‘Sturgeon in cloud cuckoo land!’ Independent Scotland will have to raise taxes by £8.5BN

Nicola Sturgeon is 'living in cuckoo land' says Craig Hoy

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Scotland’s Shadow Health Minister told Express.co.uk that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is living in “cloud cuckoo land” if she thinks that an independent Scotland would be better able to handle its post-Covid recovery programme and the economy as a whole with more financial, borrowing and spending powers. It comes as Scotland’s First Minister recently complained that Scotland’s budget handed out by Westminster was not enough to tackle recovery.

Following the comments, Mr Hoy said: “Whatever question she is asked, she claims that if only we were independent that would be the solution!

“So when the UK came forward with a record financial settlement for the Scottish Government for the next financial year, £41 billion, the Scottish Government still said that wasn’t enough!

“And £26 billion has come forward to help us combat Covid.”

He went on to urge Nicola Sturgeon to answer the question of how “would she fund that in an independent Scotland?”.

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But the Scottish MSP quickly shut down the assertion, saying: “We know the answer, she couldn’t!”

Mr Hoy went on to draw on findings by the Institute for Government which found that in order for a hypothetical independent Scotland to get “the books back in order” following mounting deficit, it would have to implement sweeping economic changes.

He noted how Scotland would either have to slash public spending by “£8.5 billion a year or increase taxes by 8.5 billion a year” as he lay out the true cost of Sturgeon’s independent Scotland.

Scotland’s deficit more than doubled to an eye-watering £36.3 billion, or 22.4 percent of GDP in 2020-21, the highest yearly figure since devolution.

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Coronavirus and falling oil price saw Scotland’s notional deficit rise from 8.6 percent of GDP in 2019-20.

Off the back of the figures, the Tory MSP slammed: “We know that the fundamentals of the economy in an independent Scotland would be in a pretty disastrous state!”

The Shadow Health Secretary went on to issue a further devastating attack on the First Minister’s independence dreams as he said that if she believes an independent Scotland will afford her more financial, borrowing and spending power “she is living in cloud cuckoo land”.

He added that looking at the fundamental indicators of the Scottish economy currently alongside what could be lost if Scotland went independent, Scotland could experience “serious financial difficulties”.

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Mr Hoy went on to accuse Ms Sturgeon of “choosing to ignore” the writing on the wall of the Scottish economy under independence.

He also slammed her for “glibly” asserting that “all will be fine in an independent Scotland”.

He noted how “fundamentally” the economics of an independent Scotland simply “don’t stack” up as he pulled into question numerous issues surrounding currency, borrowing and spending which have not been drawn up by the SNP.

It comes as the SNP are still yet to put forward an outline of what Scottish independence would look like in practice.

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