YOUR correspondent P Davidson (Letters, September 2) claims that the Pensions Minister "in 2014 actually put it in writing to the Scottish Government that, legally, all pensions for which people had paid their contributions would continue to be paid as before".

This issue requires exploration before a further independence referendum. The National Insurance Fund rolls over using current income, with a working balance of little more than 1/6th (16.7 per cent) of projected annual benefit expenditure. Aneurin Bevan, post-war Labour minister, said that the great secret about the National Insurance Fund is that there is no fund. This comment is not strictly correct; there is a working balance. Scotland would be entitled to a proportionate share of the working balance, enough for a few months and thereafter pensions in Scotland would be Scotland's sole responsibility.

Your correspondent, inferred to be a supporter of Scottish independence as opposed to a supporter of Scottish interdependence, has my permission to gamble with his or her pension; but does not have my permission to gamble with my pension.

William Durward, Bearsden.

WILLIAM Loneskie’s letter (September 2) about “Scotland separating from the world’s fifth-largest economy” is an extreme distortion.

Let’s start with the fact that in the UK’s current devolved set up Scotland isn’t permitted to have an annual deficit.

Let’s then consider facts about revenue from oil and gas. Since oil was discovered in the North Sea in 1969 up to 2015 the UK revenue generated was $470 billion (£367bn). Had Scotland been independent about 80 per cent of that resource would have been within Scotland’s geographical area, giving revenue of $399.5bn (£293bn).

That assumes that the resource was exploited in the way dictated by UK governments, including privatisation by a Conservative government which Scotland didn’t vote for. This resulted in $11 of revenue per barrel of oil equivalent (boe). This compares with the $29.8 per boe achieved by the Norwegian Government, which retained public ownership. Had an independent Scotland exploited this resource and achieved revenue per boe that Norway did the revenue would have been £793 billion.

Norway has saved revenue in a sovereign wealth fund and with returns in investments that fund now exceeds £872bn. The UK Government decided not to set up a sovereign wealth fund and the “world’s fifth-largest economy” currently has a national debt of £2,397bn. Also as a general rule when a nation becomes independent the remainder state retains responsibility for the national debt which, given the above, would be entirely justified in Scotland’s case.

Scotland’s current economic position is due to our decision to remain in the UK and share our oil and gas and other resources and due to the political decisions about exploiting these resources made by incompetent UK governments which we didn’t vote for. Independence is required to prevent the same continuing to happen with our huge renewable energy and other resources.

Jim Stamper, Bearsden.

THE result of the 2014 referendum was approximately 55/45 per cent in favour of Scotland remaining part of the United Kingdom. Based on a recent poll, we are now told approximately 55% of Scots are now in favour of separation.

Newspapers daily contain comment from “experts” on all sides and the debate, especially on the economics of an independent Scotland, goes round in circles. The matter of the United Kingdom being broken up after 300 years is so important and in fact so serious that it now requires mature, sensible, respectful debate with credible, qualified, admired participants from across the political scene who will forensically investigate every financial, economic and social aspect of Scotland going it alone. It is not sufficient simply to state on one hand “Scotland would be bankrupt” and on the other “Scotland can do it better” – these comments are vacuous. None of the Scottish political parties is capable so far of providing the answers required by the people of Scotland to commit to such a major upheaval in our lives.

The people of Scotland deserve better, we deserve at this most significant time in our history to get it right for all of us, our children, grandchildren and generations to come. Politics in Scotland has become divisive, rude, antagonistic, angry and if the United Kingdom is broken up there is no going back – we have to get it right. Before the Holyrood election, “the people of Scotland” need to make their decisions based on facts, not on spurious claim and counter-claim by political parties.

How do we get truly impartial participants to work on this, or am I dreaming?

Douglas Cowe, Newmachar.

IN 1937 George Orwell wrote: "...what we call democracy in a capitalist country only remains in being while things are going WITH reference to the recent discussion on Land of Hope and Glory, if one were to take these five words in isolation from the remainder and from the music’s historical context, then use them to describe a post-Brexit UK, one might make the statement "if only".

Willie Towers, Alford.