By Dr Philip Wood
Alex Salmond’s plans for an independent Scotland involve a number of leaps into the unknown. One of these is the escalation of Scottish migration to a target of 24,000 per year, almost double current levels.
His policy is a reaction to Scotland’s ageing population, which would give an independent Scotland a dependency ratio much higher than the rest of the UK. This poses serious questions over Scotland’s ability to pay out pensions, a problem exacerbated by the uncertainty expressed in the markets over the prospect of independence, and by Salmond’s own promises to keep the age of retirement at current levels.
The first minister’s notion that migration can cure the problems of an ageing society has supporters among much of the European elite. However, as Paul Demeny has argued, it is very unclear that the kinds of migration required to offset this kind of demographic change would actually leave any European state “fairer, stronger, richer or (in the long-term)Read More »from An independent Scotland's immigration nightmare