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Independence: Keeping pound best option - Salmond

James Mirrlees says present system absurd. Picture: PA

James Mirrlees says present system absurd. Picture: PA

  • by ANDREW WHITAKER
 

ALEX Salmond told MSPs that keeping the pound under independence was “the best option for Scotland” after he was challenged over the SNP’s plan to retain sterling in the event of a Yes vote in the referendum.

Labour leader Johann Lamont said that the SNP had “no plan B for an alternative” to retaining the pound as she claimed an independent Scotland would have no influence over the currency.

Ms Lamont, speaking at today’s First Minister’s questions, said that the SNP’s independence plans would hand more power to the Bank of England and UK Treasury over Scotland’s economy.

However, Mr Salmond said that the policy had been “hugely considered” as he claimed that UK Chancellor George Osborne “controls Scotland” under the existing devolution settlement.

The First Minister went onto say that the Scottish Parliament was currently denied full powers over spending and tax.

Mr Salmond said: “A big advantage of controlling our own fiscal policy is that this parliament would have control of tax and spending.”

 

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