Sunday, 14 September 2014

Scottish referendum with surprise consequences.

My accountant son, visiting from Scotland, had a couple observations about the referendum that surprised me.

Pensions after a separation will be a net positive because Scots die on average younger than other Brits.  Not all payroll deductions for pensions will have to be paid out or else Scotland can afford to keep the retirement age at 65 while the rest of the island goes to 67.

Another surprise is university education.  "Uni" is free for all Scots and this was extended to all EU students but with one big exception.  The English don't get it.  If there is separation, the English will then become full-status EU and a flood of students will have to be admitted free to Scottish universities. Don't expect that one to fly.

There are more than 200 national bodies that will have to have their databases divorced. This is the equivalent of Y2K for accountants, potentially an enormous windfall.

Bickering between England and Scotland is nothing new:

Don't forget  verse five of God Save the Queen:
"May he sedition hush
And like a torrent rush
Rebellious Scots to Crush (Battle of Culloden)
Rebellious Scots to crush.
God Save the King."

And up past Hadrian's wall that was built to keep the barbarians at bay, they like to sing "The Flower of Scotland" at sporting events for an anthem:
"But we can still rise now,
And be the nation again,
That stood against him,
Proud Edward's Army,
And sent him homeward,
Tae think again."

  (The Battle of Bannockburn was exactly 700 years ago in 1314, when Robert Bruce sent King Edward II packing.)  As I mentioned once earlier, my dear,late, and gentle grandmother from Nairn harboured hard feelings towards the English and the allegedly traitorous Campbells who drove Bonnie Prince Charlie away. That too was centuries ago.

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