Salmond’s financial planning

If it wasn’t so serious, it could be dismissed as what politicians so often do – muddy the waters.

Alex Salmond’s plans? There is, of course, only one.


Plan A: After independence – currency union with the rest of the UK. George Osborne, Ed Balls and Danny Alexander have rejected this outright.

However, Mr Salmond states that when negotiation begins, they will all come around to his way of thinking, ignoring the fact that the rest of the UK (rUK) electorate might want to have a say in whether or not they want to support a country which has just decided to separate from them.

Whoever wins next year’s Westminster elections, we can be sure no party will have “we plan to support Scotland’s finances” in their election manifesto.

Plan B: OK, it doesn’t exist, but should, perish the thought, Mr Salmond be wrong, we could stick with sterling – “it’s Scotland’s pound too” – and punish Westminster by not taking our share of the national debt.

That stance would not really set us up as a responsible trading nation. My guess is that we would get seriously punished as a consequence.

Membership of the EU – dead in the water (It seems daft to me to want to rid ourselves of the shackles of Westminster, only to ball-and-chain ourselves to Brussels. Independence – please define).

Plan C: Not sure if we’ve really got to this one, but Jim Sillars says we could quite easily set up a Scottish central bank. Economists can address this much more knowledgeable than I could, but “quite easily” strikes me as yet again “trust me and we’ll fix it later – somehow”.

In personal terms, Plans B and C would surely have serious spin-off negative consequences for a Scottish pound exchange rate with the rest of the world, increasing our cost of living, increasing business costs, reducing the value of our pensions and increasing the cost of our holidays abroad (by the way, will we need new passports – the EU ones won’t apply anymore, even to England, because for all the tosh about “still being friends and admirers”, England will be a foreign country).

We Scots have always been called canny with our money, so surely we canny see this as a sensible working proposition. It is all the small, personal details which should give us concern. Not scaremongering – try being factually realistic.

OK, I’ve convinced myself – changing from Yes to No Thank You Very Much.

Alistair Moore