Salmond to be quizzed on tax, welfare and the environment

By staff writers
29 Jan 2013

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond will answer questions on tax and welfare policies in an independent Scotland as he gives the Jimmy Reid Memorial Lecture in Govan Old Parish Church, Glasgow, tonight.

The issue of whether there could be an explicit commitment to protection of the environment written into a Scottish constitution will also feature.

Salmond has pledged that a written constitutional document will include a promise to keep Scotland nuclear weapons free.

A whole range of questions have been submitted in advance of the event, which is held in memory of the nationally and internationally known trade union activist, activist, orator, politician and journalist Jimmy Reid, who is best known as leader of the Upper Clyde shipbuilders during the famous Work-in which took place between June 1971 and October 1973.

"This will be an important night in spelling out what independence might really mean for the Scottish people, not just the business and institutional concerns which have dominated the debate so far," says the Jimmy Reid Foundation, a thinktank and advocacy group focussed on practical policy proposals for transforming Scotland based on analysis and investigation of the current Scottish and global political, cultural and social situation.

Other questions submitted so far include: If it is a choice between welfare cuts and corporation tax cuts, what would the Firts Minister choose? How does he think a Scottish civil service should be established? What does he think will happen to the political spectrum if the constitutional question is answered? Would the SNP continue to exist and as what kind of political party? What guarantees on pensions will Scots have on independence? And how can Scotland exert economic power and independence in the face of global corporations?

Alex Salmond's lecture will be entitled 'Addressing Alienation: the opportunity of independence'.

There are strong political rumours circulating that he may move towards heading up the SNP's independence campaign ahead of the 2014 referendum, with Nicola Sturgeon, a rising star of the party, and popular with a range of non-nationalist voters, transitioning to being party leader.

The lecture will take place on Tuesday 29 January 2013 in Govan Old Parish Church in Govan, Glasgow. Doors will open at 7.00pm. The lecture will begin at 8pm. The evening will finish by 9.30pm.

Coffee and tea will be available from 7.00pm, provided by volunteers at Govan Old Church for a donation). Those arriving early can look round church and its bookshop, take a free tour of the historic Govan Stones, or watch the 'Voices from UCS' documentary.

* Tickets are available at the door for £10 (£2 student and unwaged).

* Full details here: http://reidfoundation.org/details-for-annual-lecture/

* More on the Reid Foundation: http://reidfoundation.org/

* About Jimmy Reid: http://reidfoundation.org/about-jimmy-reid/

[Ekk/3]

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