It’s interesting you should mention the division of national debt. I’d be inclined to believe where there was evidence of a profligate drive towards increasing national debt prior to any moves to independence, the share might arguably not be so simple to arrive at. Certainly, the current economic crisis, exacerbated by the Coalition, makes it easier for opponents of for example Scottish independence to argue it would not be sustainable. In that sense, such opponents have every interest in increasing such national debt over the next few years.
Today, Left Foot Forward publishes the following piece on almost this eventuality:
Chris Giles, the FT’s economics editor, writes:
The three leading credit rating agencies – Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch – indicated an independent Scotland would not automatically inherit the UK’s top-notch rating.
Scotland could expect to receive an investment grade rating, but some notches below triple A, one agency told the FT privately.
The agencies declined to comment publicly on the precise ratings Scotland could achieve because they do not undertake unsolicited ratings and the Scottish government has not yet sought a draft opinion.
Last month, Martin Wolf wrote for the paper that:
A newly independent small country with sizeable fiscal deficits, high public debt and reliance on a declining resource for 12 per cent of its fiscal revenue, could not enjoy a triple A rating.
Now I’m not, of course, suggesting that the Coalition is driving up fiscal deficits and public debt purely to make it impossible for Scotland to stand on its own two feet. But it does make one think, just a little I mean, that a clever and wily politicised approach to the issues surrounding the Union would see the clear advantages – for those interested in preventing its break-up – in ensuring that deficits and debt remained high.
Just as any future British government, even if of a left-wing Miliband (E) flavour, would find it entirely impossible to unravel the changes in the fields of education, social care and health – engineered, quite naturally, as befits a government in hock to such sponsors, in favour of privately monopolistic providers.
Without a healthy economy, how could we ever return anything to a semblance of what our society and its supportive socialisation once looked like?
A bit like that husband who materially impoverishes his homemaker – in order to drill into her frightened and suffering head the lesson that escape will always be materially impossible.
And when you think about it, there is a kind of passive-aggressive feel to this Coalition as it imposes cuts from way above – only to then get other bodies to take all the flak.
No taking ownership here, eh? The sign of a bully if there ever was one.