Ross Greer, from the Scottish Greens which props up the SNP in Holyrood, said he would prefer it if the UK Government paid “contributions” to Scottish pensioners. His comments echo that of SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford, who sparked fury when he said said the commitment to Scotland’s state pensions “rests with the UK Government”, which was also backed by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Now Scottish Greens MP Mr Greer said: “No matter what the Scottish government will make sure that people’s pensions are being paid.
“My preference would be that they are paid in part by contributions made by the UK government.
“No matter what, they will be paid though.”
Speaking to Untribal Politics’ blog, he added: “On day one of independence, the Scottish Government will be the guarantor of pensions for people living in Scotland.
“The Scottish Government has the ultimate responsibility to make sure those pensions are paid, that’s straightforward.
“That is a simple default position, and the reassurance and guarantee we can provide people.
READ MORE: Blackford doubles-down on pension demands ‘Look after our pensioners!’
“That will be a matter of negotiations between the Scottish and UK governments.”
Mr Greer said in the event of Scotland ripping itself from the Union, there would be a “two directional process”
He said it was “only fair” for an independent Scotland to “take its share of the UK’s debt” and added: “And in exchange for taking on those debts we should get some of the UK’s assets”.
Mr Greer then bizarrely compared the Scots pension row to the US Civil War saying it was “interesting example of how pensions can do strange things”.
He added: “The Confederacy, the losing side of the Civil War lost and were destroyed in 1865.
“The last widowers’ pension for a Confederate service personnel was paid out in 2012 so the Union government, the United States’ government, who won the US Civil War paid the pensions of Confederate soldiers, who’d been on the losing side of that war, whose state, the Confederate States of America, had been destroyed.
“The winning side continued to pay those pensions and because it was the pensions that were then passed onto those people’s successors, it was paid long time after the lifetimes of anyone who had been involved in the US Civil War.
“So I think that hopefully is an interesting example of how this isn’t a straightforward thing, pensions are not straightforward of ‘Your state pays them and if your state doesn’t exist it doesn’t pay them and another state has to start paying them.’
“It’s more complicated than that.”