Readers letters: GERS designed to show Scottish independence will fail economically

" GERS, designed by the Tories to show Scotland could never be financially viable, is riddled with errors”

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 7:00 am
File photo dated 09/04/18 of Scottish bank notes. A third of people living in England have rejected Scottish bank notes as fake, a survey found. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday April 22, 2019. A total of 33% of the 1,710 people surveyed said they thought the notes were counterfeit. See PA story POLITICS Currency. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

GERS designed to show Scotland fail

Jill Stephenson misses the mark again (letters, May 8). A study by the pro-Unionist These Islands reveals that Scots don’t buy the story of Scottish penury the GERS accounts are peddling.

GERS, designed by the Tories to show Scotland could never be financially viable, is riddled with estimates, errors and false accounting.

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It shows Scotland’s finances as a UK region, not as an independent nation.

Scotland is charged billions for spending outside Scotland “on its behalf” for a bloated military, London civil service, overseas embassies and English infrastructure projects, none of which directly benefits Scotland.

A third of Scotland’s fictional deficit is a £4.5 billion interest charge for a UK debt that amounts to £130 billion over the last 40 years. If Scotland had kept this revenue, we would have a surplus today.

Furthermore, the accounting is wrong. It shows taxes paid on Scottish income, but spend for Scotland even if it occurs in England; and excludes income in Scotland but recorded in England, such as rent paid to English landlords. This false accounting does its job, which is to make Scotland look poorer.

GERS shows how much the UK is costing Scotland and how much better off we will be governing ourselves. The only myth is that Scot-land benefits from the Union.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Merchiston Crescent, Edinburgh.

All Scots should have independence vote

Readers have rightly raised questions about how the large questions of economic management would be addressed in an independent Scotland.

A White Paper would be useful. I have no doubt, from years of experience in the World Bank that Scotland would do well, but I am wary of the projections by modellers such as IFI. Garbage in, garbage out.

My issue is that as a resident in Europe I would not get a vote on independence, even though my nationality would be changed by a Yes vote.

My daughter's English partner, resident in Scotland, gets a vote. Something not right here. In the EU, residents vote in municipal elections. Only nationals vote in national elections.

Sam Laird, Alicante, Spain.

Worry over gay conversion ban delay

It seems there is to be a public consultation prior to the long awaited ban on so-called gay conversion therapy in response to some religious concerns that "legitimate forms of pastoral support" for people who are still “exploring” their sexual or gender identity might be criminalised.

What would that counselling look like? “We will unconditionally love and support you whatever you decide,” or, “ God can help you not to be gay.”

Religious groups may stop short of electric shocks but the prescription of lifelong celibacy to LGBT people must similarly be banned.

Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society, Saughtonhall Drive.

Greens must make indy stance clearer

We are told that a vote for the Greens in the recent election was also a vote for independence, that it was in their manifesto.

No one reads mani-festos and their election broadcast barely mentioned the word independence. Yet is this the case?

You voted Green to help the environment; if you supported independence you voted for the independence party - the SNP.

To say that a majority of MSPs were elected on a platform of another referendum, is bending the rules, to put it mildly!

William Ballantine, Bo'ness.