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Scotland’s Future

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 18th September 2013.

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Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

The First Minister sticks to his principles and argues for what he believes is right for Scotland; Johann Lamont argued against devolution in 1979—she was wrong then, she is wrong now and she will be proved wrong in the years to come.

I want to make three key arguments to support the case for independence today. First, Scotland can afford to be an independent country. We are one of the wealthiest countries in the world. It is a fact that for each and every one of the past 30 years—oil prices high or oil prices low—we have generated more tax per head than the rest of the UK. Malcolm Chisholm, who is a man for whom I have the utmost respect, gave figures suggesting that welfare spending was about £60 higher per head in Scotland than in the rest of the UK. That is correct, but what he did not say is that, in the exact same year, we contributed £1,700 more in tax. Let it not be said by anyone in this Parliament that Scotland cannot afford to be independent. The question is not whether we have the wealth to be independent but whether we will access that wealth to build the better country that we want Scotland to be.