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Public Responsibility For Social Justice

Part of Orders of the Day — Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 3:59 pm on 10th March 1997.

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Photo of Mr Michael Forsyth Mr Michael Forsyth , Stirling 3:59 pm, 10th March 1997

I shall treat that as the hon. Gentleman's argument against economic and monetary union.

The Scottish nationalists would enter their brave new world with a deficit of £8.2 billion. Even if they got all the oil and gas revenues, which they will not, that would shrink to a mere £6.4 billion.

The hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond) produced some fantasy figures, claiming that Scotland has a budget surplus of £400 million. He did it by applying 1994 Treasury figures to 1996, assuming that 90 per cent. of North sea oil revenues would accrue to Scotland, and rounding up Scottish income tax receipts to inflate them by a mere £60 million—15 per cent. of the alleged surplus.

There are 68 Scottish National party spending commitments, including extravagances such as the renationalisation of Railtrack which were not costed in its programme, which promises a 20 per cent. increase in public spending, with no increases in taxation.