Blind faith in better pensions

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RONALD Bowie is correct to say that there are no underlying investments to back up many UK public sector pension schemes at present (News, 10 March). Where he falls down is in explaining why this would present a uniquely onerous burden on an independent Scotland.

On average, life expectancy in Scotland is lower than in the rest of the UK, while rates of employment are higher. Once the totality of Scottish economic output is considered, the proportion of public spending relative to GDP is lower than it is in the rest of the UK.

As such, it’s hard to see any firm basis for Mr Bowie’s claim that when it comes to the affordability of pensions, the odds “strongly favour” remaining in the UK.

Successive UK governments have made a hash of pensions legislation, from presiding over mis-selling scandals to killing off otherwise strong final salary pension schemes (great for pension benefits consultants – not so great for the scheme members).

Apart from holding to the old saw that Scotland might somehow be too wee and too poor for independence, Mr Bowie sadly offers nothing more than blind faith to ­support his contention that we really are “better together”.

Richard Thomson, Ellon

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