by Magnus Gardham
AN INFLUENTIAL group of Labour left-wingers and trade unionists has dismissed calls for a more powers question to be included in the independence referendum.
The Red Paper Collective says granting Holyrood extensive new financial powers under a system of devo-max would end efforts to redistribute wealth in theUK.
The group – including MSP Neil Findlay and Unison campaigns chief Dave Watson – also back former prime minister Gordon Brown who warned of a race to the bottom if Scotland and England were to become economic competitors.
Their views are set out in a new pamphlet to coincide with the start of a series of constitutional debates organised by the STUC.
The Yes Scotland campaign is criticised for accepting a vision of independence which would leave Scotland subject to UK monetary policy and Nato influence. They criticise the pro-UK Better Together campaign for defending a Union that has not worked in the interests of ordinary Scots.
They write: We need something better. We need a settlement that recognises and retains the existing arrangements for transferring resources across theUK.
We also need additional powers for the parliament to allow for significant redistribution of wealth within Scotland. We cannot support a second question where devo-max is posed as an alternative to Independence.
Publicly the four main parties in Scotland want a straightforward Yes/No question on independence. Alex Salmond has encouraged devo-max supporters, saying it would be his duty to include the option if backing emerged.
(from The Herald 1 September 2012)