Letters to the Editor

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The figures don’t add up

In his patronising fashion, Mr de Vink (April 3, 2014) suggests that reading the separatists’ tax-payer-funded White Paper is the path to enlightenment. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The White Paper is little more than a mess of unfounded assertions, Salmond’s opinions and half-truths. For example, the separatists assert that the £700m costs of increased free child care will be covered by the additional tax revenues generated by the mothers of young children who return to work. A recent official analysis by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre found that an additional 104,000 women would need to get jobs and pay tax to raise this amount. However, there are only 64,000 mothers of children of five and under who are not economically active.

Of these, only 14,000 say they wish to return to work. In order for the policy to work as the separatists assert, they will need to conjure up out of thin air at least 40,000 stay at home mothers and persuade them to find employment.

In short, the Scottish Parliament Information Centre says that the White Paper provides “no evidence” to support its assertion that the separatists’ flagship policy would pay for itself. The White Paper is full of such problems. Mr de Vink would be well-advised to seek out and listen to independent experts rather than regurgitating the ill-founded opinions expressed in such a shabby document. The separatists have had several decades to prepare for this referendum; it says little for their capabilities or sincerity that the policies they advocate are not cogent, costed or credible.

Their approach can only provide ammunition for those who believe that Salmond’s separatists will stop at nothing in their headlong rush to destroy the UK.

Richard Andrews

Newbattle Abbey Crescent, Dalkeith

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