ON Monday, May 26, 2014, the Carluke and Lanark Gazette held an Independence debate in Lanark Memorial Hall.
Our speakers that night were Clydesdale MSP Aileen Campbell and Robin McAlpine for Yes Clydesdale and MP David Mundell and Professor Adam Tomkins for Better Together Clydesdale.
Thanks to a heated debate, we couldn’t get to all the questions posed by readers. Now, just a matter of hours before Carluke and Lanark Gazette readers go to the polls to decide on independence, we’re bringing you the responses we received to those questions.
Each hour on the hour, between 8am and 10pm today, we’ll post one of the answers to a question posed by a Gazette reader.
For each question posed, we will give one opinion from the Yes camp and one from the No camp.
The first question, with answers from Robin McAlpine and Professor Adam Tomkins, is about pensions.
Question: Many people in Scotland who have pensions connected with the goverment (civil servants, teachers etc) are concerned for their pension and this will stop them taking the risk of voting YES. Can they be reassured?
Robin McAlpine, Yes campaign: Ask yourself a simple question – if you retired and emigrated to Spain to live out your retirement, would your occupational pension be taken away from you? Of course not – thousands of British pensioners live comfortably from their pension all over the world. A pension is a legal contract between you and a pension fund which you have paid into. The idea that your pension fund can say ‘you voted Yes so we’re keeping your money’ is so daft it’s hard to believe the No campaign is still trying to scare people about this. All your existing legal entitlements will remain in place. But we will have a chance in Scotland to rebuild a proper pension system to protect people in their old age. A pensioner in Britain is the most likely in Europe to live in poverty because we have the worst pensions system in Europe and possibly the worst private pension industry in the developed world.
Professor Adam Tomkins, No campaign: In one word: No.