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IDS welfare claims rubbish: Salmond
Alex Salmond condemned claims by Iain Duncan Smith that an independent Scotland could not afford to pay its welfare bill
Claims from Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith that an independent Scotland could not afford to pay its welfare bill were branded "offensive, nonsensical rubbish" by First Minister Alex Salmond.
Mr Duncan Smith is expected to say in a speech in Glasgow that a break-up of the Union would leave Scotland unable to meet the cost of getting people into employment or adequately supporting those who cannot work, without cutting services or raising taxes.
Welfare spending is 6% higher north of the border, and any additional income to the Scottish Government from North Sea oil and gas revenues would not be enough to meet the costs, the Work and Pensions Secretary was due to say.
But his claims were branded "scaremongering" by the Scottish National Party.
Mr Salmond, who was in London for talks with Prime Minister David Cameron and leaders of other devolved administrations, said Mr Duncan Smith had got his figures wrong, telling BBC News: "We contribute 9.6% of the UK's taxation, with 9.3% of the spending and just over 8% of the population.
"That is a relative surplus of about £2.7 billion in 2010/11, or £500 for every man, woman and child in the country.
"The welfare bill is not financed out of North Sea oil, it is financed out of general taxation."
Mr Salmond said that a Scottish Parliament committee heard from a blind man who said he was being "reduced to penury" by welfare cuts introduced by Mr Duncan Smith, adding: "The man responsible for that has got the audacity to come to Scotland and tell us we couldn't afford to have a compassionate and proper welfare protection."
"We could have less borrowing, more spending and we would certainly be able to sustain a position where we didn't reduce people with blindness to penury, as Iain Duncan Smith is currently doing in Scotland."
Speaking ahead of the address to the Welfare to Work Scotland conference, Mr Duncan Smith said the new universal credit being launched next year will make a "radical" difference to getting people back into the workplace in Scotland and the rest of the UK. Under the scheme there will be a single monthly benefit payment, rather than weekly or fortnightly as at present, for people looking for work or on a low income.
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There's no point in Scotland becoming independent from the rest of the UK, but remaining in the EU, because the EU will increase it's stranglehold on its member states with every move towards a United States of Europe.
It wouldn't be long before they got round to saying that 'Scotland's oil' is a common resource, like Scotland's fish already is - and look what other EU member states have done to Scotland's fish stocks; some of them don't have a sea coast, yet have a fishing fleet.
Whoa whoa people, why is there so much anger? I say good luck to Scotland if they choose to be independent, we all know its not been easy but if they choose to be independent we should support them and be their staunch supporters, we should rally against our one true enemy, the conservative party who no doubt will spread all the lies and evil they can to cause ill feeling between our great cultures so they can capitilize on it later.
Good luck Scotland, may the force be with you.
You are totally right. Every single MP except Nigel Farage and George Galloway are complete idiots who do what TPTB request of them. Not one of them has the B***s to implement what need to be done to sort out the mess we are in.
The funny thing is, no matter who you vote for, you are still electing an idiot. Blue or Red...what difference does it make...NONE!
The best thing that can be done is putting your vote to the little parties, its about time the ENTIRE UK political system was reformed because we are leaving the destiny of OUR country in the hands of people who would rather get a hefty paycheck and trips around the world with celebrity status
Just seems to confirm that we are subsidising the `old sweaty socks`...... and before anyone has a go at me, some of my mates are scottish!!!! It just seems a crime that people south of the border don`t get the same luxuries such as free prescriptions and free students fees.
I suggest you press for independence, it might cost us less!! it would make Sir Alex pizza face a foreigner!!
And to say Scotland couldn't afford their welfare bill is extremely hypocritical given the current state of UK debt.
The UK can't afford its welfare bill....period.
Do the sensible thing, leave Europe and stop the illegal wars, instead of paying $48million per day to be a member, plough that money back into our infrastructure, housing, NHS, welfare systems and maybe then you will have Scotlands backing to remain in the UK.
This ian duncan smith is a moron and trying to scare monger !! scotland is and always has been a manufacturing country along with other jobs but thanks to Thatcher (she shut down whole towns & villages) and the conservative cronies we have less and less jobs & opportunities etc and soon we will have nothing we have a dilapidated democracy system that lets the rich get away with murder scotland alone pays 9.6% of the tax for the whole of the country and also has made some major contributions to the british empire over the years what have we got in return treated like something you wouldnt wipe of your shoes .
The uk gouvernment are determined to make scotland a ghost town and rape us for our assets as the history books show so we always need to go cap in hand to westminster . The english just dont get how the scots think we have a totally different way of looking at things thats why to quote (Someone oldmanblues) Scotland is no more than a large housing estate stuck to the top of England well westminster made it like that !! but what i can say is i have lived in some parts of england and let me tell you i would look closer to home if i were you mate as i wouldn't let a dog live anywhere near some of estates down south .
Im not a great supporter of alex salmond but i do know one thing scotland is fed up of being raped for its natural resources to keep the fat cats in the westminster government rich scotland needs a boost in jobs and manufacturing and fast if this was to happen then the welfare bill would be cut anyway!! and at the end of the day we cant do as bad as past westminster governments have done
I also think the way some peoples comments on here are pretty racist towards the scots as well which proves my point with what we scots have to deal with !!!
I wish Scotland would get on with it. The SNP have been whingeing on about independence for years, even now the coalition want to hold the referendum before the Scots do!
No tinkering with voting ages or more devolution. One question. One vote. Get on with it!
Sorry this is a copy and paste from my post from yesterday. Everyone please check the LEGAL FACTS if you don not think this is true and you will find it is.
It's not Scottish oil any more then the ones off the north east coast of England are English. The Oil belongs to the UK and if Scotland leaves the UK they will not have any as the oil will still be part of UK oil reserves. Yes the main refineries are in Scotland and Scotland could charge extra taxes. Which might force them to ship it to other areas in England. Either way Scotland would loose out. Either way i think a break up of the UK wil not be good for anyone. Also would some of you Scots please get your facts right, some of you say 80% want to stay in the UK and some of you say 80% want to leave. You only get one vote each which way is it.
Also like to point out that the oil we get from around the UK coast is not worth much, as we still have to import over 80% of the oil this country uses as well as coal and other stuff.
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