I have no nationalist ideals (I was born in England) and have lived in the Borders for 20 years.
Like many who reside here, I cross the border regularly and the debate on Scottish independence has made me look more deeply into what a Yes or No vote could mean. I, similar to many others who are neither experts nor politicians, can only go by what I have seen happening around me over the years.
The conclusion I have come to is that I believe the Scottish Government has the Scottish people’s interests at heart, whereas the Westminster Government does not.
Why? The Scottish Government, with what little powers it currently has, has given us free tuition fees, free care for the elderly, free prescriptions, free pensioners’ bus travel, frozen council tax and invested substantially in social housing.
Those struggling to pay their rent because of the “bedroom tax” can apply for discretionary funding and although Westminster has capped this, the Scottish Government ignored this and continues to help these people.
First Minister Alex Salmond’s discussions over currency and the EU seem to make common sense, and are backed up by experts; whilst the arguments against appear to be pessimistic to the extreme, and nothing more than an attempt to create unease and prevent a real debate from happening.
Why don’t I believe the Westminster Government has the Scottish people’s best interest at heart?
Prime Minister David Cameron has bragged about UK being the 10th richest country. Yet still there are people who cannot afford to buy a home, pay their rent, heat their house, or feed their children, queuing up at food banks and shivering in their homes.
An unfair, uncaring society is nothing to brag about – and the poorest in society are getting poorer. The response from Westminister is: “Those who work hard will be rewarded.” Sadly, that is not the case as the minimum wage remains pitifully low. If we are a rich country, why is this happening?
We have a unique opportunity to bring control of Scotland’s economy and welfare of its people closer to home. I will be voting Yes to that.