Fact Check on Labour's 'British benefits'


Alex Salmond said; "Britain has been bad for Scotland's economy. We
are drained of talent and wealth. At a time when high oil prices mean
revenues could exceed £10 billion this year, the UK is heavily
subsidised by Scotland. If this money stayed in Scotland it would fuel
Scottish success and mean an end to the lower wages and higher
unemployment that come from being part of Britain."

The Price of Britain

Britain strips Scotland of too much of its young talent. As a neglected
corner of the UK, Scotland will lose over half a million people over
the next 40 years (equivalent to losing a town the size of Carnoustie,
Alloa or Rosyth each year) - representing a massive lost opportunity to
Scotland. Too many young people are forced to look for opportunities
elsewhere, with the impact felt by families in every part of the
country.

Over the past 25 years Scotland's average annual growth
has been 1.8%, the UK has grown by 2.3%, small EU countries by 3.1% and
Ireland by 5.2% (House of Commons Library).

The cost to our
economy of Scotland's low growth since the mid-1970s, is £10 billion.
In the last two years it has been £2 billion. The result has been lower
wages - £2000 on average - and, since 1997, 100,000 lost manufacturing
jobs.

Labour boast of 50 quarters of growth but the Scotland
Office has admitted in a parliamentary answer to Alex Salmond that this
has only been 10 in Scotland and there have been 3 downturns in
Scotland under Labour (Hansard, 17 March 2005, col. 409W)

Scotland has the highest unemployment rate (%) of all the UK countries.
Scotland - 5.7 Wales - 4.1 England - 4.6 N Ireland - 4.6 UK - 4.7

Labour Market Statistics March 2005

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