BRIAN Wilson (“SNP con-trick masks the true reality”, Perspective, 12 June), rightly points out the degree to which Scottish administrative centres are responsible for processing state benefits on behalf of the UK government. Mr Wilson suggests that it is difficult to imagine why Westminster would allow its benefit system to be run from a foreign country.
It would appear that Westminster may have a better imagination than Mr Wilson’s. The outsourcing of public utilities is nothing new for UK governments.
For example, out of the ten major water companies in Britain, three are in public ownership and the rest are owned by foreign companies.
While I would not wish to carry the torch for foreign ownership of a critical, public utility such as water, in the event of independence it might be to Westminster’s economic advantage to leave its administration in Scotland.
If Westminster chose to close down the Scottish administration of benefits, it would have to rent or buy premises, and interview, employ and train staff for these. As a consequence, in the short to medium term, outsourcing to Scotland might make some kind of sense.
Mr Wilson rightly draws attention to the potential problems. Yet having done so he makes no attempt to suggest possible solutions. In short, he has his mind set.
As far as independence is concerned, Mr Wilson is a No man.
It is right and proper to bring potential problems to the attention of the electorate, but in the interest of objectivity Mr Wilson would be of greater service if he not only considered how independence would affect Scotland but also how it would affect England.
Independence will impact on both countries.
The notion that a Scottish Government would stop administering pensions and benefits the day after independence was won is something that just will not happen, if only because it is in the interests of both countries to ensure this is the case.
Mr Wilson’s failure to present a rounded argument which considers a possible solution for both countries in a post-independence world reveals his real purpose. He is endeavouring to put the collective Scottish psyche into a state of neurotic fear and anxiety; urging Scots to take counsel of his fears and make them their own.
The SNP bandwagon is running out of steam. Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon’s cause is doomed.
Over the past few months, we have been subjected to a plethora of miscalculations on the part of the SNP leadership.
Leading Nationalists have attempted to make a case for Scotland to be independent but have singularly failed to convince the majority of us to have any confidence in their outlandish claims.
Mr Salmond and Ms Sturgeon have seriously miscalculated in their quest to convince voters about their policies on monetary control, membership of Nato and the EU, retaining the pound, welfare and benefits, and so on.
Now perhaps the Scottish electorate should give serious thought to the costs incurred as a result of this Nationalist fever.
Mr Salmond, Ms Sturgeon and other Nationalist zealots may be intent on trying to overturn what is, and has been for more than 300 years, a successful Union, but why should the rest of us even have to consider having to finance their foolish venture?
Do we really know how safe our bank deposits or pension funds would be in an independent Scotland?
Let us unite in our quest to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom, and to ensure the UK, and other countries, get a fair say in the policies of the European Union.
Robert I G Scott
Usdaw, (the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) has been supporting the Better Together Campaign since its inception last June.
Scottish independence has been debated at our annual conference where delegates have overwhelmingly rejected independence. Indeed, delegates have expressed concern that the SNP is either unable or unwilling to answer detailed questions about what independence actually means.
Usdaw reached its opposition to independence not by clinging to a piece of ideology, but by examining which constitutional arrangement would be more likely to provide economic prosperity and improve the overall wellbeing of Usdaw members and their families.
The challenges and difficulties faced by Usdaw members are the same whether they live in Manchester or Motherwell.
Our members recognise that an independent Scotland will not magically transform their lives – especially when the only certainty being offered by the Yes campaign is a commitment to cut corporation tax and no comparable certainty about which currency will be used to pay wages, what will happen to the pensions they have contributed to and what will happen to their rights at work while Scotland negotiates entry to the European Union.
Scottish Divisional Officer
Albert Drive Glasgow