BUT CITIZENS RISK STRAIGHT – According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (Ifs), an independent Scotland will suffer at the beginning of a ‘fiscal gap’ of almost 2%. To compensate for the loss for the tax authorities, the IFS continues, Edinburgh could be forced to increase income tax by 8% or increase VAT by 7%. Alternatively, Scotland could cut public spending by 6% or cut public services by 8%. “Independence may have its costs, although they have yet to be proven, but it also has its benefits”, observes Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel laureate who is part of the team of economic advisors on the independence front.
A survey conducted by Savanta ComRes for ‘The Scotsman’ shows that the Scottish National Party (SNP), led by the premier, Nicola Sturgeon, may not reach an absolute majority on its own in the general elections to be held tomorrow, considered a crucial test for independence aspirations. The SNP would get 59 seats and, therefore, would lack six seats to have an absolute majority, considered essential to be able to ask the British premier, Boris Johnson, a new referendum on independence.
There would still be a pro-independence majority given that the Scottish Greens who collaborate with the SNP are credited with 9 seats. After Brexit, with the clear majority of Scots lined up for the Remain, the Edinburgh Parliament has returned to make its way the idea of breaking away from the UK to re-enter the Union. To complicate the Scottish political situation there is also the return to politics of the former pro-independence premier Alec Salmond, at the head of Alba, a new political formation that is now competing with the SNP.