First Minister Alex Salmond will point to the Isle of Man as an example of
why Scotland can keep sterling despite the Manx pound not being in a
currency union with the UK IMAGE: STOCKPIX.EU
Scottish News: News in Scotland - Tuesday
Independent Scotland will keep pound and win AAA credit rating, says Salmond
First Minister Alex Salmond is expected to compare an independent Scotland with the Isle of Man in a keynote speech today. The Manx pound is pegged to sterling kept its AAA credit rating after the UK had its rating cut. Mr Salmond argues that the Isle of Man is in a currency union with the UK despite the fact that the Manx pound cannot be used in Britain. The SNP leader points to the 'no' campaign's assertions that the UK's AAA credit rating was a key reason why Scotland should remain with the Union as now coming back to haunt them given that the UK lost its AAA rating: "Now that AAA has been junked they haven't even withdrawn the leaflets which purveyed such nonsense." To retain sterling Scotland will not have full control over its taxation policy as can be seen in the eurozone and to achieve AAA status agencies view the comparative value of the currency as vital evidence of the currency’s strength - the value of the currency will depend on Bank of England and Westminster policies over which Scotland will have little to no influence.
10,000 Scottish kids to be victims of Westminster benefit caps
As many as 4,600 households in Scotland will be impacted by the UK government's benefit cap including 10,000 Scots children according to Citizens Advice Scotland. The UK Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith claimed that the cap had encouraged people out of benefits back to work despite experts arguing that it is impossible to establish a causal link between the cap and unemployed figures.
More Scottish news:
- Scottish independence: Man's limitations and Scotland's money
- 'No' vote to independence risks population exodus
- Bank of England should be abolished
- Scottish Times announcement - let us write for you!
Project Fear Update: Independence would "severely damage" Britain's defence, UK minister claims
Westminster's minister for international security has claimed that Scottish independence would "severely" undermine Britain's defences. Last year Scottish Times spoke to international security experts who claimed that Scotland would be safer under independence given that Britain's foreign policy has made the UK a target for 'terrorists' and because there would be a clearer and more direct relationship between Scotland's intelligence and police services and international bodies such as Interpol.
CURRENCY INDEPENDENCE v UNION LATEST
(International news on currency union to inform the Scottish referendum debate)
Scottish independence: Salmond’s Isle of Man currency parallel
First Minister Alex Salmond will today cite the Isle of Man as an example which shows how Scotland can keep the pound sterling post-independence. Mr Salmond will argue that the Manx pound is in a currency union with sterling and is not part of the UK yet still retains a strong AAA international credit rating. In terms of how an independent Scotland will function while retaining sterling, the Man comparison is very weak (see fact file below). The main allure of the parallel for the SNP leader is that it distracts from more obvious examples of currency union all around Scotland: The eurozone is a currency union and Mr Salmond would prefer not to have examples such as Ireland, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Spain examined for lessons in currency policy. There is also the matter of being exposed to the UK regulatory system which former US regulator and criminologist Prof Bill Black said was the global "epicentre" of financial fraud which was mostly responsible for the global financial crisis through fraud scams including Libor, 'mis-selling' of financial products, ISDAfix rigging, money laundering and so on. Mr Black warned that the financial system was now in a 'crimogenic' phase meaning that financial crimes are encouraged by the state. Should Scots vote for independent the influence of the City of London could cause a "catastrophic event" - as one Scottish economist warned - which Scotland would be unable to defend itself against.
- The Isle of Man currency is pegged to sterling and is not in a currency union with sterling
- Manx pounds cannot be used in Britain
- Manx pounds are created by the Manx government as it has no central bank
- The Bank of England is not a lender of last resort for the Manx pound
- The Isle of Man is not independent but has the same international status as former British colonies
Portugal moves nearer political meltdown
The chances of Portugal's ruling coalition and principal opposition parties agreeing a "national salvation" pact designed to avert the government collapsing and the nation's controversial bailout programme being derailed look increasingly doomed. One former minister said of the chances of reaching an agreement: "miracles do happen,". Pressure to resist austerity being forced on the nation by the 'troika' of the European Commission, IMF and the European Central Bank has created extreme tensions within Portugal and calls for further renegotiation of the bailout terms are being sought. Portugal is a member of the euro currency union.
Tories and Labour neck and neck in Westminster poll
A new opinion poll has shown that the Tories have surged in voting intentions to 36 percent - the same as Labour. According to the Guardian/ICM poll a collapse in Ukip support is behind the rally in the Conservative's fortunes. The poll shows the LibDems are on 13 percent (+1) and Ukip on 7 percent (-5) with others on 8 percent. It is expected the Conservatives will use their influence in the media to contain the Ukip threat.
UK crisis: Prices surge to 14-month high
Rising fuel prices have been cited as one of the key factors resulting in a hike in official inflation. The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rose to 2.9 percent according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Despite an enormous increase in the volume of the money supply there has been price deflation across many categories of goods and services. This is believed to be because the new money being created is unable to exit the financial sector into the real economy meaning there is less money in circulation leading to a rapid contraction of private sector jobs.
Spain: President Rajoy claims he is being blackmailed
According to the former treasurer of the ruling Partido Popular (PP), Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy received payments out of a controversial slush fund. The scandal erupted after text messages published by Spanish newspaper El Mundo cast doubt over Rajoy's role in the affair which involved the party keeping a second set of books in order that undercover payments to senior party members in return for lucrative contracts being awarded to businessmen in a corruption ring could be recorded. Mr Rajoy has said he is being blackmailed and intends to remain in office while the opposition Socialist party has severed all links with the PP.
Egypt: political arrests and protests continue
Supporters of deposed President Mursi have been protesting and involved in clashes with police near the nation's Tahrir Square, it is reported. As many as seven leading political figures belonging to or related to the Muslim Brotherhood have been arrested accused of inciting political violence.
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