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Unrealistic forecasts says economist

Growth Commission report ‘would lead to cuts’ says analysis

Murdo Fraser

Murdo Fraser: blueprint is damning (pic: Terry Murden)


The forecasts in the SNP’s Growth Commission report have been questioned in a new report which calls them ‘unrealistic’.

The These Islands analysis, authored by economist Kevin Hague, challenges the Growth Commission’s future economic projections, saying they are based on misleading analysis.

Far from being a sober analysis of the challenges an independent Scotland would face, as previously claimed, the Growth Commission, authored by Andrew Wilson is more optimistic than the widely panned 2014 White Paper, says the analysis. The Commission’s plans would amount to cuts of 12% in public fnances.

Conservative finance spokesman Murdo Fraser said: “This thorough and sober analysis of Nicola Sturgeon’s latest independence blueprint is damning. 

“Far from laying out a realistic prospectus on Scottish independence, it shows that the SNP is now making even wilder claims about secession than Alex Salmond did prior to the referendum. That’s quite an achievement. 

“Quite simply, they are making it up as they go along.

“It’s time people like Nicola Sturgeon and Andrew Wilson were honest for once.  As everyone apart from the SNP acknowledges, independence would mean cuts on a scale never seen in Scotland – damaging every hospital, school and public service in the country.”

“It’s therefore all the more important that we oppose a second referendum on independence – and stop the SNP’s attempt to wreck Scotland with yet more constitutional division.”

Labour said the SNP’s “Cuts Commission” report would mean ‘increasing austerity’ and the devastation of Scottish public services.

It would mean slashing spending on the NHS, schools and police services in a bid to paper over the country’s financial black hole.

If the plans were implemented over the last decade a further £60 billion of cuts would have taken place, a doubling-down of the austerity cuts imposed by the Tories in recent years.

Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Lesley Laird, said: “It is now abundantly clear that the SNP’s plans for an independent Scotland would result in austerity cuts that not even George Osborne would have dared to implement.

“If these proposals were put into practice Scotland’s already under pressure public services would be devastated, with spending slashed on the NHS, schools, and on other vital areas.

“For Nicola Sturgeon this is a price worth paying. The only change she is fighting for is for the lowering of one flag to be replaced by another.

“It’s now clear that it is only Labour that it is fighting for real change for Scotland and the ending of austerity.

“The next Labour governments at Holyrood and Westminster will deliver real change with policies to increase child benefit to raise children out of the indignity of poverty and implement a real £10 per hour Living Wage to ensure that our economy works for everyone.”

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