Scotland's borrowing from UK is a 'weak point' says expert
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The SNP leader won the largest number of seats in the Scottish Parliament, with 64 SNP MSPs returned. The total is one more than the SNP secured in 2016, but still one short of an overall majority – however, the record eight Green MSPs who were voted in mean Holyrood does have a majority of members who support independence. Political expert Akash Paun explained Nicola Sturgeon’s argument for independence has a “weak point”.
Mr Paun told TRT World: “The issue is they have a high level of public spending, far higher than in England and that spending is subsidised by taxpayers in England and borrowing back by the UK government.
“The figures I’ve seen from before Covid, obviously Covid changed everything dramatically, was that Scotland was running a deficit of around nine percent of its GDP.
“That’s a figure that everybody knows is completely unsustainable.
“An independent Scotland would have to cut public spending, raise taxes, or a combination of both. I do think this is a weak point of the SNP argument.”
It comes as the SNP’s Westminster leader has said there is now a “fresh democratic commitment to give the Scottish people the right to choose an independent future”.
Ian Blackford warned Boris Johnson: “The Prime Minister needs to reflect on this reality. A fight with democracy is a fight he will never, not ever, win.”
The MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber told the Commons: “There is a mandate for an independence referendum and let me put this House on notice – it’s the people of Scotland and our Parliament that will determine when that independence referendum will take place.”
He accused Conservative MPs of “mocking” such remarks.
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On social care, he added: “The new SNP Government will move to establish a National Care Service backed by a 25 percent increase in social care investment. While the Conservatives dither, the SNP Government in Edinburgh acts.”
The Queen’s Speech, he argued, contained “further power grabs on state aid and other aspects of devolved spending and powers”.
He added: “When this crisis has passed there is now a fresh democratic commitment to give the Scottish people the right to choose an independent future.
“The Prime Minister would do well to listen to the First Minister – an independence referendum is now a question of when and not if.”
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He went on: “We look forward to Scotland re-joining the independent nations (of) the European Union.”
Mr Blackford said the recent electoral results “represent such a historic and defining moment”.
Mr Blackford added: “Last Thursday, the people of Scotland turned out in record numbers, the highest turnout that we have seen at a Scottish parliamentary election, to re-elect the SNP Government for a fourth consecutive term.
“They turned out to support that message of hope and change so brilliantly characterised by our First Minister. It was an election that broke nearly every record in the book and it is a result that will continue to reverberate.
“That electoral earthquake now opens the democratic path that will shape Scotland’s future. And let’s be clear – that future will be in Scotland’s hands and it will be the people’s choice and nobody, nobody else.”
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