From the CEP News Blog:
The Tonight programme on ITV1 tonight investigated the differences between the funding and treatment of English and Scottish people including a mock referendum in Berwick on Tweed asking whether Berwickers wanted to remain in England or become part of Scotland.
It’s rare to get this kind of documentary on any channel, let alone ITV1 and it was quite well done. The programme concentrated on the spending differences - the Scots get an average of £1,500 per head per year more than the English - and the differences in benefits they get as a result such as not having to pay university top-up fees, getting free cancer treatment that the English aren’t entitled to, free care for the elderly, free prescriptions, etc. And they did it without trying to justify it which is a novelty.
The only downside was that they didn’t counter the tired old argument of “oor oil”. Alex Salmond said - more than once - that Scotland was subsidising Britain with North Sea oil and gas revenues and that it would be unfair to cut public spending in Scotland whilst the UK Treasury (in London, he always makes a point of saying in London) “continues to drain North Sea oil and gas revenues”.
North Sea oil and gas, despite Alex Salmond’s big plans, is not all rightfully Scottish. In the 60’s the maritime border was moved, in contravention of international maritime law, to extend along a line of longtitude instead of being an extension of the land border. The English were not asked if they were happy to cede their waters to Scotland and lose the oil and gas fields contained therein. Devolution for Scotland (but never for England of course) was on the cards back in the 60’s so it is a reasonable assumption that British MPs took this decision in the knowledge that Scotland would claim the waters once it gained fiscal autonomy. Robbing Peter England to pay Paul Scotland.
Read it all here.
Alex Salmond really is a liar of the highest order, but even if what he said were true, it is totally against the ethos of a United Kingdom that resources should be retained by one particular region in this manner. It also shows just how conniving and uncaring the SNP have become.
Salmond is another shameful item to add to an ever increasing list for poor old Scotland. What with Brown this side of the border and Salmond that side, it seems that conniving twisters are holding all the cards in the so-called UK today.
Where does Salmond get his figures from? Even if the maritime border was left in its current incorrect state, not all North Sea Oil and Gas belongs to Scotland, and an article in the Guardian last year stated that even if ALL North Sea Oil and Gas revenues were given to Scotland, the country still would not break even -
Tax revenues from Scotland almost match the country's £49.2bn a year public spending - although only if all North Sea oil and gas revenues are attributed to Edinburgh, a controversial allocation.
Read it all here!
More WENAP material on the subject of North Sea Oil here.