Referendum 2014
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Referendum 2014
The Scottish independence referendum and the debate about Scotland's constitutional future
Curated by Peter A Bell
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An Open Letter From Jim Sillars To Scotland's Pensioners

An Open Letter From Jim Sillars To Scotland's Pensioners | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
AN OPEN LETTER FROM JIM SILLARS TO SCOTLAND’S PENSIONERS I am 76 years of age. My State Pension is safe with independence, and so is yours. Who says so? The UK Department for Work and Pensions in a...
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Renata Hill's comment, September 12, 2014 12:51 PM
I heard that all of England's "high muckety mucks," even the PM, were up in Scotland making a last minute effort to scare everyone into voting no. Do you think the Yes representatives are making enough speeches and airing enough adverts to counteract that anti-independence push?
Peter A Bell's comment, September 15, 2014 5:48 AM
The difference, Renata, is that while Cameron and cronies are holding closed meetings with hand-picked audiences to ensure they don't get asked awkward questions, Salmond, Sturgeon etc. are at open public meetings or out on the streets meeting the people who matter.
Renata Hill's comment, September 15, 2014 2:09 PM
Hopefully, the voting public will note the difference.
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Eilidh Whiteford MP for Banff & Buchan: Pensions Secure and More Affordable in an Independent Scotland

Eilidh Whiteford MP for Banff & Buchan: Pensions Secure and More Affordable in an Independent Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Following a report in today’s Sunday Post citing letters from private and public organisations about pensions being unaffected by a YES vote and independence, the SNP has reiterated that the people of Scotland can look forward to safer state pensions and should dismiss the NO campaign’s scaremongering.

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Polishing all the truth out

Polishing all the truth out | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
There's something fascinating about the latest "No Thanks" leaflet that's slithering its way through letterboxes in Scotland this week, and it's not the empty sloganising it deploys in lieu of an a...
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Yes is an opportunity for Scotland's older people | Scottish National Party

Yes is an opportunity for Scotland's older people | Scottish National Party | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The SNP is today highlighting how a Yes vote will leave new pensioners in Scotland £260 per year better off, protect pension rights and ensure Scotland has a pension age appropriate to our circumstances.

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50,000 Scots lose £90m under UK pensions changes

50,000 Scots lose £90m under UK pensions changes | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
TENS of thousands of older Scots who have saved for their retirement have lost out under a UK Government pensions cut, figures show.

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Pensioners set to be £260 per year better off with a Yes vote

Pensioners set to be £260 per year better off with a Yes vote | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The Westminster Government has come under fire after refusing to reveal its plans for pensions after the independence referendum.

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The pensioner jackpot

The pensioner jackpot | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
We got an email from an alert reader today making an intriguing observation. We feel sure we must be missing something about it, but we can't figure out what it is. Perhaps you can help. Let's walk...
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Pensions in an independent Scotland

Pensions in an independent Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Scotland can more than afford a decent pensions system. Independence will make that a reality, says Eilidh Whiteford (as published in The House magazine). One of the main advantages of independence...
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Scots pensioners ‘short-changed by Westminster’

Scots pensioners ‘short-changed by Westminster’ | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
RETIRED Scots in the country’s poorest areas are losing out on their state pension to the tune of £50,000, compared with better-off areas of the UK, the SNP government has claimed.
Peter A Bell's insight:

What these British politicians fail to acknowledge is that lower life expectancies in Scotland is a feature of the union. It is a situation which has developed while Scotland s part of the UK.


The referendum is about bringing home to Scotland the powers that we need if we are to address the underlying problems that lead to people dying younger here. There is no rational reason to suppose that these problems will ever be addressed if we vote No. They never were before.

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A tale of little interest

Update: the big pensions story of the day has now made it as far as the BBC. The Herald has also made its online version a bit more visible. No other media outlet, as far as we've spotted, has pick...
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UK MP: State pensions would be paid after Yes vote

UK MP: State pensions would be paid after Yes vote | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE: State pensions would still paid after independence a UK minister has told MPs despite concerns raised by the Better Together campaign.
Peter A Bell's insight:

Another of Better Together's dishonest scare stories crumbles to dust. Not that this will stop them repeating the lies at every opportunity.

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Scottish independence: Ageing workforce fear

Scottish independence: Ageing workforce fear | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
An independent Scotland may have to raise the retirement age to make up for a shrinking workforce.
Peter A Bell's insight:

Read this carefully.* (Good advice regarding any referendum-related story in the mainstream media.) What it actually says is that they very worst that MIGHT happen if we vote Yes is no worse than what will CERTAINLY happen if we vote No.

 

The article refers to UK government plans to raise the retirement age to 67, but omits to mention that the intention is to raise it to 70. Now, that in itself may not be such a terrible thing. After all, people tend to live considerably longer now than when the retirement age was set at 65. But this is one of all too many instances where Scotland is disadvantaged by Westminster rule. Life expectancy in Scotland is considerably lower than in the UK as a whole. Therefore, on average, people in Scotland will derive less benefit from the state pension than people in the rest of the UK while having to pay in just as much.

 

It might make sense to have the retirement age linked to life expectancy. It makes no sense at all to have it linked to life expectancy in another country.

 

This issue only serves to demonstrate yet again why we urgently need to bring our government home. We not only can be independent because we are better able to afford pensions, we should be independent because that would allow us to set a retirement age that is appropriate, and we must be independent so that resources can be devoted to improving life expectancy in Scotland rather than being diverted to subsidise pensions elsewhere.

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A nice easy one

A nice easy one | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Here's Scottish Labour's finance spokesman Iain Gray on last night's Newsnight Scotland, discussing Gordon Brown's speech in Glasgow on pensions because Mr Brown himself refused to answer any quest...
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Lesley Riddoch: Assuaging fears of a rainy day

Lesley Riddoch: Assuaging fears of a rainy day | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Scottish independence: Worries about financial security leave many of the elderly in conflict over voting Yes for the next generation, writes Lesley Riddoch
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Pensions are safe with independence - YouTube

With a Yes, we can protect and strengthen state pensions by making sure they rise in line with inflation, average earnings or 2.5% - whichever is highest.
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When is a pot not a pot?

When is a pot not a pot? | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
This is a "Better Together" graphic about pensions. We'd like you to note what it says carefully. There'll be a quiz in a minute. Here's another one. Click for the source page. So how many falsehoo...

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OAPs ‘worse off’ since Tory benefit cuts, say SNP

OAPs ‘worse off’ since Tory benefit cuts, say SNP | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
THOUSANDS of hard-saving Scottish pensioners are worse off since the Tory-led government started cutting benefits, according to the SNP.

Peter A Bell's insight:

That British nationalist politicians lie to the people of Scotland is now something of a given. Otherwise we might be generous and allow that Steve Webb is merely being disingenuous when he says that "the state pension is currently at its highest level relative to earnings since 1992". But, knowing the unionist agenda and the methods of the anti-independence campaign as we do, we must acknowledge that he is being deceitful and dishonest.

The stark reality is that the state pension is high relative to earnings only because earnings have been massively eroded over a prolonged period. Wages have been falling in real terms by over 2% a year. That pensions are "high" relative to declining earnings is not a measure of how well pensions have been protected. It is a measure of how severely workers have been hit by Westminster's austerity fetishism.

If we want to get an idea of just how good the UK state pensions is we would do better to make a comparison with other countries rather than with stagnating earnings in the UK. That comparison is summed up in the headline over a November 2013 item on financial website, thisismoney.co.uk, reporting on the findings of an OECD study -

"UK has second-worst state pensions in the developed world at just a THIRD of work income - and only Mexico's are worse"

That is the reality that Steve Webb is trying to hide from the people of Scotland with his weasel-words.


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Pensions better with Yes vote

Pensions better with Yes vote | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Motherwell FC director John Swinburne has declared his support for a Yes vote in September’s independence referendum.

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Former Chairman of Scottish Labour slams party’s embrace of Tory welfare plans

Former Chairman of Scottish Labour slams party’s embrace of Tory welfare plans | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The former Chairman of the Scottish Labour Party has condemned his party's defence of Tory pension and welfare plans.

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Unionists accused of 'pensions con' as Westminster committee launches latest attack

Unionists accused of 'pensions con' as Westminster committee launches latest attack | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Unionist parties have been accused of trying to fool people in Scotland over the issue of pensions after a Westminster committee launched yet another attack on independence.


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Sensible man talks sense

Sensible man talks sense | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
This is a lengthy piece of audio at 64 minutes, but we recommend it highly. The man speaking is Neil Walsh, who's the Pensions Officer of the Prospect trade union (scientists, engineers, profession...
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Sturgeon pension challenge to Westminster parties | Scottish National Party

Sturgeon pension challenge to Westminster parties | Scottish National Party | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has today (Sunday) called on Westminster to come clean on the level that the new single tier state pension - due to be introduced in 2016 - will be set at.

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More uncertainty dispelled

Just in case Alistair Darling missed it: If you don't have time to watch those full 65 seconds from yesterday's Scottish Affairs Select Committee hearing, we've pulled out the key quote from chairm...
Peter A Bell's insight:

Will Gordon Brown admit that his pensions scaremongering was all lies?

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Look away now

Look away now | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Anyone who really wanted to know the score when it came to pensions was already aware of the facts. For well over a year, the DWP has been telling people who asked that they would continue to recei...
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When there's no more to be said

When there's no more to be said | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
We suppose we have to credit "Better Together" with SOME intelligence after all. It seems they've finally and belatedly learned that Tory ministers coming up and lecturing Scotland is a counter-pro...
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