Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP, Angus Brendan MacNeil is urging islanders to vote Yes in the forthcoming Scottish Referendum.
Angus MacNeil said:
“There is a surge of support building for the Yes campaign as people realise they don’t want to have voted no in a Scotland that has voted Yes. It would certainly not be a story for the grandchildren.
“The Financial Times said back in February, that an independent Scotland could start with better state finances than the rest of the UK.
“We know from Alasdair Darling’s own words that the currency used in Scotland will be the pound. From Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, we know that we will be in the European Union as they will respect the wishes of the Scottish people. We know that we will be in NATO because Scotland has the largest annual NATO Exercise, operation Joint Warrior. Scotland will also be in the Commonwealth as its 54th member and of course, the Queen will be our Head of State, as she is also the Head of State in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
“With the UK having the worst pensions in Europe, pensioners can look forward to a better deal in an independent Scotland. I recently met a pensioner in Dunoon, when I was there speaking with Jim Sillars, this pensioner gets 1250Euros a month from the Dutch Government, meanwhile the UK pensioners have the worst deal in Europe and Westminster is accelerating the timetable for increasing the state pension age to 67. This is not fair and in an independent Scotland pensions will be increased by either inflation, earnings, or 2.5 per cent, whichever is highest, and an SNP government will consider a state pension age relatively lower than the rest of the UK.
“Pensions are safe, not only because Scotland is better able to afford them, but also because the UK Government Pension Service said on 4th January 2013, “if Scotland does become independent this will have no effect on your state pension, you will continue to receive it just as you do at present.”
“One of the biggest winners will be our crofting and fishing communities. Crofters and farmers in Scotland received the lowest European payment in Scotland of any agricultural community in the EU. Recently, 250million Euro that was earmarked for Scottish crofting and farming went through the Westminster government, as it is the member state, and was spread out across the entire UK to other wealthier agriculture communities, leaving our crofters and farmers at the bottom of the pile.
“Finally, our opponents will say that this argument is based on oil, it is not. Our GDP without oil is about 99% that of the UKs and with oil we have a far higher GDP than the UK. When oil runs out in Norway, they will have a fund whose annual interest will pay £68billion per year, for last year’s oil, for this year’s oil and for subsequent year’s oil. When the oil runs out in Norway the money will not run out. Westminster’s management of Scotland’s oil resource means that unless we get independence, when the oil runs out the money runs out.
“People should be aware of what a no vote could mean. Currently in England there are marches against the privatisation of the NHS that will have severe economic consequence for Scotland’s budget unless we are independent.
“A no vote also means an 11% cut in public spending which both the Tories and Labour agree on and this of course means that any young people thinking about university with these level of cuts are looking at the real possibility of £9,000 tuition fees, just as they have in England.
“Scotland is going through an amazing process, an historic process and a process that is viewed in awe across the World, due to the good conduct of the debate. There is tremendous international support for Scotland, let us show the World we believe in ourselves just as much and vote Yes on 18th September.”