AFTER weeks scrutinising the SNP White Paper entitled Scotland’s Future, there is unsurprisingly an encouraging emphasis on positive reassurance that everything in the garden will be rosy.
Throughout we’re advised what doesn’t require changing will stay the same, UK-wide, and what does need changing, will be, but only if we vote Yes.
My main concern with this approach relates to all the uncosted commitments. For example, on page 363 (relating to Public Services on independence) I read: “Around 300 public bodies currently act for Scotland at UK level. As well as proposing new public bodies, we have developed proposals for sharing arrangements with the Westminster government.”
We then learn that of these publicly funded bodies, 60 per cent will be transferred to new or existing bodies in Scotland, with 30 per cent continuing to be shared, leaving only 10 per cent with functions relating to Scotland that will not need to be replicated. This means that around 270 publicly funded bodies will have to find extra, as yet uncosted, new funding from Scottish taxpayers.
Try as I might, I can’t find any other reference to help me determine what the associated costs will be. This worries me big style knowing our public finances are already over-stretched during this global recession.
Galen Milne, Dunblane