UK's LOSS OF TRIPLE-A RATING SHOWS FAILURE OF WESTMINSTER POLICY
Saturday, 23 February 2013 22:01
AAA EMBARRASSMENT AS NO CAMP URGED TO "PULP FICTION"
The Scottish National Party is calling on the No campaign to pulp leaflets that they are distributing this weekend with misleading information following Moody's removal of the AAA credit rating from the UK.
The downgrade has blown an embarrassing hole in the No campaign's assertion that the benefits of a triple-A rating were only secure through the UK. Leaflets being distributed today by No list this as one of their core arguments against independence.
The SNP pointed out that almost two-thirds of the countries that now hold triple-A status have populations of less than ten million - including Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.
Scotland has stronger public finances than the rest of the UK, with the most recent GERS figures showing that Scotland contributes 9.6 per cent of public revenues but receives 9.3% of public spending. The SNP Government has balanced Scotland's budget in every single year since 2007, while the oil and gas sector boosted the UK's balance of trade by £40 billion. On an internationally comparable basis, Scotland's share of UK debt in 2010 would have been 64% of GDP, compared to the UK's 76%, the EU's 80% and the G7's 114%.
Challenging the No campaign to "pulp their fiction", SNP Westminster Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie MP said:
"The loss of the UK's triple-A status represents a failure of UK economic policy, and the Tory-led coalition's utterly misguided austerity agenda - with the cruellest cuts falling on families and the most vulnerable members of society.
"The anti-independence No campaign has also been dealt a hammer blow to its credibility, and must now pulp their misleading leaflets.
"This is a double-whammy for the Westminster parties - both their economic policy and their campaign credibility are in tatters.
"The triple-A credit rating was their totem. They have been judged by their own jury and been found wanting.
"Only a few days ago the No campaign boasted that they were merely putting facts out there - now they are demonstrably peddling fiction.
"No campaigners used the UK's AAA credit rating as one of their core arguments against independence. Now that it has been shown up as misleading scaremongering, people will rightly ask if any of the other claims on their leaflets can be believed.
"Westminster's drive for austerity undermined any possibility for growth, and demonstrates why the levers of economic policy should be in Scotland's hands, rather than a Tory-led government Scotland didn't vote for.
"This is negative news for the economy, demonstrating the failures of the Westminster government and the need for Scotland to take full control of our affairs with a Yes vote and independence.
“The record of our neighbours shows that small, well managed independent countries can have every expectation of enjoying the highest credit rating, and more importantly favourable bond yields.
Almost two-thirds of the countries that now hold triple-A status have populations of less than ten million - including Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.
"Scotland is in better financial shape than the UK as a whole, and a Yes vote in 2014 will allow us to build a strong economy and fair society with the powers of an independent Scotland."