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Cost-of-the-Union update

Posted on April 09, 2013 by

Attentive readers will of course recall the shocking revelations from the No campaign earlier this year about the terrifying cost of independence to Scots – £1 a head. But what’s the latest info on the price of staying in the UK?

“The [Institute for Fiscal Studies] data shows that a couple with children, where one parent works, will be worse off by £3,995.65 a year on average after the tax and benefit changes introduced since 2010. Average households will be worse off by £891 a year.”

£1 for independence or £891 for the Union? Tough call.

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24 to “Cost-of-the-Union update”

  1. Gavin Alexander says:

    Something that has to be constantly borne in mind when looking at calculations/estimations of what things will be like in an independent Scotland is the fact that they are based on how Scotland currently operates under UK rules. An independent Scotland on the other hand will be…. independent. That means it will be a Different Country and therefore will manage its tax and all other financial, economic, business and legal systems in the best ways to suit its people, economy, business and industries. This really makes a lot of the current calculations almost meaningless, except for that fact that they can be viewed as worst-case scenarios. As soon as Scotland has the powers to organise things in its own best way, the economic situation in Scotland will be way better than these predictions, and will also evolve and adapt over time to ensure that the arrangements are always being optimised specifically for Scotland (as opposed to London).

  2. Robert Kerr says:

    @Gavin Alexander
    Indeed. The New Scotland shall be different.
    The choice is “Hope” v “Despair”
    I know what mine is.

  3. MajorBloodnok says:

    Nice move by the Con-Dems.  Cut most people’s income and then as the election approaches give some of it back though well publicised tax cuts and ‘giveaways’.  The public fall for it every time, sadly.

  4. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Excellent post, Gavin
    I’m having to continually point out to eejits that I don’t want Scotland to be independent so we can mismanage it the same way.

  5. Robert Kerr says:

    @Dave McEwan Hill 
    Even if it was “mismanaged in the same way” we could change it! We cannot for now.

  6. Dauvit says:

    Well put Gavin. I would add that an independent Scotland should also be prepared to take control of it’s own monetary policy to ensure it can truly achieve all that we may aspire to. I know that SNP current policy is to stick with Sterling, which is fine and sensible for the initial transition, but in the longer term would still leave us a hostage to fortune (or misfortune).

  7. Silverytay says:

    Even if it was to cost me £500 initially ‘ I would still vote for independence .
    I want to belong to a country that still believes in a right to a free education , a free health service and free care for the elderly .  
    Only Independence will give us the right to shape the type of country that we want to belong to .  
    I want Scotland to take her rightful place as a normal country on the world stage making decisions for the benefit of her own people and for others who live and work within her borders .
    I dont want another country making these decisions for me .

  8. Arbroath1320 says:

    Why are these nasty unionists making it so hard to decide whether to vote YES or NO in the referendum? 😆

  9. Gayle says:

    Well said Gavin. Even if it initially cost me more to be independent I wouldn’t hesitate. There are many reasons to be independent but here are a couple that will always shape my decision. 1 – The country (uk) you are supposed to trust to give your country its fair share back after paying into the kitty constantly steal from you. Why would anyone choose to continue paying to a thief? 2 – Their promises always fall flat. Why do we keep falling for their nonsense? Is it helping Scotland? No. Therefore can anyone honestly say we are better together when we are the 4th most unequal country and constantly being stolen from? If the UK was a person you would tell them to sling their hook.  

  10. Taranaich says:

    I’m with you, Silvertay: I’d happily pay ten times what I currently pay in taxes now if it went towards welfare for the most vulnerable, free education, healthcare and access to public institutions like museums and parks.

  11. The Man in the Jar says:

    I would live in a mud hut and forage for nuts and berries to avoid my life being in any way influenced by the inhabitants of the cesspool known as Westminster!

  12. Jiggsbro says:

    “Vote Yes, save £890. Have a wee holiday”

  13. cirsium says:

    good point Dauvit.  Sterling is fine for the transition then we need to achieve monetary sovereignty to ensure that independence is secure.  It would also be good if the state issued the currency not private banks.

  14. JLT says:

    Going off on a tangent here, but it made me smirk.
    Drove by Holyrood today. The Lion Rampant Flag flown from the Palace is at half-mast. Eyes right to the Parliament …and the 3 flags (Saltire, Union Jack and the EU) are still flying high from the top of their posts.
    I guess the Parliament doesn’t know about Maggie passing (cough, cough) …that’s my excuse, I guess !!!
    Then again …except at the Palace, I have seen no flags in Scotland at half mast. Seems Maggie isn’t being missed up here !!!

  15. McFascist says:

    What on earth does 2010 UK tax and benefits have to do with independence?  
    I sometimes despair about people grasping the straw, instead of the thistle. 

  16. JLT says:

    “Vote Yes, save £890. Have a wee holiday
    Good one Jingsbro. Totally agree with that thought !!!

  17. McFascist says:

    JLT:  When are people going to realise that the referendum is NOT about the level of taxation and welfare benefits?  It is NOT an election.

  18. megz says:

    I recall there was an article that said we would be £824 better off

  19. Dauvit says:

    Just stumbled over this article – a poll by the Greens showing that Scots care more about living in a fairer society, rather than worrying about whether they would be a wee bit better off.

    (My apologies in advance to Rev. Stu if I have not formatted the link correctly.)

  20. McFascist says:

    The referendum is about having a democratically elected government that represents Scotland, rather than a  a democratically elected government that represents the UK. How the indy campaign has managed to sideline the principal issue, and benefit, to concentrate on a mountain of ‘make-believe what if’s?’ makes me despair.

  21. Frazer Allan Whyte says:

    The Man in the Jar says:
    9 April, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    I would live in a mud hut and forage for nuts and berries to avoid my life being in any way influenced by the inhabitants of the cesspool known as Westminster!
    Amen brother …….. but Dauvit’s finding of the Green poll about Scots’ living in a fairer society being more important is the way to go – Scotland/Scots will not deserve independence if the vision is only financial – how about  McKenna’s suggested  children’s charter – details to be worked out later but principles can be clear now – freedom from fear – promise of a real education – support for the weak and encouragement for the strong – and give life to the cliché ‘no child left behind’ and certainly no more of London’s chucking them by the wayside. It would also show women voters that independence will not put their family’s at greater risk but give them greater security. Remember the OT verse “the people perish for lack of vision”, remember Martin Luther King’s “”I have a dream” and especially Québec’s slogan of the long ago 1960s “Masters in our own house.”

  22. gfaetheblock says:

    These impacts will still be in place when Scotland becomes informant as they will be part of the taxation system that we inherit. To repeal these changes will mean that money will need to be found from somewhere to fund them. It is not a coherent argument to say that these benefits will be instantly returned, only that there would be an opportunity to choose if we are a high tax, high spend our a low tax, low spend economy.

  23. Richard McHarg says:

    JLT, re flags at half-mast in Edinburgh: I noticed that the three on the castle and the flag at The Crown Office were also at half-mast yesterday.
    Edinburgh isn’t mourning, that’s for sure!

  24. carol lindsay says:

    the talk it seems sadly comes back to the age old power and wealth…aaaa boring…….i want my family to enjoy and not endure there life.i do not want them to live in a country that sends help all around the world ,yet lets the very people who built it to starve and freeze for there efforts…..what are we saying , you yes you will have to endure this for as the greed grows we begin to consume ourselves …i grew up in a country who cared for  each other ,communities where people really knew each other,we lead the world in many fields,education was and should be free and   give them teachers who know the joy of teaching.our doctors lived among us and knew us from birth and trust me bad ones where obvious …weather you realize it or not i seriously think we have to save the English government from themselves take back or power for our government to run our country we have such passion as a country we need to spend it wisely and i for one prefer to do things i enjoy and not the ones i endure…………… well that’s just me…….

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