SHETLAND MSP Beatrice Wishart has accused the Scottish Government of “stirring up division” by launching a new independence campaign.
On Tuesday the government published a new paper called Wealthier, Happier, Fairer: Why Not Scotland?, which first minister Nicola Sturgeon said “sets the scene” for change.
More papers will be published in the future in areas such as currency, tax, defence and trade.
Sturgeon said she believes the country is “even more prepared for independence” now than it was in 2014, when the last referendum was held.
In that referendum around 55 per cent of people in Scotland voted to stay in the union. In Shetland that figure was nearly 64 per cent.
Sturgeon said the papers are designed to “contribute to a full, frank and constructive debate on Scotland’s future”.
In a foreword to the new paper, the first minister wrote: “We are a brilliant country in so many ways – but a glance at many of our European neighbours tells us we can do better. That should excite and inspire us.
“But first we must equip ourselves with the powers of independence that they already possess.”
She points to the fact that the Scottish Parliament has a majority of MSPs who are in favour of independence following last year’s election.
However local MSP Wishart – whose party the Liberal Democrats are opposed to Scottish independence – said the government needs to focus on the job at hand.
“Shetland is facing more homes being plunged into extreme fuel poverty, higher food and fuel prices and transport issues,” she said.
“Nationally we have the longest NHS waiting lists in history, a cost of living crisis and we need to combat the climate emergency while recovering from a pandemic.
“The Scottish Government is stirring up division and detracting from the important issues facing people in the country.
“The SNP and Greens should get back to focusing on making people’s lives and communities better, not taking them for granted.”
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 540 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News