Pensioning off the pensions scare story

During the independence referendum of 2014, there were numerous reports of anti-independence activists who were canvassing on doorsteps, telling elderly people that if Scotland became independent, then they would lose their pensions. This was scaremongering of the very worst sort, an overt attempt to bully elderly people who very often subsist on one of the worst state pensions in Europe, threatening them with losing even the meagre pittance that the British state pension provides. The threat was absolutely, categorically, untrue. What made it all the more vile was that the British Government itself had already guaranteed that existing pensioners would continue to receive their state pensions.

The first point to be made here is that private pensions, local and central government pensions, and employee pensions will be unaffected by Scottish independence, at least from the point of view of the pensioner. The companies and agencies providing these pensions will continue to have an obligation to the pensioner no matter whether Scotland is independent or not. As a pensioner you have a right to one of these pensions because of an individual contractual agreement between you and the pension provider and because you have contributed to the pension fund throughout your working career. Following Scottish independence, there may be internal administrative issues for these pension providers to deal with, however this should not affect the amount of pension due to the pensioner nor their entitlement to that pension.

In the exact same way, you continue to be entitled to your private or employee pension should you decide to retire abroad to sunnier climes in the Caribbean. If the pension provider were to turn around and say, “Oh well, you no longer live in the UK, so we don’t have to pay,” you could sue them for breach of contract. And you’d win.

What we are really discussing here is the state pension. As already noted, the British Government has already guaranteed that existing pensioners and those who would become of pensionable age after a Yes vote but before Scotland becomes independent would be unaffected.

On 7 May 2014, the then UK pensions minister Steve Webb told the Scottish Affairs Committee in the House of Commons that older people would be entitled to continue receiving the current state pension even in an independent Scotland. He acknowledged that there would have to be a negotiation between Holyrood and Westminster about how these pensions would be administered, but assured the committee that Westminster would continue to have an obligation to pay the pensions to existing pensioners. When asked by a Labour MP if the pensions of existing pensioners would be secure following a Yes vote, Steve Webb confirmed that this was the case, saying “Yes, they have accumulated rights into the UK system, under the UK system’s rules.”

Then he added, “Take a Scottish person who works all their life and then retires to France… they still have an accumulated pension right in respect of the National Insurance they have paid in when they were part of the United Kingdom.”

Some opponents of independence claim that by voting for independence, people resident in Scotland will have voted to deprive themselves of any of the benefits of British citizenship, one of which is pension entitlement. This is nonsense. When the pensions minister was asked if a person’s citizenship made a difference, he replied, “Citizenship is irrelevant. It is what you have put into the UK National Insurance system prior to separation. Answer [for example] 35 years, that builds up to a continued UK pension under continuing UK rules. They are entitled to that money.” The minister’s remarks were reported by the BBC, here

As an aside, with respect to the citizenship issue, if you were born in what was UK territory to parents who were UK citizens, you will still have the right to UK citizenship following Scottish independence. As a resident of Scotland, you will also be entitled to Scottish citizenship, but assuming that the UK government doesn’t alter its citizenship laws (which it didn’t following Irish independence), then you’ll still have the right to UK citizenship should you choose.

What the pensions minister told the Scottish Affairs Committee was merely confirming what the Department of Work and Pensions had already informed an individual who had queried the matter of pensions in an independent Scotland. On 4th January 2013, the DWP wrote, “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.”

So if you are already in receipt of a UK state pension, you can be confident that you will continue to receive it after Scottish independence. Likewise if you are due to retire following a Yes vote but before Scotland becomes officially independent, your entitlement to a UK state pension is unaffected. It doesn’t matter what Gordie Broon tells you on the doorstep. Both the British and Scottish governments have a cast iron commitment to ensuring that existing pensioners will be unaffected by Scottish independence.

How those pensions are administered can’t be settled until after Scotland has voted for independence. Pensions will be a subject to be dealt with in negotiations between Holyrood and Westminster following a Yes vote. However the key thing to remember is that this is a matter for the pension provider, and that both parties will ensure that existing pensioners will be unaffected.

The real issue here is what happens to people in Scotland who are not yet of pensionable age, and who won’t become of pensionable age until after Scotland becomes independent. Although your entitlement to a state pension is based on the number of years you have been making National Insurance contributions, unlike employee pensions and private pensions where you pay into a pension pot during your working life, the state pension is “pay as you go”. The government allocates funds to pay the state pension from its current revenues, not from a pot of money that has been saved up from your National Insurance contributions and set aside specifically for the purpose of paying you a pension. Today’s state pensions are paid by today’s workers, and those workers in turn will have their state pensions paid by future workers.

Scotland is facing what has been described as a demographic time bomb. The population of Scotland in the early 21st century contains a higher percentage of older people and a smaller percentage of younger people than it did back in the 1950s. This means that the burden of providing state pensions will take up an increased amount of tax contributions from a numerically diminishing workforce. As a society, we’re all getting older. Which is a small consolation to those of us who have lost hair and teeth yet still fancy ourselves as trend setters. I remember having a drink fuelled conversation with friends back in the early 1980s when we joked that in the future old men would have earrings, old women would have coloured hair that wasn’t a blue rinse, and there would be OAPs with a complete collection of the best hits of The Stranglers. The future has arrived.

This isn’t just a problem for Scotland. All Western societies are facing a similar problem. Birth rates are declining as people have fewer children because women can now control their fertility in a way that wasn’t possible in the early 20th century. As medicine improves people are living longer. These are indeed better problems to have, but they do have the knock on effect of creating issues for future pension provision. The truth is that all countries are going to have to face up to these problems sooner or later. It will remain an issue for Scotland whether Scotland is independent or a part of the UK. However the demographic issue is particularly acute in Scotland because as a part of the UK Scotland is poor at retaining its young people, and because Scotland cannot do anything to promote the immigration of skilled workers.

Scotland can only take steps to tackle the demographic time bomb with independence. Then the Scottish Government will be able to introduce economic policies which develop the Scottish economy, leading to the country retaining a larger proportion of its young people instead of losing them to the economy of London. Scotland will also be able to introduce an immigration policy tailored to Scotland’s needs. Unlike the migrant-phobic Brexiteers, Scotland needs inward migration. Most of this can be expected to come from the rest of the UK and from other EU countries.

The UK also has difficulties due to the demographic time bomb. Scotland can’t escape this problem by remaining a part of the UK. The changing demographics of the UK is one of the most important reasons why the UK government is committed to equalising the age of retirement for men and women, and to raising that age of retirement. The way that the British government has carried out these changes have been deeply unfair to women who were approaching retirement age, many of whom feel that they are being deprived of their fair and just pension entitlement.

Finally, it needs to be said that although it’s difficult to make a direct comparison between different pension systems, the UK state pension is not notable for its generosity. The UK treats its elderly poorly and expects those without private or occupational pensions to subsist on a near poverty level of income. This problem is only going to get worse over time. In an independent Scotland we can aspire to do much better.

The plan for this article and several others dealing with key points in the independence debate is to collate them and publish them in book form when we have a date for the independence vote. Some of these articles have already been published on this blog and others have yet to be written. The idea is that when we know when Scotland will be voting, I will do a crowd-funder specifically for the purpose of raising money to get the book printed, and then it can be distributed to Yes groups and campaigners and given away for free.

There’s already a Wee Blue Book, let’s have a Wee Ginger Book too. This isn’t meant as competition for the Wee Blue Book – which is a fantastic initiative with proven success – but rather it is to be complementary to it. Different writing styles and different books can appeal to different readerships and different demographics. The more information we can get out there, the more people we can persuade to Yes. If you have any suggestions for topics for articles to include in this book, let me know and I will write something up – if I haven’t done so already.

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41 comments on “Pensioning off the pensions scare story

  1. Andrew says:

    “anti-independence activists who were canvassing on doorsteps, telling elderly people that if Scotland became independent, then they would lose their pensions” are terrorists.

  2. Duncan Mitchell says:

    I heard an elderly lady on BBC Scotland phone in saying she was worried about losing her pension if Scotland became independent. Douglas Alexander MP was answering and said
    “Yes it is a worry” instead of reassuring her. He knew!!

  3. Alba woman says:

    Thanks WGD for a top class article ….a definite for the indie book.

  4. Molly's Mum says:

    One of the aims of independence should be to treat our older population with a level of dignity & respect not demonstrated in Brexit rUK (you know where I mean Indy peeps)

    That being decent, generous pensions, excellent health & social care & their children & grandchildren et al able to stay in Scotland if that is their wish, to live, work, and enjoy their lives along with their families

    They deserve this – let’s encourage them to vote for it

    • Thomas Valentine says:

      Tell them they will they will lose the UK pension since it is being phased out. Only people retiring after independence will get the new Scottish State Pension (same as other EU countries like Ireland and Portugal). If they want to worry make them fear what is really happening. They will never vote YES. Make them demand the Scottish option and then deny it. They wanted the UK force them to depend on Tories’ charity. Only then suggest they might get a top up. It will frame them as disadvantaged and demanding things from people they refuse to support and who owe them nothing.
      Time to stop being all apologetic while they spit on us.

  5. Let’s hear it loud and clear the next time the Brit Nat Dead Tree Scrolls run a headline in “Quotes” along the usual of Project Lying Bar Stewards lines like:-

    “Fears grow that ‘pensioners risk losing their pensions’ if Scotland separates from the UK.”
    written by the usual Cut and Pastry collaborators quoting a press Release from their mates in the Red Blue and Beige Tory ProudScotButters in the Branch Offices Up Here.
    Remember good ol’ Archie Mac person frightening a pensioner on her doorstep?
    Good Old BBC Man, Oor Erchie.
    Now there’s a surprise.

    Great concise summary of the pensions issue, Paul.
    It was one of many Big Fat corrupt lies peddled everywhere on TV, Radio and the Dead Tree Scrolls.
    Not the next time.
    Call them out as liars every time all over the Ethernet next time.

    A wee mention about to the First Scottish Government’s commitment to compen for WASPI women might not be remiss.

    Paul, you are doing stellar work here.
    I speak for us all. Thank you sincerely for your untiring and perspicacious work.

    • wm says:

      Jack, When the Erchie Mac person and wee Doogie Alexander’s start commenting on pensions or any other financial matter, I am not sure if they are liars, or more likely they know F all about the subject.

  6. Thomas Valentine says:

    If the SNP states that all recipients of the New Scottish Pension will receive the same level as other comparable countries. That is to say significantly higher than the current UK state pension. Then the argument would only go in the direction of Unionist pensioners demanding their pension should be topped to match the new one. The YES campaign would be accused of denying the elderly the increased pension because the mostly voted against independence and seeking to reward their own supporters.

    It would put the unionist in the position of attacking the increased pension and denying what other countries paid. Worse, saying it could never be afforded, despite other countries the UK portrays itself as wealthier than actually doing just that.

    This is hardly even a trap since all it does is frame the question in a way the UK can never look good. The elderly are hardly going to believe their pension was going to be increase if they voted NO. For YES they are not even the target it is people in their 50s and early 60s that need the push.

    A strategy that makes the UK attack specific things that will benefit normal people. Money from oil revenues and cuts to military spending as well as lower civil service cost would cover this and more.
    Used on the currency question you start by refusing the Pound and UK national debt. UK says it will not share but can’t stop its use. Most importantly it can’t stop it’s use alongside a new Scottish currency. Quite a few countries people use two or more currencies. Bank accounts being set to show two credit divisions. Normal people on the street manage it quite easily. Even parts of England and Ireland do this with Pounds and Euros right now.

    The argument would run ” you won’t have the Pound ” “we’ll still use it” “you won’t have your own currency” ” yes we will ” ” you have to use the Euro ” ” you want us to abandon the Pound, what’s wrong with it “. The least it can do is muddy the water and bog the unionist down or force them to demand the continuation of the Pound. Better it ties UK national debt to the Pound, keeping it means volunteering to accept debt. ” you have to take a share of debt ” “but only of we keep the Pound”. The UK is a fixed target, a know entity forced to argue for the status quo. The YES side can manoeuvre to a different viewpoint where the UK looks very bad.

  7. Angry Weegie says:

    “UK state pension is not known for its generosity” seems a very generous description of a pension pretty much the worst in the developed world. Don’t hold back. Pensioners, like me, appreciate descriptions in black and white terms.

  8. Moonlight says:

    There is however an issue lurking in the background and that is exchange rate. UK citizens retiring to the Euro zone 15 years ago did so at an exchange rate of circa 1 GBP = 1.40 Euro. Now their paltry pensions are reduced by c 25% due to the continuous fall of the GBP.

    So let’s move ahead to a Scots pound tied to the English pound, so good so far. Then the Scots pound is floated off and the markets decide after a while that the English pound will only buy 80 Scots pence. So pensions paid by Westminster will decline in relative value.

    It may be that the Scottish government will be able to find the money to compensate for this loss, it might well be possible so far as state pensions are concerned.

    Private pensions may be a different story. If a pension is currently paid through an English based scheme then it is possible that they will never change to paying in Scots pounds whilst the currencies are tied. When the Scots pound floats away it’s my view that already being cash strapped they will continue to pay in English pounds, thus the private pension will decline in relative value.

    It’s just a thought , but needs to be looked at in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps pensions providers could be, through legislation, required to pay in Scots pounds from day one, with the currencies tied this will cost them nothing. However at a later point they will have to find additional funds in the (likely) event of the Scots pound floating upwards.

    • Golfnut says:

      Highly unlikely that administering/ paying current pensions will remain the responsibility of RUK gov, it is in reality extremely undesirable. A negotiated settlement( lump sum) covering the RUK liability transfered to the Scottish Government is by far the best option. It creates a Scottish pension pot which ideally should be invested in Scotland’s oil fund. In fact private pension funds should likewise be invested in the fund instantly boosting the fund. The larger the fund the higher the return. The state pension would initially continue to be paid from Scottish tax returns, which is exactly what happens now. There isn’t and never has been any subsidy from England’s tax payers to Scotland.

    • Robert says:

      It might be that if the Scots pound floats upwards (so you get fewer Scots pounds for your Wesminster pension), that this would be partially compensated by a fall in prices, particularly of imports to Scotland.

  9. John McLeod says:

    Something that concerns me is that there does not actually exist a State pension fund. The pensions contributions we made through National Insurance just went into general government expenditure. I receive a UK State Pension. It is paid for out of the tax contributions of everyone at work right now. It seems to me that the legal contract is not as straightforward as suggested in Paul’s article, or in the ministerial statement from Steve Webb that he quotes. Its not that those due a pension have a contracted ‘share’ in an existing fund. Instead, there is a political or administrative agreement that pensions will be paid of out current tax revenue. In the post-independence negotiations with rUK, the London side might argue that, going forward, all existing Scottish pensions should be met by current tax revenue accrued to Edinburgh. I am not saying that this would be a bad thing. But it would be better to get the discussion on this out in the open now, rather than it arising as a bombshell question from a BBC journalist to the FM at a crucial moment in the next referendum. I would be interested in Pau’s view on this. I don’t think that is an issue that he addressed in his article today.

    • Golfnut says:

      Your pension is paid from Scottish taxation, see my response to moonlight.

      • John McLeod says:

        To Golfnut: I agree that the message “your pension is paid from Scottish taxation” is a useful idea to get across. However, Paul’s initial post mentioned UK pensions continuing to be paid to pensioners in Scotland, and your own post mentioned a lump sum being transferred from London to Edinburgh. Both these ways of describing the situation (particularly your own) imply that there is a pot of money that is available to be drawn down or transferred. This is not the case, as far as I am aware. “Your pension will be paid from Scottish taxation (as it always has been)” is a much clearer way of putting it, because it does not imply that there is an accumulated fund in existence. It also leaves open the possibiliuty, as you mention in your own post, that the government of an independent Scotland might want to create such a fund.

        • Mrieaston says:

          What about the bill passed in 2016 sneaked through by the tories that on the death of your spouse you would not be entitled to any of their pension or annuities?? As it states benefits from annuities die when you die.personaly speaking i would need to live to 130 to recover my investment it is only just and fair that all annuity funds should be paid back to the people as these have been accrued with money that has already been taxed ie savings.OSbourne considered allowing a cash back and then said recipients would have to pay tax to get their annuity savings back? This must be challenged in all fairness and the tory government put down forever.the only way as i see it is independance.

    • penguin says:

      That’s completely irrelevant and reeks of the same obfuscation so beloved of neil lovatt . That the english government stole your taxes and spent it on cocaine and whores instead of saving it to pay out when you retire is entirely their fault. They took the money, they pay your pension.

      If you had paid 20 years of NI to london before independence day then you will receive 20 years worth of pension from london and 20 years worth from Scotland. No different to the situation of someone emigrating halfway through their working life.

      You are a classic example of the Concern Troll.

      If london refused to honour their pension liability then it would be the biggest national default in history and destroy the entire london financial services industry in an eye-blink.

      Scotland won’t be paying the entire cost of Scottish pensions until 40 years after independence. that’s just a fact.

  10. Brian Lucey says:

    Existing (as of the day) pension liabilities were paid by the UK into Ireland post independence, even into the 1950s

    • John McLeod says:

      This is interesting. Do you have any idea of why that happened? Was the state pension organised in a different way at that time (i.e., was there an actual fund)?

  11. Bob Lamont says:

    A very clearly laid out piece which deserves wider circulation to overcome fears of existing OAPs, and put some perspective to those whose pensions have been kicked around as a political football in recent times…
    As a first time pensioner this year, I’m lucky to have a superannuated pension already coming in which is adequate, so unlike most, the State Pension is a bonus. Were it my sole income stream I would be furious it has been so abused by successive Governments, and be among the worst in Europe.
    The difference between the Superannuated Pension Fund and the State version is obvious, but it need never have been so. A portion of the oil boom revenue could easily been invested, but therein lies the problem of dogma and political choice, screw the Pensioners.
    The current taxpayer mechanism of the UK and ageing population is often cited as reasons to tighten purse strings and extend retirement age, yet ignores the reality that budgets are political CHOICES not externally applied constraints.
    No such financial screws applied to “Vanity” projects such as The Garden Bridge, or HS2 or a leaky planeless aircraft carrier, etc., etc., or indeed Brexit. Financial mismanagement and political myopia has created the current scenario not a predictable changing demographic.
    An Indy Scotland could and should roll out it’s own State Pension mechanism quickly and preserve it from sticky fingered politicians unlike the Westminster model.
    The same negatives will be targeted in Indy2, this time we’ll be better prepared for them..

  12. Golfnut says:

    Absolutely true, but the UK gov at that time wasn’t trying to wriggle out of its responsibilities regarding pensions, now classed as a benefit. I can’t see an Independent Scottish Gov inflicting Westminster austerity on Scotland’s pensioners as England moves towards a needs based system. Particularly since England will lose all of Scotland’s net contribution to the treasury. Nor do I think it would fit with a possible universal income solution where we would continually having to mitigate reductions in state pensions paid from RUK. In any case Scotland already pays Scotland’s pensioners from Scottish taxation and that’s the message we need to get out to pensioners.

  13. Douglas Deans says:

    They did all this and even more vile things to get a NO vote.

    I remember an elderly woman rushing away from our YES stall as if the Devil was on her heels ( I was worried she would fall). She had been told from the pulpit that a YES vote would mean that she wouldn’t be allowed to practice her religion. Apparently this Minister was well known for saying this.

    It’s that level of wickedness that will be employed again.

  14. The fact that all pensions, including state pensions, will still be paid by pension providers needs to be hammered home. (This would make a good theme for any street stall.) Better Together knowingly, deliberately lied about this.
    While campaigning in Glasgow during the last Referendum I was faced on the doorstep by anxious pensioners. They had been told the previous night by No campaigners that they would lose their pensions. The very thought had some of them distraught. You can reassure people all you like, but in that situation some were in such a panic that I am not sure the truth got through.
    Incidentally, on that same night I was told by one man that his daughter had received a phone call from her employer saying that if Scotland voted for independence she would lose her job because the company would close its Scottish operation. He wouldn’t say who the employer was. I suggested that no company would close a profitable operation.
    Dirty tricks abounded last time around. I wonder what new dirty tricks and lies will be tried this time?

  15. Alasdair Macdonald says:

    My wife and I were pensioners in 2014 and heard the lies and, of course, recognised them for the lies they were, as did many of our contemporaries. Many pensioners like us are pretty well off and do indeed, have things like the entire canon of ‘The Stranglers’, spray hair various colours etc.

    However, too many pensioners are either close to the poverty line or in poverty and many are lonely, isolated, in poor health and susceptible to the nasty scare stories such as those peddled by Better Together. During long, sleepless nights, after several days of little other human contact, most of us know the way our minds can conjure up lurid and frightening images.

    The Better Together campaign, cynically named by its creators as ‘Project Fear’ was exactly that and intentionally that. It was a truly nasty and inhuman campaign, based on identifying a segment of the electorate and inducing fears so that they would vote for the status quo, or, at least, not vote YES.

    • There is surely a case for prosecuting the liars, if only for lying and menacing old age pensioners.
      If I hear Rennie’s £15 billion deficit and mental health of the poor kids lies and distortions when he knows fine well that he took £35 billion from welfare provision when in bed with Ruth Davidson’s Blue Tory No Surrenderists, I shall be going for the jugular on every available outlet.
      Attack is the best form of defence.
      I am really up for the fight.

  16. ArtyHetty says:

    When out delvering leaflets just before indy ref, sheltered housing, met two old women, they said, ‘oh no, we have already voted no’, me, ‘why?’ ‘Because there was a man from the Labour party who came and told us we would not get our pensions anymore’.

    Utter lying gits, Labour.

    Can’t wait to see your book before the next indy ref Paul, I will personally make sure it gets to as many people as possible.

    It can be a problem delivering to sheltered housing, quite often not allowed in, ( especially is they see yes badges) or can only put 3 leaflets on ‘the table’ ( which would no doubt be promptly removed) and I heard that even some Britnats went into sheltered housing offering to vote for those with problems in getting to the poll station. Not sure if that’s true, but nothing would surprise me.

    We are up against a lying monster and they will ramp it up next time.

    • Ian Easton says:

      The insecurities of age will remain and we must address this,social media is one weapon and an important one but vital reassurance from our doorstep activist our government and our loved and trusted first minister will be of great value there is great passion in the heart of Scots lets wake it up and sort this.

  17. Clive Scott says:

    I think I read somewhere that UK pensioners who have moved to live abroad after retirement forego state pension increases after 15 years. If that is the case would this also apply when Scotland becomes “abroad”?

    • Pensioners who live in the EU get increases in line with UK pensioners. There may be other countries with the same arrangement but I don’t know for sure. Pensioners outwith the EU have their pensions frozen at the rate when they qualified. I have been wondering what will happen after Brexit.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      When you have a bunch of asset-strippers in charge, nothing would surprise me, all this bunch as concerned with is how much taxpayer money their friends can “relocate”.
      You have to question the logic of why your “entitlement” should alter according to residence though, it is quite bizarre.
      I found it infuriating enough to be denied the right to vote as hadn’t registered for a few days over the 15 year requirement but this simply makes no sense, but little of HMG does these days..

  18. JMD says:

    Douglas Deans 9.42

    Yes of course it will be employed again and then some, what matters though is whether or not the same level of stupidity and gullibility will be there to believe it again.

  19. MacMina MacAllan says:

    Wasn’t it ironic that pensioners were conned into believing they had to save their UK pension, the worst pension in the EU.
    Yes, pensions and pensioners need to be targeted, and we should emphasise the comparison with pensions in other EU countries and further afield. Point out that UK pensions are abysmal and work on the Scottish government to offer something much better for independent Scots. Maybe near the EU average for a start.

    Other topics I would like to see covered in the wee ginger book are taxation and exports. I don’t understand the subjects myself but would like to know what taxes that currently to go to company headquarters in England would, after independence, accrue to Scotland.
    Likewise what Scottish exports in transit through England and leaving the UK via English ports and airports are currently credited as English exports but after inde would be recognised as Scottish exports. Whisky for instance.
    Then how about compiling the savings inde Scotland would make in not paying for upkeep of Westminster, House of Lords, Whitehall bureaucracy, and other services which would be replaced by Scottish equivalents creating employment and keeping wages in Scotland.

    • Golfnut says:

      Hi, Scotland’s contribution is about £200 billion to the UK economy so GERS is more than likely garbage.

  20. Robert says:

    Just before the 2014 referendum, I asked my (private) pension provider what the effect of independence would be on my pension. The reply was “There will be no effect. Your pension will be paid in UK pounds into your bank account on the same date. However, if you were to change your bank account [presumably to a Scottish only bank?], that might delay your payment by up to a day.”

  21. Robert says:

    On another subject, there needs to be a discussion of what the Scottish/English border would look like. I guess that if Scotland were in the EU, and England not, a hard border here is inevitable. I wonder whether Scotland would pay all the cost of it’s own side, or whether there might be an EU subsidy (as it would be an EU border).

  22. penguin says:

    The only demographic time-bomb in Scotland is the ever expanding population. We should have a government which is committed to reducing the population with the aim of no more than 2 Million. It’s the only way to save life on Earth but even supposedly intelligent people believe in endless growth driven by humans breeding like rats.

  23. […] a referendum campaign that had seen canvassers lying on the doorsteps to pensioners, whilst the media stayed quiet on the subject of Scottish state pensions being safe, the […]

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