NOT going to happen Sturgeon reeling as UK state pension chief throws out SNP claim

State pension: Guy Opperman says SNP are ‘misguided’

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

This week the SNP leader repeated claims by the party’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford that Scottish pensioners would not lose out on the benefit if it left the union. Both nationalist politicians made the claim as Ms Sturgeon’s party prepares to hold a second referendum on independence – dubbed Indyref 2 – before the end of next year.

But when UK Pension Minister Guy Opperman was asked about their bold statements during a Q&A earlier today he gave rather a different answer.

The Tory MP rubbished their claims saying “it’s not going to happen under any circumstances whatsoever”.

Mr Opperman – whose brief includes pensioner benefits – said: “No way. It’s not going to happen.

“I heard (SNP politicians) Ian Blackford, Nicola Sturgeon and Kate Forbes say that if Scotland becomes a foreign country, the British Government in the form of the Welsh, Northern Ireland and English populations as represented in the House of Commons would pay the state pension on an ongoing basis of a foreign country.

“It’s not going to happen under any circumstances whatsoever.”

Talking about the SNP’s document outlining what would happen to state pensions in the event of independence before the 2014 referendum he claimed that it “specifically” said that an independent Scotland “would be liable for their own pensions”.

He added: “So when Nicola Sturgeon and Ian Blackford crop up and say the remainder of the UK will pay for it I think they are misguided and frankly wrong.

“It is contrary to their own policy.

Financial journalist Josephine Cumbo highlighted his stark comments slapping down the SNP’s claims.

She tweeted: “The UK pensions minister has said ‘it’s not going to happen’ when asked if the UK would pay the state pensions of citizens in an independent Scotland.”

Mr Opperman’s outburst came after Ms Sturgeon endured a car-crash interview with BBC Scotland Political Editor Glen Campbell this week.

The SNP leader chopped and changed when pressed on whether the UK Government would continue to contribute to Scottish state pensions if the union ended.

She veered between saying that Scotland was “responsible” for its state pensions to claiming that historic liabilities and assets around pensions would be a “ matter of negotiation at the point of independence”.

Mr Blackford previously said that Scottish citizens’ rights to a UK pension would remain even if Scotland became independent.

Source: Read Full Article