Blackford contradicted

Sturgeon insists indy Scotland would pay pensions

Nicola Sturgeon said Scots would pay for their own pensions

Nicola Sturgeon has insisted that an independent Scotland would be responsible for paying pension pots, contradicting comments by the SNP’s Westminster leader.

The First Minister said responsibility for existing pensions would “transfer to the Scottish government”, in line with the party’s policy before the 2014 referendum.

This policy also stated that “the UK pension entitlement they [workers paying NICs] have accrued prior to independence would become their Scottish State Pension entitlement”.

Ian Blackford, the SNP leader in the House of Commons, last week argued that in an independent Scotland “commitment to continue to pay pensions rests with the UK government.”

He claimed this is because workers in Scotland would have paid national insurance. He drew a comparison to UK citizens living abroad.

However, Ms Sturgeon yesterday said: “It is for a Scottish government to be responsible for the payment of pensions, but the historic liabilities and assets around pensions, as around other things, will be a matter of negotiation at the point of independence.”

She referred to a paper by the Fraser of Allander Institute which also contradicted Mr Blackford’s claims. It said that state pensions were not paid for from a pot that individuals build up during their working lives, but were covered using money from present taxes and borrowing.

The state pension in Scotland is currently £8.5billion a year, paid for from UK-wide taxes and borrowing.

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