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  Finance Secretary John Swinney has said any claims about Scotland’s finances from the UK Government must include details on Scotland’s share of UK assets worth nearly £1.3 trillion.

Mr Swinney's call follows comments from the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander who himself recently admitted to the Scottish Parliament that an independent Scotland will inherit a share of UK assets.

He said billions of pounds could be paid to an independent Scotland in cash as many of the assets paid for by Scottish tax-payers will be physically located in the rest of the UK.

Mr Swinney said:

“Danny Alexander has said the UK Treasury is examining the finances of an independent Scotland.

“We already know Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the developed world and that over the past 5 years our public finances have been healthier than the UK’s to the tune of around £1,600 per person.

“To have a shred of credibility any Westminster analysis should also set out in detail the assets that will be due to Scotland in the event of a vote for independence in September."

Mr Swinney's call came ahead of a speech which was given by Mr Alexander in which the Lib Dem MP is expected to describe claims that Scotland deserves a share of UK assets and institutions as "fantastical".

Speaking on Wednesday, the Treasury minister launched yet another attack on the Scottish Government's estimates on North Sea oil.

On the issue of shared assets, he said: "There is also the fantastical claim, made in the White Paper, that an independent Scotland would share a third of the UK's institutions and services despite the fact that this is completely unprecedented anywhere in the world."

However, Mr Swinney added: “As part its campaign rhetoric we know the UK Government talks about Scotland’s share of the debt run up by successive Westminster Chancellors.

“It cannot be taken seriously if does not also talk about Scotland’s share of assets.

“Scotland's share of UK assets will be realised in a combination of ways - through physical assets, cash transfer and continued use of assets through shared service agreements.

“Assets located elsewhere in the UK will be included in negotiations, as Scotland has contributed to their value over a long period of time. For physical assets like these, the equitable outcome may be to provide Scotland with an appropriate cash share of their value.

“We note with interest preliminary analysis by academics suggesting that on defence alone Scotland may be entitled to draw upon a notional sum of nearly £5 billion for physical assets located elsewhere

“The apportionment of the UK national debt will be negotiated and agreed as part of the overall settlement on assets and liabilities.

“On any reasonable scenario, because national income per head is higher in Scotland than the UK, an independent Scotland will have a lower debt burden as a share of GDP than the UK.

“Both the Scottish and UK Governments have signed the Edinburgh Agreement which commits both governments to working together on matters of mutual interest, good communication and mutual respect.

“The two governments have also said they will work together constructively, whatever the result, so we can expect these matters to be worked out in that spirit of mutual respect and co-operation.”


# Leader of the Pack 2014-04-30 06:49
I can easily predict right now how the Westminster Government will approach the issue of assets and debt during the negotiation phase.

They will adopt the exact same approach they have with devolution. Their initial assertion will be Asset Minimum Debt Maximum. They will then agree to some leeway if the Scottish Government agrees to a negotiation on the location of Trident where a possibility of Asset plus debt max will be dangled.

You can see where its going but they have a massive problem. They first have to get the Scottish Government to agree to the fact that they can continue to claim to be the UK.

The NO camp love to tell the world that the Scottish Government is asserting based on presumption but their own entire campaign and ALL of its claims presumes an agreement of continued UK status.

Isnt it about time somebody in the Scottish Government reminded them of this presumption? And pulled the rug completely out from under project fear?
# From The Suburbs 2014-04-30 07:18
Britannia waves the rules they keep our assets and we take on their debt.

Good article in to-day's Financial Times by John Kay on business in an independent Scotland.
# Jo Bloggs 2014-04-30 08:28
I gave up after a couple of paragraphs. Seems rather negative and anti-Independence in its general thrust. I'm afraid I have better things to do.
# Marga B 2014-04-30 09:01
From the Suburbs - thanks for that link. The conclusion alone is worth its weight in gold.

FT beats The Guardian every time on both Scottish and Catalan independence issues.

Highly recommended.

"The business imperatives overlooked in the debate on Scotland"
# goldenayr 2014-04-30 08:21
Sorry OT.
It would appear that the beeb show "Morning Call" on radio Scotland has dropped politics as a subject.
Kaye Adams disappeared after she admitted on air that the vast majority of callers were pro indy.
Louise White was hopeless at fending us off.
And I think Kirsty Wark got a wake up call that shook her to the unionist bones,even more than the Borders live vote.
Now we have Rob MacLean dutifully towing the UKIP line sent from London.
Do you think they're worried about the monitoring period you've funded?

You bet they are.
# proudscot 2014-04-30 09:39
Does Westminster actually think Scots will listen to Gideon's little helper Alexander, rather than the relatively unpopular master himself, when talking Scotland down? It certainly seems like it. Has Alexander ever said ANYTHING positive about Scotland? Answers on a postage stamp please.
# Abulhaq 2014-04-30 11:45
the view from Westminster is simple. you go if you want but you will get no part of your share in the infrastructure, cultural assets, treasury etc indeed any of the wealth you have contributed to over the period of the union. if its in England or abroad, overseas dependencies etc, then its ours by default. plainly the vaunted union was not a partnership but a very one sided piece of property dealing. high-frequency trading looks kosher by comparison.
# canuckistan 2014-04-30 12:15
I wonder if this comes under phase two of project fear: moving from trying to terrify us about the cataclysm of an independent Scotland, to now terrifying us about the fact that independence is now likely, and therefore the sky really will be falling...As I said before, evil, not stupid.
# Breeks 2014-04-30 12:19
Mr Darling did say we won't be allowed British music, so I take that to mean he has his eye on the UK's CD collection. That's ok with me provided we get to keep the dog.

Oh blast! That's us pre-negotiating again...
# Marga B 2014-04-30 12:35
OT. You're lucky to have to worry about such practical things.

In Catalonia, the courts have just sentenced, in mid-course, the instant imposition of 25% more Spanish in (for now) 5 Catalan schools, in spite of the Catalan immersion system and the will of parents to have their children taught in Catalan.

Why? A single (politically tutored) Spanish speaking family in each of the 5 classes involved has complained, so all the other 30 children in the class have to be taught more classes in Spanish, on ideological grounds.

That's what it means here being a minority ruled by a permanent hostile monolingual majority. Your own culture and language are ruled from outside, and the courts impose obedience, even in pedagogical matters, overruling the Catalan parliament.

Scots, please win your independence, Catalonia needs you!
# Caadfael 2014-05-01 06:56
Simple solution Marga, have the kids stage a series of walk-outs!
Job done!
# Ready to Start 2014-04-30 14:42
Had the misfortune to watch BBC Politics Scotland (?) this afternoon.

No coverage whatsoever of Scottish Parliament Finance Committee deliberations on economics of independence this morning.

But much on House of Commons and Royal Mail and where David Porter allowed Labour's Ian Murray to constantly interrupt Mike Weir who was not allowed to respond whereas Lib Dem got second go to attack independence.

BBC still ramping up Putin remarks as much as they can and hyping up Nigel Farage ad nauseam.
# gandkar 2014-04-30 16:54
No problem with them hyping up Nigel Farage. When he wins the Euros South of the Border that will do our cause no harm at all. I would imagine Mr Murray is either desperately trying to protect his salary or he fancies JL's job.
# iain2013 2014-04-30 16:27
Alexander would save a lot of time and reduce global warming if he just went on the BBC in London and said "Same as last time". Is anybody still listening to the embarrassing wee lad?
# call me dave 2014-04-30 16:51
# Ready to Start

I listened to it all this morning, didn’t plan to but I found it very interesting. Very heartening to hear the views especially the Cuthberts throughout.

There is a comfort break 2hrs in but fast forward and the Cuthbert's remind the committee that wee Scotland is not to be trifled with, no siree!

Two Armstrongs and two Cuthberts

Economic experts give evidence on post 2014 public finances
# jdman 2014-04-30 18:54
I hope we send assessors to look through every arsenal, every trophy cabinet, and every cutlery drawer and screw every last penny out of them.

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