By Martin Kelly
Media claims that an academic who carried out a study into the startup costs of independence, has concluded it may cost up to £1.5bn have been called into question after the academic himself said he did not accept the figure.
Professor Patrick Dunleavy has said the £1.5bn figure, touted by newspapers and the BBC is, “not a figure I accept”.
In a statement to Newsnet Scotland, the academic who has been at the centre of a row after the UK Treasury misrepresented an earlier study, said independence would cost no more than £600m.
He said: “To restate: Set up costs for Indy Scotland [is circa] £200m.”
Explaining that IT costs could add a possible £400m over a ten year transition period, Professor Dunleavy added: “So my max £600m (including £200m above) in a decade contrasts with Treasury £1.5 bn,”
Calling the £1.5bn figure used by the Treasury the “maximum possible”, the academic dismissed the amount, saying it is “not a number I accept”.
The comments from Professor Dunleavy call into question the accuracy of several media reports, including BBC Scotland, which have claimed the academic agrees with the £1.5bn startup cost figure produced by the UK Government.
According to BBC Scotland News, independence startup costs would be up to £1.5bn. [see main image]
Other newspaper outlets have also grossly exaggerated the Professor’s work, including the Daily Record. The newspaper, which has a vehemently pro-Union editorial line, was not content with the bogus £1.5bn figure and claimed Professor Dunleavy had put the cost of independence at over £2bn.
The article was described as an “intense burst of falsehood” by the editor of Wings Over Scotland, Stuart Campbell who comprehensively rubbished the newspaper’s claim in an online article.
Other news outlets to fabricate claims relating to the academic’s work include the Scottish Daily Express which stated that “TAXPAYERS could be forced to stump up more than £450,000 a day for 10 years if Scotland votes for independence, it has been claimed.”
The falsifying of the academic’s work had already been criticised by the academic himself, when he blasted the UK Government after it multiplied by a factor of twelve, figures contained in a previous study.
This attempt by a media growing increasingly worried at the prospect of a Yes vote in September’s referendum will do little to re-instill trust in the profession.
This Sunday over one thousand people are expected to gather at the Glasgow HQ of the BBC, in protest at the pro-Union stance adopted by BBC Scotland.