Spending Tips for Scots From U.K. Government Anger NationalistsSvenja O’Donnell
The argument over Scottish independence took another twist after the U.K. government suggested money saved by staying part of the union might be spent on fish and chips or watching soccer.
The statement from the Scotland Office and Treasury entitled ‘‘12 things that 1,400 pound U.K. Dividend could buy’’ suggests a number of treats Scots may want to indulge in. Illustrated by pictures of Lego figurines, they include feeding a family with the traditional British dish, replete with “a couple of portions of mushy peas,” and watching Aberdeen football club play all season, “with a few pies.”
“This is the kind of patronizing attitude to Scotland we have come to expect from the Tory Treasury,” Scottish National Party Treasury spokesman Stewart Hosie said in an e-mailed statement. “Presumably the establishment elite think we spend all our time eating fish and chips and pies.”
The reference to 1,400 pounds ($2,350) comes from a calculation by the Treasury that every Scot would be better off every year should they vote remain in the 307-year old union in an independence referendum on Sept. 18. That was disputed by the nationalists, with leader Alex Salmond last week declaring an “independence bonus” of 1,000 pounds a year.
Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party this week pledged to give Scotland control of income tax if the country votes against independence.