Nicola Sturgeon reiterates that the UK will pay pensions in independent Scotland

His comments came after Ian Blackford said Scottish workers would be entitled to a UK state pension after years of paying National Insurance contributions.

Opposition politicians disputed the claim, saying the pensions were paid for out of current state revenues and stating that the opposite was “blatantly inaccurate”.

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Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon was asked how pensions would be paid if Scotland became independent.

During Prime Minister’s Questions on Thursday, Ms Sturgeon was asked if it was now SNP policy that pensions in an independent Scotland be paid for by taxpayers in England.

The Prime Minister stated that there was no difference in this position from the 2014 White Paper, stating that “vested persons” would “continue to receive current state pension levels”.

She said the UK’s “existing liabilities and assets” would be “subject to negotiation”, with an independent Scotland willing to “pay its way”.

The SNP leader said: “The Conservatives are very, very nervous about this argument. You can feel the discomfort that comes from them because they know that when the people of Scotland have the opportunity to escape government from Westminster and take their future into our own hands, they are going to say Yes to independence.

“When Scotland votes for independence, as it did in 2014, the distribution of existing UK assets and liabilities, including those related to pensions, will be subject to negotiation and Scotland will pay all of its costs.

“But the key point here is for those receiving pensions and it is what was confirmed by the pensions minister at the time in the UK government, Steve Webb, that people with accrued rights would continue to receive current levels of state pension in a Independent Scotland”.

Ms Sturgeon added: “People won’t notice any difference. Perhaps the difference they might notice is that an independent Scotland could improve the level of pensions rather than having, as the UK does, one of the levels of lowest pension in the world. of the developed world.”

Mr Blackford had previously told ITV Border that paying national insurance contributions meant people were “entitled to” a future pension.

He said: “It is an obligation of the UK government to honor the commitment to pensioners who have paid National Insurance contributions.

“They have paid for the right to receive that pension.

“The mechanism of how that is transferred can be discussed, and that will be debated, but it is right that the UK Government is keeping its commitment to pensioners, regardless of where they are.”

Mr Blackford added: “You are paying NI as entitlement to a future pension, that is the whole point of the principle.

“You pay into an NI fund, that’s fine, the UK is then responsible for disbursements from that and covers cash flow for a given period, but that’s a UK pension entitlement. There are no strings attached and no buts about it.”

Paul Sweeney, the Labor MSP, called this “sophistry” that it “would make the Vote Leave campaign blush”.

Donald Cameron, the Scottish Conservative spokesman on the constitution, said it was “shockingly and blatantly inaccurate” to suggest pension rights would not be affected by an independent Scotland, accusing the SNP of spreading “misinformation”.

Do you want to know more about the political team of The Scotsman? Catch the latest episode of our political podcast, The Steamie.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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