Paying our dues

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John Warren (Letters, 22 January) discusses UK national debt in relation to Scotland. It may be relevant to recall that at the time of the Union of 1707, Scotland had no national debt.

England had a substantial one, largely due to war expenditure, and the Acts/Treaty of Union 
provided for Scotland to be paid “the Equivalent” of £398,085 and ten shillings to accept a share of England’s debt.

How this was used and how much of it was ever paid seems still to be a matter of debate, but some of it resulted in the creation of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

What would £398,000 in 1707, or whatever was actually paid, be worth now and should this be taken into account in working out what would be the liabilities of an independent Scotland in 2016?

David Stevenson

Blacket Place

Edinburgh

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