Prosperity row over SNP White Paper

LABOUR has disputed SNP claims that Scots would be £900 better off under independence, instead claiming they would be £2500 worse off.

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Johann Lamont, Labour leader, accused First Minister, Alex Salmond, of being selective in the dates used for comparison with the UK in the recently published independence White Paper.

The Scottish Government analysis in the document shows that, between 1977 and 2007, Scots would have been £900 better off under independence rather than as part of the UK.

However, using separate figures, both parties were able to say the numbers backed up their arguments.

Ms Lamont said, using the most recent figures available from the Scottish Parliament financial scrutiny office for a 30 year period from 1982 to 2012, each Scot would have been £2500 worse off.

She said "What did make the First Minister handpick the 30-year period from 1977 to 2007 rather than the most up-to-date figures?"

She said later: "To try to make their figures work, the SNP have tried to airbrush the banking crisis out of their figures.

"Any other period you choose, whether it's the last 10, 20 or 30 years, by the SNP's own measure Scotland has been clearly better off by being within the UK."

Mr Salmond however said that the most recent government expenditure and revenue figures show the country as a whole would be better off alone rather than as part of the UK.

He said: "Over the last five years, Scotland would be £12 billion relatively better off if we had managed our own resources.

"That is a great deal of money, that could have been used to invest in the Scottish economy, to promote Scottish jobs, it could have been used to borrow less, which would have been a good thing as well."

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