THERE are three things standing in the way of Alasdair Galloway's assertion (Letters, September 9) that the UK will continue to pay pensions in Scotland.

First, on page 130 of the SNP's Independence manifesto Scotland's Future it clearly states: "for those living in Scotland in receipt of the UK State Pension at the time of independence, the responsibility for paying that pension will transfer to the Scottish Government" as it would for any people of working age when they reach pension age.

It doesn't say the UK Government will pay the pension. What may have confused Mr Galloway is the promise that the pension amount will be based on the UK pension entitlement they have accrued prior to independence, ie the number of years. I'm not aware of any change in SNP policy on this.

Second, it is unclear how the Scottish Government can afford to pay these pensions, something John Swinney knew in 2013 when a leaked document written by him forecast Scotland's deficit in 2015 at £28 billion, meaning pensions, defence and their areas would be cut. Scotland's Covid-fuelled GERS deficit will be at least that amount next year.

Third, no British Prime Minister will ever keep his job if the voters get to hear he is going to pay the pensions of two million Scots without any tax revenues coming from Scotland.

Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven.

IN connection with the recent correspondence on the possible future of the state pension in event of Scotland's independence (Letters, September 7 & 9), your readers might like to know that I have this week become a state pensioner. In this proud capacity, I have received a letter from the Pensions Service. Amongst other information, it says: "We will tell you whenever we know there is to be a change in your benefit."

This confirms the status of the state pension as a benefit, and has the same status as other state benefits in the UK, like JobSeeker's Allowance or Housing Benefit. And like those it can be changed at any time by the Government – those with any doubts should just ask the Waspi women.

It is hard to imagine that even the most cock-eyed nationalist thinks that the remainder UK should or would keep paying those other benefits after independence, so it is at best inconsistent of them to believe that it will be the case for State Pensions. It is of course possible that the two governments would come to some arrangement to support the pensioners of a new independent country, but there is no obligation on the rUK to do so.

And what if they don't?

Peter A Russell, Glasgow G13.

I HAVE seen a letter from the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party to one of its members asking for donations to support its campaign against the SNP, which is entirely acceptable.

What is not acceptable and seems to be typical of the current Scottish Conservative leadership is that the letter conflates that the Scottish Government funds the SNP.

The membership of the SNP funds the SNP, not the Scottish Government.

This is the kind of "fake news" or information manipulation that is typical of the Scottish Conservatives, given the coaching from the UK Government. Who actually funds the Scottish Conservatives?

Alistair Ballantyne, Birkhill, Angus.