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  By Martin Kelly
 
Media claims that an academic who carried out a study into the startup costs of independence, has concluded it may cost up to £1.5bn have been called into question after the academic himself said he did not accept the figure.
 
Professor Patrick Dunleavy has said the £1.5bn figure, touted by newspapers and the BBC is, “not a figure I accept”.

In a statement to Newsnet Scotland, the academic who has been at the centre of a row after the UK Treasury misrepresented an earlier study, said independence would cost no more than £600m.

He said: “To restate: Set up costs for Indy Scotland [is circa] £200m.”

Explaining that IT costs could add a possible £400m over a ten year transition period, Professor Dunleavy added: “So my max £600m (including £200m above) in a decade contrasts with Treasury £1.5 bn,”

Calling the £1.5bn figure used by the Treasury the “maximum possible”, the academic dismissed the amount, saying it is “not a number I accept”.

The comments from Professor Dunleavy call into question the accuracy of several media reports, including BBC Scotland, which have claimed the academic agrees with the £1.5bn startup cost figure produced by the UK Government.

According to BBC Scotland News, independence startup costs would be up to £1.5bn. [see main image]

Other newspaper outlets have also grossly exaggerated the Professor’s work, including the Daily Record.  The newspaper, which has a vehemently pro-Union editorial line, was not content with the bogus £1.5bn figure and claimed Professor Dunleavy had put the cost of independence at over £2bn.

The article was described as an “intense burst of falsehood” by the editor of Wings Over Scotland, Stuart Campbell who comprehensively rubbished the newspaper’s claim in an online article.

Other news outlets to fabricate claims relating to the academic’s work include the Scottish Daily Express which stated that “TAXPAYERS could be forced to stump up more than £450,000 a day for 10 years if Scotland votes for independence, it has been claimed.”

The falsifying of the academic’s work had already been criticised by the academic himself, when he blasted the UK Government after it multiplied by a factor of twelve, figures contained in a previous study.

This attempt by a media growing increasingly worried at the prospect of a Yes vote in September’s referendum will do little to re-instill trust in the profession.

This Sunday over one thousand people are expected to gather at the Glasgow HQ of the BBC, in protest at the pro-Union stance adopted by BBC Scotland.

Comments  

 
#
Jamie Black
2014-06-28 06:18

Why are newsnetscotland  siding with Alex Salmond on this when it’s absolutely clear that he is doing his very best to mislead the Scottish people. a figure of £2bn is totally realistic. Prof dunleavy has no credibility, it’s absolutely clear that Change management is not his speciality and he has not got a clue about the massive cost of change.

Newsnetscotland    , I suggest politely you stop being a cheerleader for the SNP and start being honest with your readers. You need to include all news, not keep on dressing up bad news as good news.

Admin – This article does not mention Alex Salmond.

Prof Dunleavy is a well respected academic at the equally well respected London School of Economics.

This article does not mention the SNP.
 
 
#
Breeks
2014-06-28 07:02

The £2billion quoted by the Treasury used Dunleavy’s figure to arrive at £2billion. What he objects to is the crass manner in which the figure was multiplied by 180, assuming 180 new departments were required, all costing the same. It didn’t bother to note the institutions we already have, the ones we do not require, or the smaller size many would be.
The Treasury just wanted a cheap headline, and made fools of themselves and Danny Alexander. Why let the truth interfere with a good headine? It’s only Scotland, and we’ve been lying to them for decades in collusion with the media.
 
 
#
Dougie Douglas
2014-06-28 08:09

This is what happens when you take what is printed in the Daily Record literally.

Jamie your naivety is astounding, trying to rubbish a professor from one of the most respected Economic Schools in the world with nothing to back you up.

Total brasser for you pal!
 
 
#
Jacque De Molay
2014-06-28 09:27

Jamie

How is the No Thanks campaign doing in Dunoon?
 
 
#
Davy
2014-06-28 12:24

Quoting Jamie Black:

Why are newsnetscotland  siding with Alex Salmond on this when it’s absolutely clear that he is doing his very best to mislead the Scottish people. a figure of £2bn is totally realistic. Prof dunleavy has no credibility, it’s absolutely clear that Change management is not his speciality and he has not got a clue about the massive cost of change.

Newsnetscotland    , I suggest politely you stop being a cheerleader for the SNP and start being honest with your readers. You need to include all news, not keep on dressing up bad news as good news.

Admin – This article does not mention Alex Salmond.

Prof Dunleavy is a well respected academic at the equally well respected London School of Economics.

This article does not mention the SNP.




Well “Jamie Black” it appears its your comment that has no credibility, would you say you are out by a factor of 12 or more.

 

 
#
UpSpake
2014-06-28 06:33

I can quite well imagine how frustrated the Professor is with this malign interpretation of his work. Start up costs are wholly different from recurring costs and as such only appear once on Scotland plc’s balance sheet.
Of-course, you can make numbers read any way you like, they cannot speak back.
No matter what, a few hundred million or even 1Billion, small beer if you are the MOD so, everything in perspective.
Scotland can very well afford to establish itself without trauma.
 
 
#
andymac96
2014-06-28 06:40

Just about the cost of Trident then, problem solved 🙂
 
 
#
Aplinal
2014-06-28 07:01

To Jamie Black: I have spent 15+ years working with EU accession states that are having to radically change their operational systems and processes to become aligned with the EU requirements. This work includes assessment of operational and organisational restructuring, including IT and other infrastructure costs.

From my experiences the numbers suggested by Professor Dunleavey are entirely consistent with what a newly Independent Scotland would face, given that it ALREADY has much of the infrastructure in place, and already operates complex systems on behalf of the entire UK.

Of course these costs may rise for different reasons, and of course no prediction is 100% accurate. I also hope that Scotland will have a far more robust procurement process for its IT needs.

But even if his figures are out be a factor of 100%, this is less than £200 mill per annum.

Can you REALLY put a price on Independence and world-wide respect?
 
 
#
Dougie Douglas
2014-06-28 08:46

Nice one Aplinal agree entirely.

Perhaps it’s time we started discussing the start up costs for rump UK for starting up it’s own state afresh.

There seems to be an assumption that the costs are all going to be one way.

When any relationship breaks down there are cost and opportunities presented to both parties.

What cost will RUK have to bear for not entertaining the desire of the majority of Scots for fiscal autonomy?
 
 
#
Macart
2014-06-28 10:04

Well said.

Its also quite mind numbing that some people seem to refuse to believe the evidence of their own eyes in this case. The treasury’s own cited source has criticised and corrected HMG figures and their misrepresentati  on. They have been misrepresented by both HMG and the press.

Said expert has stood up both times to make his work and his statements perfectly clear to all. HMG and the media have been caught red handed trying to mislead the public. The evidence is right before their eyes and is unequivocal.
 
 
#
Jamie Black
2014-06-28 21:42

I would ask you, given your vast experience in this area, if you know how mich it cost to divest TSB from Lloyds? To summarise, they had to completely split the TSB aspect, seperate the customers and how they are managed, even though they effectively use the same systems and processes. The cost if this? The best part of £1bn, +- a few hundred million.

That’s right. All the infrastructure was there, the same customers, same systems and it cost this much.

So don’t take my word for it, or that of the treasury. Don’t take the word of Alex ‘£200m sounds about right’ Salmond, just look at real examples for your idea of how much it will cost to separate from the UK.

And so back to my point – you can gnash your teeth all you like, but the theme across the SNP, Yes, NNs is the same, they are all peddling the same line and deliberatly ignoring the fact that the costs of indy will be eyewatering.
Good night one and all.
 

 
#
xyz
2014-06-28 07:19

The saving we will make when we get rid of Westminster’s worthless management will far outstrip any costs. We have a higher GDP per capita and will have lower debt and can have a lower deficit if we so choose. Unionists will believe and say anything to stop Scotland prospering, it’s hard to understand why. Attributing their stupidity to Stockholm syndrome is as much sympathy as I can manage.
 
 
#
Leswil
2014-06-28 07:41

It all really goes down to the deceit of the BBC and media in general, it really does not matter if Prof dunleavy complains or questions them.

While their spin is out there and Dunleavy will hardly be reported, job done.

The more this kind of thing goes on the more, disgusted I am of these people, and include the E/Commission and the CBI shambles.

It appears that the E/Commission allowed the CBI to break the rules without a whimper, how then can they themselves be trusted.Especially when the future of Scotland is concerned.

They will all throw their principles out of the window to try and defeat Scottish democracy, utterly shameful.
 
 
#
Marian
2014-06-28 07:54

Jamie Black – it was the UK Treasury and Danny Alexander who first misquoted Professor Dunleavy as the source of their original nonsensical claim that independence would cost us all £1500 per annum.

Professor Dunleavy denounced the Treasury claim immediately after it was made saying that it was nonsense and bore no relation to his work as they had claimed.

Given that the Treasury and Danny Alexander were happy to misquote Professor Dunleavy in the first place, it is now interesting but no real surprise to note that you are now rubbishing Professor Dunleavy after he has rubbished yet another nonsensical claim by the Treasury.

You cannot have it both ways.
 
 
#
neoloon
2014-06-28 08:19

British nationalists and the British nationalist media have been found out once again. They cannot be trusted. Thank God for sites like NNS which provide the people of Scotland with much needed political and economic balance.
 
 
#
Clydebuilt
2014-06-28 08:59

O/T heard on BBC radio before 9.00am news slot …The SNP are hlding crisis talks after gain in support for Independence has stalled, suggested they are to spend huge amounts of money on an advertising campaign.
haven’t heard it repeated…..

also the main image in this article is blank.Is it something to do with W.o.S, currently I cant access their site
 
 
#
cynicalHighlander
2014-06-28 09:12

This site is working for me but Twitter WoS and other sites are down so a general internet problem most likely.
 
 
#
Provan
2014-06-28 10:31

Wings worked fine for me at 1045. May have been down earlier.
 

 
#
davidredero
2014-06-28 15:40

Dunleavy’s position is a bit more nuanced than has been implied here. His tweet was “So £600m in a decade contrasts with Treasury £1.5 bn, maximum possible but not a number I accept.”

When he says “maximum possible” he means that within the range in which he’s accepted transition costs would fall (between £600 million and £1.5 billion) the maximum (i.e. £1.5 billion) is possible. In other words, he’s saying that set up costs will definitely be between £600 million and £1.5 billion and he doesn’t rule out that they could reach £1.5 billion, but if you put a gun to his head he’d lean closer to the £600 million within that range.

That’s actually the only kind of answer anybody should be giving in this debate. There are so many unknowns that nobody can put a solid figure on it, so saying it will be in a range like this is the best we can do. Unfortunately politicians aren’t wired that way and can only handle absolute numbers.

Admin – We did contact Prof Dunleavy and have reported his position as he put it to us
 
 
#
davidredero
2014-06-28 19:41

What’s been posted here is almost word for word for a tweet that he put out a few days ago:

“To restate: Set up costs for Indy Scotland = c.£200m. Possible extra IT etc costs from 10 year transition = c.£400m… So £600m in a decade contrasts with Treasury £1.5 bn, maximum possible but not a number I accept. And with their initial £2.7 bn, now toast.”

Admin – as stated we have reported prof Dunleavy’s position as he put it to us
 

 
#
bringiton
2014-06-28 19:22

The No Thanks campaign being steeped in Thatcher ideology “the price of everything and the value of none” are trying to tell Scots that democracy is just too expensive for us.
Well,if we accept that democracy has a price beyond which we will decide that it is not for us then we deserve everything that Westminster does in future.
People around the world have given their lives in order to be able to elect a government of their choice and surely a matter of money to pay for this is not a significant issue.
 
 
#
bringiton
2014-06-29 09:17

There is also the point that should we accept the Westminster claims as to the vastly inflated value of currently shared assets,then our share of those assets will also be inflated.
That would be offset against any costs of setting up new institutions in Scotland.
They can’t have it both ways.
 

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