"A Man's a Man for all that!" - Rabbie Burns

"Religion? No thanks. I prefer not to outsource my brainwashing." - Bunc
Trying to get your average Joe creationist to understand the phrase scientific theory is as hard as getting a fish to enjoy mountaineering. Its an unimagined world for them - it requires a complete reversal of their normal modes of thinking and being. The fact that humans could explain the complexities of this world without a creating God is a world view they cannot grasp. It's like asking a tuna if it appreciates the view from the top of Mount Everest. Bunc

Feb 10, 2007

SNP claims Independant Scotland Financially OK - rubbish says Professor

The SNP strategy of painting a glowing view of Scotland's financial position after independance has been dealt a severe blow with recent claims by a leading financial expert that an independant Scotland would suffer a massive financial black hole.

Professor Arthur Midwinter ,who is usually one of the SNP's favourite experts, said that the SNP claim that Scotland would have fiscal surplus was "fundamentally flawed" and based on unrealistic and unexplained assumptions. He said the Nationalists calculations, as set out in their recent paper Scotland in Surplus, were out to the massive amount of £4.5bn

The SNP had claimed that an independent Scotland would be £600m in the black but Professor Midwinter argues that the SNP have inflated Scotland's revenue and underestimated its spending.

The SNP claim that Scotland has been financially self-sufficient for 25 years but the Professor said that this was "impossible to take seriously". Professor Midwinter was until recently the independent budget adviser to Holyrood's Finance Committee, and he is currently a visiting academic at Edinburgh University.

The SNP has frequently used Professor Midwinter's work to attack the Scottish Executive.Cathy Jamieson, Labour's election campaign manager, claimed that Professor Midwinter had exposed the black hole in the SNP's financial planning. "The SNP must raise taxes, cut spending or both."

George Lyon, Liberal Democrat Deputy Finance Minister, reacted by claiming that "the SNP are simply not a credible party of government."

Tory spokesman Derek Brownlee also claimed that the SNP's credibility was "crumbling by the day."

An SNP spokesman attempted to rebut the Professors analysis and claimed that "The reality is that with oil revenues running at over £10bn this year, the flow of resources is from Scotland to England."

Professor Midwinter, however, claims that the SNP "spend too much time attacking the current financial arrangements and too little time understanding them."

Professor Midwinter compared the SNP's financial analysis with the official Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland (Gers). Gers revealed that Scotland spent £11bn more than it raised in tax in 2004-05 and was supported by "fiscal transfer" from the UK treasury. Even if Scotland is assumed to keep all oil and gas revenue from the North Sea following independance finances would be £6bn in the red.

Professor Midwinter will however also examine the finacial forecasts of the other parties and they may also be left squirming by his rigorous analysis.

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