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Salmond and Darling clash over Scottish currency and pensions

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Salmond and Darling clash over Scottish currency and pensions

Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmond failed to be allay uncertainty around which currency the country would use were it to vote for independence, during a televised debate last night.

The debate with Alistair Darling, former chancellor, who is leading the anti-independence ‘No’campaign, saw Salmond insist that the UK government would change its mind and allow Scotland to use the pound as its formal currency if it became independent.

Salmond (pictured) refused to provide any detail on his currency plans if no deal to use the pound was reached.

Salmond said he did not want Scotland to join the euro or adopt a new currency and said it was in the interest of the rest of the UK to enter a currency union for trade reasons.

However, Darling argued that although Scotland could the pound in the same way countries like Panama use the US dollar, Scotland’s financial services industry would suffer from independence because companies could no longer rely on the Bank of England as the lender of last resort.  

In February chancellor George Osborne ruled out Scotland sharing the pound with the UK.

Darling and Salmond also clashed over Scottish pensions as Salmond’s argument that pension payments would continue in an independent Scotland was rebuffed by Darling who said as Scotland has a more rapidly ageing population, it would make the state pension more expensive to fund.

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