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UK and Scottish governments clash on pensions analysis


The UK government has claimed that for an independent Scottish government to meet the cost of pensions, they would have to fund an extra £450 per working age adult every year.

The analysis by the Department of Work and Pensions suggested that these increased costs could arise as soon as the early 2030s.

However, these claims have been refuted by key figures in Scottish government, as the Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said welfare and pension spending would be “more affordable” in an independent Scotland. She also criticised the UK government, claiming that they have started to “dismantle the welfare state”.

A resilient and unified system

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith claimed that the UK can be “proud” of its “long history of a strong welfare state”.

He also said that: "As part of the UK, Scottish people benefit from this resilient and unified system, which delivers the same support everywhere irrespective of peaks and troughs in economies of the nations or demographic differences.”

He continued to say: "Proposals by the Scottish government would risk the well-being of vulnerable people who are currently supported by this system.

Additionally, Mr Duncan Smith criticised the Scottish government for committing to spending more money on welfare without sharing any plans of how they will pay for it. He further claimed this is especially concerning as the Scottish population is ageing faster than anywhere else in the UK.

‘Plucking figures out of thin air’

Ms Sturgeon dismissed the analysis from the UK government by claiming that “This is just another example of a UK government that is scaremongering and is plucking figures out of thin air to try and tell people in Scotland you can't do it - the message from this government and the Yes campaign is we can do it."

These comments came despite the Scottish Secretary in the UK government saying the current system was “fantastic” and that it “worked very well”.

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