Independent Scotland could struggle with pensions

Independent Scotland could struggle with pensions
Published:  29 Jul at 9 AM
The SNP has been asked to set out very clearly how it plans to pay for pensions if Scotland becomes independent. John McClymont, the opposition’s minister for pensions, said unless there are significant spending cuts and tax hikes, the country faces a pensions black hole of £700 million by 2050.

In 2010 the UK government introduced a system whereby pensions were increased in line with the highest figure in a triple lock system. Either increase in earnings, inflation or 2.5 per cent.

However, it is not certain whether the system will be kept in place following the general election in 2015. Mr McClymont warned that the pensions situation was already a time-bomb because the aging population is increasing more rapidly in Scotland than other parts of the UK.

The minister added that the money to pay for pensions was unlikely to come from the large oil companies or other big corporations, and therefore the money will have to come out of the pockets of the Scottish people through a cut in public services and more taxation.

Mr McClymont wants the SNP to produce a detailed report on pensions before the public go to the polls and vote for an independent Scotland.