In tonight’s Scottish leaders debate, Nicola Sturgeon faced harsh criticism from fellow leaders for constantly talking of her hopes for Scotland’s fiscal autonomy.
“I don’t think it is any secret that I want Scotland to have as many powers over our own economy and our own fiscal levers as soon as possible,” she told the TV audience at Elphinstone Hall in Aberdeen.
However, other leaders pointed to the irresponsibility of such a plan, which could leave Scotland with a funding gap of £7.6 billion. The Conservatives’ Ruth Davidson said: “Full fiscal autonomy, right now if we vote for it next year, would mean that we had billions of pounds less in Scotland to spend on welfare.”
Sturgeon profusely mentioned her belief in Scottish independence and her focus on Scotland getting more economic control.
However there were multiple groans from the audience who were seemingly fed up of her repetition. At yesterday’s debate on STV at Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms, Sturgeon had also made reference to her wish to see an independent Scotland.
She was again asked about the SNP’s planned 2016 manifesto by her opposing leaders and whether she would once again push for another Scottish independence referendum.
Though barely heard over the other leaders, Sturgeon emphasised she was “not planning another referendum” but was mocked by Scottish Labour leader, Jim Murphy who raised a chuckle for saying that Sturgeon is now the leader of the ‘mibbes aye, mibbes naw’ campaign for her dithering over a second referendum.
Murphy and Willie Rennie, of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, were strongly critical of Sturgeon’s repetition, as Murphy pressed that “this election isn’t a re-run of the referendum”.