The SNP has been accused of gambling with people’s livelihoods based on “fantasy economics”, ahead of Nicola Sturgeon setting out the economic case for Scottish independence.
On Monday, the First Minister will launch the third in a series of papers seeking to build the case for Scotland to become an independent country.
The paper, titled ‘Building a New Scotland’, considers issues including currency and fiscal policy, migration and the country’s future membership of the European Union.
Ahead of its publication, Sturgeon said the paper will outline how “resource-rich” Scotland can match the success of other independent countries.
“We believe the people of Scotland deserve a grown-up, honest discussion about their future and that is what we aim to provide,” she said.
However, Scottish Labour has claimed that the SNP cannot answer “even the most basic questions” on the economics of Scotland becoming independent.
Sturgeon has indicated that Scotland would continue to use the pound until the country is in a position to launch its own currency.
According to Labour, a new currency would carry “disastrous risks” for Scots, whilst also pointing to the country’s deficit of £23.7bn.
Daniel Johnson, the party’s finance spokesperson, suggested the plans were “wishful thinking” on the part of the SNP.
“The SNP need to drop the spin and come clean with people about the catastrophic reality of their economic plans,” he said.
“Despite wasting 15 years in government peddling the same old agenda, they still can’t answer even the most basic questions.
“They are gambling people’s livelihoods based on fantasy economics and wishful thinking.”
Johnson pointed to the turmoil in the wake of the UK Government’s mini budget as evidence of the damage that can be caused to the economy by “reckless” decisions being taken.
“The last few weeks have exposed the high price we pay when reckless, ideologically-driven governments make impossible promises and unfunded plans,” he continued.
“We need a change from this failing Tory government, but more chaos and economic turmoil isn’t the answer.
“We need a Labour government to build an economy that works for everyone and put and end to years of division and decline under the SNP and the Tories.”
Scottish Conservative finance and economy spokeswoman Liz Smith claimed that the public do not want a referendum.
“The SNP has never been able to make a convincing economic case for independence and this paper doesn’t change that,” she said.
“Nationalists are consistently unable to address the big questions that the public want answered on independence.”
She added: “The Scottish public wants the Scottish Government to be focused on addressing the global cost of living crisis.
“They do not want another divisive referendum.”
Willie Rennie, the Scottish Liberal Democrat’s economy spokesperson, described the paper as an “indulgent distractions” from the issues in the country.
“The SNP are looking at the Conservative Party’s economic chaos and saying ‘we want some more of that’,” said Rennie.
“What’s even worse is that they are now touting a currency plan which would require vast cuts to Scottish public services like the NHS.
“This paper is not a solution to any of Scotland’s problems. It’s an indulgent distraction.”
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