Hidden costs of the White Paper

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THE implications relating to the break-up of the UK are currently unfathomable so I have requested a “free” copy of the referendum White Paper, titled Scotland’s Future to help me make a considered judgment on its merits, or otherwise as the case may be. However, if recent reports are correct, the SNP hierarchy have admitted this production is in large part what their particular view is of what an independent country should look like in the years ahead. I therefore find it very disturbing when the Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, admits the cost of producing this document was almost half a million pounds of Scottish taxpayers’ money.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, she also confesses that the real expenditure is uncosted, as this is possibly just the first instalment for the first 20,000 copies. If other folk like me request more copies, the taxpayers have to cough up another £10 a copy. In other words it’s an open-ended commitment to spend our hard-earned cash.

This might be OK if it had been a document setting out both the cases that properly reflect the considered opinion of those who want independence and those who would prefer to stay as an integral component of the present United Kingdom.

As it’s not a balanced analysis, why is the cost of this publication not being paid for by the Yes to independence campaigners? Perhaps it’s yet another example of the ruling political class taking the electorate for granted, so let us remind them all that ultimately “He who pays the piper calls the tune!”

Galen Milne, Dunblane