Yes/No stances have already degenerated into absurdities. What will it be like in six months’ time?
There will be nothing absurd left to say. Meanwhile, another two curious reported items have popped up.
Our Deputy First Minister points out that our life expectancy is lower than that of the UK, in the context of bringing down the retirement age by a year in a separated Scotland, so the proposed Westminster extension of pension age to 69 as folk live longer by the end of the 2040s is rejected.
This assumes that Scottish life expectancy will stay unchanged for the next 27 years.
Nothing, then, is planned to be done to rectify well-known Scottish poorer health deficiencies for 27 years, and perhaps Holyrood’s intention is also to have even earlier pension ages for those most at risk of premature death as in some areas of Glasgow, for example.
The Deputy First Minister’s apparent attitude needs rapid revision.
Then again, we have to worry about the decline in the next few years in the oil revenues, which could increase UK and thus Scottish fiscal deficits by several billion pounds in this critical period to 2018 or so.
It’s the long term that counts, not referendum point-scoring: by 2050 the oil revenues will be in terminal decline, with increasingly fewer barrels recovered.
The quoted 50 more years of oil revenues to come neglects the minimal oil revenues certain then.
A knock-on effect on pension affordability results – hardly likely to be compensated by the income from increased Scottish residents’ whisky drinking or from wind farm electricity sales.