Economy & jobs at heart of independence
Leading off a debate on how jobs, economic growth and social justice are at the heart of the SNP’s campaign for constitutional change Angus Robertson MP, the party’s election campaign manager, said that the opposition of the London parties to letting Scotland’s people choose their constitutional future showed that only the SNP offered a better way out of the cuts being imposed by Westminster governments.
Commenting on the opening motion, on independence Mr Robertson said:
“Independence is the means to allow Scotland to take decisions that will improve the lives of families, communities and individuals across Scotland. With independence this country will have the ability to solve our own problems and to make the most of the very many opportunities open to all of us. It will allow us to build a stronger nation and a better future for us all. To create jobs, grow the economy and deliver social justice.
"Our vision of independence is one where Scotland comes together, to work for a better future because together we can make Scotland better.
“By failing to let Scotland’s people choose their own constitutional future the London-based parties have placed themselves on the side of the debate which leaves them as the harbingers of cuts, job losses and economic doom.
“The SNP believe in letting the people of Scotland choose a future we can all make for ourselves; where they choose what responsibilities they want such as responsibility for our own finances; to allow Scotland the means to avoid the worst of cuts being imposed by Westminster. The means to grow our economy, create jobs and provide social justice.
“Independence is about making Scotland more successful. It is about the ability to take our own decisions, in the same way as other countries. It is about home rule rather than Tory rule from London.
"We are concerned about their jobs, rising prices and the economy whilst Labour and the other London parties are more concerned about protecting the privileges of power at Westminster. No wonder over 80% of Scots believe the London parties are responsible for the cuts.
“On the one hand we have a Tory/LibDem pact which can only impose ‘savage’ cuts in the words of Nick Clegg; and on the other we have Labour proposing cuts ‘deeper and tougher’ than Thatcher.
“Instead of this depressing view of a decade of Westminster cuts started by the Labour party, the SNP is setting out a vision where taking responsibility for our own money and resources from Westminster can offer us a better way out of the financial crisis.
“Independence will mean a strong, new relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK. It will create a partnership of equals - a social union of peoples to replace the current politicians’ union.”
South of Scotland SNP MSP Christine Grahame, commented on the potential to mitigate the cuts through Scotland having responsibility for the oil revenues off the coast of Scotland. She said:
“Why should oil rich Scotland suffer the indignity of London imposed cuts when we are providing so much revenue to the Treasury in North Sea oil revenues?
“The London-based parties may like to expose their inferiority complex by talking down Scotland’s potential and its people at every opportunity but the issue of oil revenues and now our renewable energy potential exposes the paucity of their arguments.
“The Norwegians have prudently ploughed oil revenues into an oil fund now worth hundreds of billions. Nobel Prize winner and former Chief Economist of the World Bank, Prof. Josef Stiglitz, accused the UK government of ‘squandering’ our North Sea Oil wealth by failing to replicate this move.
“As we know there is nearly as much oil wealth left in the seas off Scotland than has already been taken out. And with new oil discoveries there may be even more.
“That wealth can be used for the good of Scotland. To protect jobs and public services in Scotland against Westminster imposed cuts. But we need to have the responsibility to ensure we can do that and that independence offers us that better way.”