By Daniel Hunter
With less than a month to go until the Scottish independence referendum, Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, took to Facebook to answer questions.
Danny Alexander said: “That was my first Facebook Q&A but it certainly won’t be my last. It was a great experience and adds to the vast public debate that has been happening on Scotland’s future.
“I’ve taken part in debates everywhere from village halls to TV studios but I know there is a genuine debate happening online.
“There was not enough time to answer all the questions, but I hope I was able to present the positive case for a stronger Scotland as part of the UK and give some much needed clarity, on issues like the currency, ahead of the most important vote Scots will face in our lifetime.”
Here are a selection of questions and answers from the Q&A hosted on theYou Decide 2014 Facebook page:
Q. If it is a no vote, given the oil is running out, can you tell us what the UK government’s plans are for managing the decline and what are they planning to do for the areas most affected?
A. The UK government is putting in place policies now to maximise the oil and gas we can get out. That means accepting lower tax revenues to give more incentives for investment and setting up a new Oil and Gas Authority to get the most value out of the north sea possible. We are also developing carbon capture and storage at Peterhead so that north sea infrastructure can be used for green purposes in the future.
Q. It was published in the news recently that Scotland would be better off using the pound like Panama with no central bank, what do you make of this?
A. Sterlingisation would be very damaging for Scotland. We’d have zero control over our interest rates, no lender of last resort, so we couldn’t bail out banks in a financial crisis. It would costs jobs, and push borrowing rates higher.
Q. What is your long term vision for Scotland as part of the Union - in 10 words or less.
A. A strong UK recovery, more powers for Scotland and Highlands.