Category Archives: Resources

The Declaration – the letter of Liberty

Yesterday, had things been otherwise, I would have been up in Arbroath celebrating the 700th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration. I’m sure that many of you would have been there too. And I’m sure that at some point we will be there enjoying a belated gathering.

In the meantime we have Lesley Riddoch & Charlie Stuart to thank for this film about the Declaration. And also to thank Patrick Doyle for the original score.

You can find out more about the making of the film in Lesley’s own blog post.

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YES #IndyRef2020 – Glasgow Rally

On Saturday 20,000 people (according to the organisers) or 10,000 people (according to the police) squeezed themselves into Glasgow’s George Square to listen to an array of speakers on the theme of Scottish Independence.

As is usual it was all videoed by the IndependenceLiveStreaming team and if you missed it, or couldn’t hear it, you can listen again now.

It was quite a line-up:

To help you find each of the speakers here are the timings in the video:

  • @ 18mins: Mhairi Black MP
  • @ 34mins: Maggie Chapman, Convenor of Scottish Independence Convention
  • @ 44mins: Valentina Servera Clavell from Catalonia
  • @ 1h 6mins: Patrick Harvie MSP, Scottish Greens
  • @ 1h 16mins: Paul Kavanagh of Wee Ginger Dug
  • @ 1h 26mins: Suzanne McLaughlin, Women for Independence
  • @ 1h 34mins: Janey Godley, Isa MacNamee and a’ the Sandras
  • @ 1h 42mins: Mike Russell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Government Business & Constitutional Relations
  • @ 1h 51mins: Humza Yusaf MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice,
  • @ 2h Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland

And look – Glasgow Pensioners for Indy were there too!

SNP Conference Passes Motion on State Pensions

By coincidence, in the same week as we have been promoting our new leaflet on Pensions, a motion was passed at the SNP Conference calling for an increase of State Pension in an Independent Scotland to the same level as the OECD average and supporting the commissioning of a Scottish State Pension Plan. The data referred to in the motion echoes much of the information on our leaflet.

You can download a PDF file with all our data on State Pensions and how ours compares to other developed countries: Pension Data

Or for a quick idea of how another small country much the same size as Scotland is doing with their State Pension, this will give you the general idea:

There are two UK State Pension: Men born after 6Apr 1951 and women born after 6Apr 1953. are eligible for the new state pension, now £168 / week. Anyone born before that date receives the basic pension rate, now £129/week.. Ref: at Gov.Uk Pensions

Now I bet most of us would be pleased if our State Pension was the same as Ireland’s. But Ireland’s State pension itself is still below the average for EU countries. Here’s how UK, Ireland compares with average State Pensions:

OECD Figures Source for EU28 Countries. The graph shows the percentage of state pensions to pre-retirement earnings for each country..

The UK pension is 29% of average pre-retirement earnings. We’ve used the data for men only as the current changes to women’s retirement age makes their data more complex. Ireland’s pensions is 42% of pre-retirement earnings. But the average EU Pensions is 71%. In other words EU average pension is almost two and a half times ours, in terms of pre-retirement earnings. If you use £145 as UK Pension, ie somewhere between £125 and £163, then we’d be receiving £355 a week.

Is this going to be possible in a newly independent Scotland? Well, certainly not immediately, but at least we’d have a Parliament at Holyrood who’d likely be trying to get us up to that level. SNP would be trying to do that and it’s not a stretch to surmise that the Scottish Greens, Labour and maybe LibDems would also support it. And that would be much better than what we have at the moment : State Pensions are not devolved to Holyrood but are instead in the hands of Westminster and whoever the English electorate votes into power. A Scottish State Pension Plan is the first step. Oh, wait, the first step is an independent Scotland.