How much does it costs to set up a new country?
Prof Dunleavy, from the London School of Economics, said an independent Scotland could have to spend between £150m to £200m on new administrative structures to replace existing UK bodies.
A spokesman for the First Minister said the UK Treasury’s previous £2.7bn figure had been “blown out the water”.
Professor Dunlveay had previously branded the Treasury’s figures as “crude misinformation”.
The report offers a massive blow to the latest effort to spread disinformation about the most basic transfer costs and processes and leaves the Better Together campaign again, reeling with their need to over-reach in this public debate where people require and deserve simple facts.
My problem with this report is that it assumes ‘business as usual’. As a means of calculating it’s basically asking what would it cost to continue as we are doing things now? A far more interesting approach would be to say about each and every inherited institution or structure: does this work? Can we afford it? Can we do it better?
A simplified tax system that enforced payment and closed loopholes could not just be a saving in the way it worked but a massive generator by creating more equality and transparency in the way we collect dues.
We want to transform Scotland not replicate existing ways.
Nevertheless, the report by the independent figure seems reasonable but it’s interesting to put next to some other big ticket items that we’d be able to do immediately do without on independence.
Given our renewable energy, we have no need for nuclear power. The incredible decommissioning costs of Sellafield, are currently budgeted at an ‘astonishing’ £70 billion. See details here.
WEAPONS of MASS DESTRUCTION
A replacement for Cold War dinosaur Trident, estimated at £17 billion. Trident’s 11,000 jobs for £17bn come at £1.5m each! The combined cost of replacing Trident and maintaining the current system is £3.7 billion per year for the next 15 years. See details here.
HIGH SPEED RAIL
The extraordinary costs of HS2 – a transport system we can’t afford that won’t come anywhere near Scotland, yet we have to pay for? This is estimated at £64 billion. See details here.
£200 million is loose change in the backpocket of an independent nation unshackled from these monstrous white elephants and able to take a reasoned look at how it structures its affairs. We have just saved our share of £151 billion, let’s go crazy and do things properly?
What would some of that money look like invested in Passivhaus as a minimum requirement in a national house-building programme?
Or invested in a massive low-carbon shipbuilding investment scheme to transfer jobs out of the old military-obsessed programmes?
Or how many teachers could you employ and how many schools could you transform for that amount of money?