Alexander put his case for Scots to oppose
independence in a referendum of Sept. 18, shortly after
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond said an independent
Scotland's public finances would be at least as strong as the
rest of the United Kingdom's.
"By staying together, Scotland's future will be safer, with
stronger finances and a more progressive society," Alexander
said. "It means a UK dividend of 1,400 pounds a year for every
man, woman and child in Scotland."
Salmond said that if Scotland had full powers to run its economy
without interference from London, it would be 5 billion pounds a
year richer by 2030 - something Alexander dismissed as a "bogus
"They're desperately trying to distract attention from that
fundamental question ... that there simply wouldn't be the same
level of resources available for public services if Scotland
were independent," Alexander said.
Scottish nationalists differ sharply with anti-independence
campaigners on likely future tax revenue from North Sea oil, as
well as whether an independent Scotland would be able to boost
producitivty and slow the aging of Scotland's population. ($1 =
0.5952 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Alistair Smout, additional reporting by William
James, writing by David Milliken)
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