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Waiting game to uncover state of the country's finances

July 1, 2014

THE state of an independent Scotland's finances cannot be known before the referendum, an expert report has concluded.

A study by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIFPA) Scotland said the health of the country's balance sheet would depend on negotiations with the rest of the UK, particularly over the national debt.

The CIPFA report, Scotland's Future in the Balance, said Scotland's devolved balance sheet showed assets of pound(s)84 billion compared with liabilities of pound(s)100 billion, largely the result of pensions. However, the pound(s)16 billion net liability did not take into account a share of the UK's national debt, which an independent Scotland could shoulder.

CIPFA said Scotland's share of the debt could be anywhere from zero, if the Scottish Government refused to pay, to pound(s)120 billion.

It concluded: "The opening position is as yet unknown."

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Source: Herald, The (Scotland)

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