Independence: Clash over state start-up costs

Mr Salmond claimed UK ministers had been 'caught red-handed trying to cook the books'. Picture: Jane Barlow

Mr Salmond claimed UK ministers had been 'caught red-handed trying to cook the books'. Picture: Jane Barlow

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ALEX Salmond and the Treasury clashed over the cost of creating a new state under independence as the Scottish and UK governments yesterday published their respective economic analyses on the consequences of a Yes vote.

Mr Salmond claimed UK ministers had been “caught red-handed trying to cook the books” with claims an independent Scotland would need 180 new government departments at a cost of more than 
£2.7 billion. Mr Salmond said that a figure of £250 million was more “reasonable”.

However, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander warned that an independent Scotland’s start-up costs would be “dwarfed by the massive deficit, the extra deficit, that an independent Scotland would have”.

The Treasury’s £2.7bn figure has been challenged – including by the academic whose research underpinned the prediction.

Professor Patrick Dunleavy, of the London School of Economics, stated that the Treasury’s figures are “bizarrely inaccurate”.

“I don’t see why the Scottish Government couldn’t do this for a very small amount of money,” he said.

He also said on Twitter: “UK Treasury press release on Scotland costs of government badly misrepresents LSE research.”

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