Ivan McKee: Scottish Government will pay pensions after independence
Business minister Ivan McKee has said the Scottish Government will pay pensions in the event of independence.
McKee told a fringe event at the SNP conference that there was no “need to worry” about what would happen to people’s pensions following independence after being asked about the current lack of clarity on the issue.
He appeared to contradict comments made last week in which he said the UK would be liable for pension payments for Scots following independence.
Speaking at a Holyrood fringe event organised in partnership with the Investment Association, McKee was asked whether pensions would be safe after independence.
He said: “It will be paid – you don’t need to worry about it. The Scottish Government will pay that.
“There’s a negotiation to be had with the UK around about that along with a whole load of other things on assets and liabilities when we get to the point of negotiating after the referendum and before we become independent. But pensions will be paid, and the Scottish Government will make sure that happens.”
Speaking at an event last week in a clip widely shared on social media, McKee said it was “nonsense” to suggest someone who had paid into a UK state pension wouldn’t receive that money if Scotland became independent.
He said: “The principle that you have paid in and just because you happen to be living in Scotland – which would be the only country in the world where you would be living where you had paid your UK pension, but wouldn’t be receiving your UK pension – is clearly, patently nonsense.”
Speaking at the Holyrood fringe event on Monday, SNP MP Alison Thewliss said Scotland could “do better” on pensions following independence.
She said: “It’s an issue of negotiation as all of these things with independence will be. It’s also worth pointing out that the state pension in the UK is one of the lowest in Europe, so I think we can also do better by our pensioners with independence than the current situation.”