Where will Yes campaign find the money for pensions?

A productive economy in an independent Scotland will create much more tax simply because it will make workers wealthier, according to Robin McAlpine.
A productive economy in an independent Scotland will create much more tax simply because it will make workers wealthier, according to Robin McAlpine.

Gazette readers submitted a series of questions for our Independence debate in May, not all of which could be answered on the night.

And there were specific questions which could only be answered by either the Yes or No camps.

In this article, Robin McAlpine tackles the fourth question levelled at the Yes campaign.

Robin graduated from Glasgow University to work as a journalist, moving to London to become Press Officer to George Robertson, then Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland and leader of the Scottish Labour Party.

He then spent 12 years as head of public affairs for Scotland’s university sector.

Robin is currently director of the Jimmy Reid Foundation and Editor of the Scottish Left Review, Scotland’s leading left-of-centre political magazine.

In 2004 he set up the Scottish Left Review Press, a publishing arm of the Scottish Left Review.

Question: Finance to pay pensions is generated from taxes. With Scotland having an ageing population, where will the money come from?

Robin said: “This is a very simple question to answer. We have a very low rate of productivity – that is how much wealth is created per worker.

“In fact the UK is 16 percentage points behind the average of the advanced economies. This means we have low wages and poor tax receipts.

“If we can create a productive economy it will create much, much more tax simply because it will make workers wealthier.”

Keep checking our website today for further answers from Robin – and Professor Adam Tomkins from the No campaign – throughout the day.