Midlothian South MSP Christine Grahame (SNP) has welcomed the first of a series of Scottish Independence documents, which shows how Scotland in the UK compares to other similar-sized independent European nations on key comparators.
But, Lothian List MSP Craig Hoy (Con) questioned the timing of the move, calling it “reckless”.
The Scottish Government paper outlines how other comparable nations are wealthier, happier and fairer than Scotland currently is under Westminster control.
Ms Grahame said: “Westminster control has held Scotland back while comparable countries of a similar size prosper. Independence gives Scotland the opportunity to fulfill its full potential to be a fairer, greener and more equal nation. It puts the power into the hands of Scotland - not Tory governments that Scotland didn’t vote for.
“A decade of Tory austerity coupled with a Brexit that Scotland didn’t vote for has made us poorer. As the cost of living crisis deepens for people across Midlothian, it’s right that the Scottish government lays bare the cost of living with Westminster in this series of papers
“Scotland has the ambition to be a better nation - but it’s only with the full powers of independence that we can make that hope a reality.”
In response, Mr Hoy said: “Another divisive independence referendum is the last thing Midlothian and Scotland needs at this time.
“It is completely reckless that the SNP-Green Government are deciding to waste time and energy on this as well as diverting crucial resources away from frontline services in Midlothian.
“The people of Midlothian want the government to be focused on the real challenges facing our communities right now. With people and businesses facing the effects of the global cost-of-living crisis and only just recovering after the pandemic, it is a disgrace Nicola Sturgeon is pressing ahead with this now.
“She should give it a rest and focus on the people of Midlothian’s priorities now.”