Independence Referendum

30th January 2012

Politics last week was dominated by Big Eck’s independence referendum. Keen to talk about the rules, the timing, who can vote, who can’t vote, how many questions on the referendum, anything other than the substance of the issue. What people really want to hear is the economic case for Independence.

What would Scotland look like, the currency, who will decide the budget in Scotland, who will set interest rates, and who will determine how much Scotland can borrow? All very important to your savings and the mortgage you will be asked to pay.

If people are to make an informed decision come the referendum the SNP need to be clear in their answers to these questions.

Meanwhile, away from the glare of the bright lights and camera’s, understandable if you missed it, John Swinney set out his budget for the next year. And as expected not good news for Inverclyde. Cuts to council budgets, housing and regeneration remain firmly in place.

Whatever the constitutional settlement there may be in the future it is a responsibility of the current government to roll up its sleeves and commit its energy to delivering jobs and economic growth in areas like Greenock and Inverclyde.

The budget will disproportionately hit our community and our ability to grow our local economy. And as we know, James Watt College and Riverside Inverclyde have already taken a big hit.

While we can’t be stuck in the past we shouldn’t be blinded by the future. There is action that needs to be taken here and now. Our young unemployed people cannot hang around until the constitutional question is settled.