Battle lines drawn over referendum cash claims

EACH side in the independence referendum accused the other of manipulating figures with both claiming to have the best economic argument.

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A UK Government report stated every man, woman and child in Scotland benefited by £1400 from being in the UK, which Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said was the "UK Dividend."

A Scottish Government report however, said Scotland's finances would be as good as, if not better than the UK and in 15 year's time would grow by £5billion which First Minister, Alex Salmond, said was the "independence bonus" worth £1000 for every Scot.

Following publication of the two reports, each side began attacking the others projections and warnings.

Mr Salmond said: "Our campaign is based on putting forward the potential of the Scottish economy. We don't think that scaremongering stands up to a moment's examination."

The Scottish Government said the rise would come from increasing immigration, employment and productivity.

Iain Gray, Labour's finance spokesman, said: "It is not credible to argue that productivity will increase, employment will soar and loads of workers will flock to Scotland as if by magic without giving any explanation to how this would happen.

"This looks like a desperate attempt to cobble together a counter to the UK Government's fiscal paper and leaves the people of Scotland wondering who to believe among a blizzard of contradictory statistics."

The Scottish Government also produced oil projections showing forecasts far lower than previously suggested.

Labour accused the SNP of fiddling the figures on oil, while the Scottish Government accused Mr Alexander of misrepresenting one of the professors cited by the UK government over independence costs that it put at £2.7bn for 180 departments. The academic, Patrick Dunleavy, said the figures were "bizarrely inaccurate."

Income predictions for North Sea oil have fallen from between £4.2 bn and £10.7 bn to £2.9 bn and £7.8 bn in 2016/17.

Alistair Darling, Better Together leader said: "The nationalists tell us that we shouldn't worry because we've got oil. But today they have let the cat out of the bag. They've been caught fiddling their own figures again."

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