Salmond: Scotland must have control over own resources

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Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond has argued that Scotland needs to have full control over her resources in order to protect the nation against the effects of the financial mess left behind by the last UK Labour government.

In an interview with BBC Scotland’s Gordon Brewer the SNP leader also dismissed media and opposition claims that he was putting independence on the back burner, instead Mr Salmond re-affirmed his party’s goal of independence and a referendum for the Scottish people.


Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond has argued that Scotland needs to have full control over her resources in order to protect the nation against the effects of the financial mess left behind by the last UK Labour government.

In an interview with BBC Scotland’s Gordon Brewer the SNP leader also dismissed media and opposition claims that he was putting independence on the back burner, instead Mr Salmond re-affirmed his party’s goal of independence and a referendum for the Scottish people.

The First minister explained that as the party of government in Scotland the SNP had a dual role, one being an obligation to seek what is best for Scotland under the current arrangements and the other being the SNP’s continued campaign for independence.

The First Minister also argued that Scotland’s economy would be badly damaged if independence or fiscal autonomy were not achieved, explaining that the current Westminster coalition’s plans would lead to a loss of £35 billion to the Scottish economy.

Pressed by Mr Brewer on what the Scottish government were doing in order to argue for fiscal autonomy Mr Salmond explained that they were currently negotiating with the Westminster coalition on the matter.  The First Minister also stressed that the current Calman proposals would be catastrophic for  Scotland and would cost the nation £800 million per year.

The First Minister claimed that jumping up and down and shouting ‘cuts, cuts, cuts’ were not enough and that Scotland needed more powers in order to grow the economy.  This, said the First Minister, would give a Scottish government the ability to support jobs, growth and public services.

Asked how more powers might be used in order to address the £35 billion loss Mr Salmond said tax advantages could be introduced to increase investment, integrating social security and training would help address unemployment and the offshore renewable resource, valued at £25 billion per year, would provide a welcome boost; unlike the oil and gas cash that flowed straight to the London Treasury.

Mr Salmond was also asked quite bizarrely if he would serve as Iain Gray’s deputy.  The First Minister batted this question away by suggesting that such a situation was extremely unlikely.  Quite why Gordon Brewer found it necessary to ask such a question is unknown, especially given the vitriol with which Mr Gray asks his questions at FMQ’s every Thursday.

The interview ended with questions on the general election campaign and what might have been done differently.  Mr Salmond acknowledged that the campaign did have weaknesses but said that the biggest mistake was not taking the BBC to court earlier over the leaders debate exclusion.

“We should have gone to court earlier, much earlier” said the First Minister.

View the interview here:

Part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w190KLwdWRQ{/youtube}

Part 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nj_-w-X-DE{/youtube}

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