27th May 2018
Local Liberal Democrats have described the Report of the SNP Growth Commission as “a recipe for super austerity” which “holed the independence campaign below the waterline.”
Commenting on the Report, Rutherglen Liberal Democrat Councillor Robert Brownsaid:
“The SNP appear to have ditched the plan that failed so spectacularly to convince the public in 2014. Gone is much of the social democratic rhetoric and the idea that an independent Scotland would have money growing on trees. Gone is the bonanza of the oil revenues.
Instead the SNP want to cut public debt drastically. This is understandable, given the costs and uncertainties of independence but the result would be cuts in services that can only be described as a recipe for “super austerity”. Even Theresa May and the Tories have given up on this policy now. Far from being the plan for optimism and hope described by the First Minister, this is a grim plan for Scotland for a future of falling living standards and belt tightening from the SNP.
In short Nicola Sturgeon has ditched the plan they gave us in 2014 which fell apart on contact with reality. Now she has given us another plan, which is undoubtedly more realistic about how difficult and undesirable independence would be. However, if she can ditch one plan so readily, the Scottish public can be forgiven for being unconvinced by the new plan.
The reality is that the costs and complexities of independence are similar to those of Brexit that we see unfolding every day before our eyes.
A further independence referendum on top of Brexit would be a total distraction when we should be concentrating on improving public services and driving improvements to our economy. Instead of opening up the debate on independence, Nicola Sturgeon should ditch it “for a generation”. This needs building relationships with others, not breaking up our long-established United Kingdom.
This will be a slow burning fuse – but I believe the SNP’s own Growth Commission has in fact holed independence below the line.”