With the penultimate Prime Minister’s Questions before the referendum taking place today, John Swinney is highlighting an independence bonus for people and families from switching hundreds of millions of pounds of spending from Westminster priorities to Scottish needs.
Mr Swinney said around £600 million a year can be saved from cutting Westminster projects – which include Trident – and spent instead on helping people in Scotland with improved childcare, lower energy bills and other benefits.
Mr Swinney said:
“Scotland is one of the richest countries in the world, wealthier per head than France, the UK and Japan.
“We have generated more tax than the UK for every one of the last 33 years and people in Scotland will always spend our money much better than Tory Chancellors like George Osborne.
“More and more people are waking up to the opportunities of independence, such as controlling our own budget, so that we can spend our taxes on policies that benefit many more people in Scotland.
“The current Scottish Government has identified savings of around £600 million a year by taking different decisions from Westminster.
“By getting rid of Westminster politicians we can save nearly £50 million alone. To put that in perspective that’s around the same amount of money needed to mitigate the costs of Westminster’s bedroom tax, which has penalised thousands of disabled and other people.
“With independence any future government will have full control of Scotland’s finances - so never again will we be forced to fund policies that have been overwhelmingly rejected by people in Scotland.
“That means we won’t have to use taxpayers’ money to mitigate the impact of the cruel bedroom tax or pay a share of the obscene £100 billion cost of a new generation of nuclear weapons.
“And why are we spending millions on the unelected House of Lords?
“The sight of Prime Ministers Questions in the House of Commons is a stark reminder of what a No vote means – Tory-led governments people in Scotland don’t vote for, imposing policies we don’t support and charging us for the privilege.
“A YES vote means the opportunity to control economic and tax policy so that many more people in Scotland benefit from our wealth and vast natural resources. That’s why we’re better off with Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands.”