Scottish independence: Quarter of a million jobs threatened by indy, new research claims
The research, conducted by Fife-based independent consultant 4-consulting, and commissioned by pro-union think-tank Scottish Business UK (SBUK), found Scotland would be hit by job losses of around 253,000, and the economy would contract by a tenth.
The report, titled ‘Independence Uncovered: The Economic and Social Impacts of Scottish Independence’, harnessed data sources and economic modelling methods used by the Scottish Government. The research predicts in the aftermath of Scotland seceding from the union, public services would face “acute cuts”.
Overall, nearly 90,000 jobs would be under threat across public services, including local government, education, health, social work and residential care, the study claims.
The report states leaving the UK would shrink the Scottish economy by at least 10 per cent, with a loss of £29.2 billion in economic output, £16.3bn in gross value added (GVA) and £9.9bn in wage income.
The figures have been released in the midst of the leadership campaign to succeed Nicola Sturgeon as first minister, with Kate Forbes, Humza Yousaf and Ash Regan all needing to push their vision for independence.
Struan Stevenson, chief executive of Scottish Business UK, said: “For too long the Scottish Government has refused to clarify the true impact of the likely costs to changes in trade, currency, fiscal policy and investment that independence would deliver, despite the availability of published data on these subjects. Now we know why.
“Whoever succeeds Nicola Sturgeon as first minister must level with the people of Scotland and explain why these costs should be shouldered by businesses and communities, because this report has driven a coach and horses through any pretence that taking Scotland out of the UK would deliver prosperity.”
The research’s author, Richard Marsh, said the methodology used conservative assessments of the cost of independence, meaning the report reflects the minimum impacts Scotland would face.
“A newly independent Scotland would face significant challenges in funding public services and maintaining trade with the remaining parts of the UK,” he said.
“A balanced approach to managing the economy would involve the loss of nearly 90,000 jobs across public services and a quarter of a million overall. This would also involve some property taxes doubling and council tax expanding by a third.
“The consequences of spending cuts would fall disproportionately across Scotland’s less affluent communities. The economies of Scotland’s more successful city economies would also contract in the face of more challenging trading conditions.”
In response to the research, a Scottish Government spokesperson said independence was “essential to build a more stable, sustainable economy with fairness and human wellbeing at its heart”.
“Scotland’s economy is one of the best performing in the UK, but the UK economy, particularly post-Brexit, is now lagging behind many EU and international comparators,” the spokesperson said.
“Independence will allow Scotland to re-join the EU, give Scotland the full range of economic and other policy levers to take decisions based on our own needs, and will allow us the chance to replicate the success of independent European countries comparable to Scotland that are wealthier and fairer than the UK.”
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