More Tory revelations underline need for Yes vote

New files that reveal former Tory Scottish Secretary Michael Forsyth privately conceded that Scottish voters "wanted" devolution further proves that Westminster can't be trusted with Scotland's future.

In the UK government files, it was noted:

“The Secretary of State noted that one of the big problems with the Government’s position was that it was perceived to be based on the status quo and to be telling people that they could not have an Assembly. Consequently people wanted it and there was a general feeling of “we was robbed” and that not enough account was being taken of out way of life.”

These new revelations come after documents uncovered this week confirmed Margaret Thatcher's government attempted a secret "invisibility" strategy in the 1980s to cut hundreds of millions of pounds from Scotland's budget in the hope that the public would not notice.

These documents, which date back to the same period when David Willetts, a current cabinet secretary in David Cameron's government, was in charge of Treasury Monetary Policy, showed John Redwood, Thatcher's chief policy adviser, suggested a cut of £500m in Scotland's annual block grant.

Commenting, SNP MSP Stuart McMillan said:

"These files simply reinforce what we already know - Westminster can't be trusted with Scotland's future.

"Michael Forsyth recognised that the will of the people of Scotland was for a Scottish Parliament, yet he continued to tell people we could not have it.

"And we know from history that promises for better devolution and more powers in return for a No vote are quickly forgotten about - which is why a Yes vote this year is vital.

"All Scotland got after the 1979 referendum was 18 years of Tory Government we didn't vote for. It is clear Scotland couldn't trust a Tory government back then, so why should we trust Westminster now? David Willetts, who was part of the same Treasury department in the 80s that called for these cuts, is currently part of David Cameron's government.

"We know that Westminster is itching to cut Scotland's budget by £4 billion. The all-party House of Commons report, along with these government papers, demonstrate how only independence will protect Scotland and our communities from a massive cash cut of £4 billion a year.

“Only a Yes vote next year, and the full economic powers of independence, will protect Scotland’s budget and allow us to grow the economy and create more jobs.”


Notes: Link to article

Thatcher's papers revealed here

The All-Party Parliamentary Taxation Group includes Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem members.

The report, link below, includes the following recommendation:
11.14. In the case of a ‘No’ vote, the Barnett Formula must be replaced as a priority, with a needs-based formula for inter-regional resource allocation the best alternative, using the seven indicators of relative need identified by the Holtham Commission (§§5.26, 6.84).

The Holtham report is significant.

Gerald Holtham co-wrote an article in the Financial Times in 2010, headlined: “Scotland is taking more than its share of funds”

In the article he wrote:

“Our study looked at the needs-based formulas used in England (and analogous criteria used in Scotland and Wales) to assess whether Barnett allocates resources fairly and consistently. It does not. An assessment consistent with those used to distribute health, local government and educational spending around England could eventually result in Scotland getting as much as £4bn less than it currently does.” (FT, 5 July 2010)