keeping your postie busy …
People across Scotland will receive a second information leaflet from the UK Government through their letterboxes next week, setting out the five main benefits of remaining part of the UK.
It will be sent to each Scottish household and follows a booklet sent out in June which made the positive and detailed case for Scotland remaining part of the UK. The move comes in response to the public’s frequent requests for more information ahead of the referendum vote on 18 September.
The latest leaflet will explain the five main benefits Scotland gains as part of the UK.
- Keeping the UK pound – one of the strongest and most stable currencies in the world.
- Cheaper bills – with the UK’s financial standing keeping interest rates lower than they would be otherwise and energy bills up to £189 lower each year
- More jobs – hundreds of thousands of Scottish jobs are connected to borderless trade as part of the UK
- More support for public services – Scotland currently benefits from public spending per person that is around 10% higher than the UK average
- With less than 50 days to go until the referendum, the UK Government is ensuring people have as much information as possible to allow them to make an informed decision
The leaflet also accompanies the UK Government’s YouDecide online tool which allows people in Scotland to explore how being part of the UK benefits their home, work and family life – http://www.youdecide2014.uk
The leaflets will cost around 12p each, with a total cost of around £300,000.
Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said: “We are only weeks away from the most important decision we will ever make as a country. A decision to leave the UK is forever and cannot be reversed. We need to make sure we get it right. People in Scotland need to have the facts before they vote on 18 September.
“With every passing week it becomes ever clearer the Scottish Government has not thought this through properly. They are blinded by their passion for independence. They have no plan on currency, no plan on pensions and no idea how much it would all cost.
“People want credible and reliable information to help them make their decision on independence. Our new leaflet highlights the five main benefits for Scotland of remaining part of the UK.
“We hold on to the pound. We keep bills lower as part of a larger UK. Public spending per person is ten per cent higher in Scotland than the UK average. Two-thirds of our trade is with the rest of the UK because we have no international border and that helps protect Scottish jobs.
“We have a Scottish Parliament that makes decisions on things like health and education. From next year, the Scottish Parliament will be getting even more powers to set tax rates and decide if and when to borrow money. Devolution brings very clear benefits that would end with independence.”
The new 12-page guide, which will outline the opportunities of independence, is being posted out to all 2.5 million households in Scotland from next week.
From tomorrow (Monday 4 August) every household in Scotland will receive their own copy of ‘Scotland’s Future – What Independence Means for You’, which sets out how the wealth of Scotland can be used to benefit the people who live and work here.
The short guide will also be translated into fifteen languages – with braille and audio versions also being produced – and will become available online from Sunday.
The distribution of this guide to independence follows the publication of the 670-page Scotland’s Future, which has now been ordered by over 140,000 people.
The guide will explain how:
• Scotland can more than afford to be independent – we have generated more tax per head than the UK for each of the last 33 years.
• New job opportunities can be created in an independent Scotland by tailoring economic policy for Scotland’s needs.
• Different spending decisions – such as scrapping Trident – could save £600 million a year.
• Independence will bring greater financial security for families – for example, by increasing the Minimum Wage and transforming childcare.
A separate guide will also be posted from Monday to residents of Scotland’s islands next week – setting out the opportunities of independence to empower our unique island communities.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (pictured above) said: ““Independence is not a magic wand – but it is undoubtedly the greatest chance we will ever have to shift the balance of opportunity in Scotland’s favour and make our wealth work better for everyone who lives here.
“We are one of the richest countries in the world, with a higher GDP per head than France, Japan and the UK. But for far too many people in Scotland it doesn’t feel that way. This guide sets out why we’re better off with Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands.
“It is crucial that everyone in Scotland is armed with the facts and has a clear picture of the opportunities to change their lives for the better with independence.
“There is certainly an appetite for this information – with over 140,000 orders for Scotland’s Future already received – and our new guide makes it even easier to get the key facts quickly and easily.
“Scotland has the people, skills and resources to be a strong independent country, and this guide will set out how we can build on that.
“With independence we’ll have an economic policy that will put Scotland first – with a plan to reindustrialise Scotland, use the tax system to provide business with the incentives to create jobs and take advantage of our increased international profile to benefit the economy.
“The economic tools and powers to transform our employment and social policy will make it easier for parents to balance work and family life. For too long our hands have been tied by decisions made at Westminster – often by governments with no majority in Scotland.
“No one else will do a better job of running our country than the people of Scotland – because no one else has a bigger stake in its success. It is essential that all voters have the chance to make an informed choice on September 18 and this guide will help to ensure that this is the case.”