• STV
  • MySTV

Sturgeon and Carmichael cross-examine each other on independence

The Deputy First Minister and the Secretary of State for Scotland clashed in the third Scotland Tonight debate on independence.

Alistair Carmichael.
STV

Nicola Sturgeon and Alistair Carmichael have cross-examined each other on Scotland's constitutional future.

The Deputy First Minister and the Secretary of State for Scotland clashed in the third Scotland Tonight debate on independence.

Ms Sturgeon and Mr Carmichael each had nine minutes to ask questions of the other. Mr Carmichael, having won a coin toss prior to the programme, decided to go second.

The deputy SNP leader's opening salvo was on child poverty, asking the Liberal Democrat politician if he knew how many children would go into poverty if Scotland remained in the UK.

Mr Carmichael did not provide a number, prompting Ms Sturgeon to say: "I am astonished that as Secretary of State for Scotland you don't know how many children are being pushed into poverty by your policies."

She added: "The Child Poverty Action Group says this: As a result of government policies there will be massive rises in child poverty in Scotland alone, between 50,000 and 100,000 more children living in poverty by 2020. Now a that you do know the figure are you prepared to accept that?"

However, Mr Carmichael pointed to a recent report by the independent think-tank, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which argued that an independent Scotland would have to raise taxes or cut public spending to balance the books.

He charged: "What I do know because we heard it from the Institute for Fiscal Studies. If we were in an independent Scotland now, there would be further cuts in public expenditure required, or else taxation would have to go up. This is the problem. You see, like everything else there is only one time that you can spend the money and that is why we are having to make some very difficult decisions."

The SNP politician challenged Mr Carmichael to "look me in the eye and tell me that 100,000 more children living in poverty is a price worth paying for Westminster government".

The Lib Dem responded: "What will happen is that that decision will be made at the general election in 2015."

Ms Sturgeon went on to challenge Mr Carmichael about what additional powers Scotland would get from Westminster if it voted No. She also asked how a No vote would affect Scotland's budget as calculated through the Barnett formula. Finally, she pressed him on whether the Liberal Democrats would enter another coalition with the Conservative Party.

In his series of questions, Mr Carmichael returned to the issue of EU membership and a currency union. However, he saved for last a question about the impact of independence on ship-building jobs.

He asked: "Do you think the convener of the shipyards at Scotstoun was wrong when he said that independence would be a threat to the jobs there?"

Ms Sturgeon replied: "I used to represent Govan shipyard as you know and I know the convenor of Govan shipyard very well and I listened very carefully to what he said on television and when he was asked the question 'what happens if Scotland votes independence?' He said he would expect all politicians of all parties to get behind the Clyde yards, because they are the best place to build these ships.

"I will support the Clyde whether Scotland is independent or not. Will you support the quite whether Scotland is independent or not?"

The Secretary of State said he would support the Clyde but he insisted that jobs would only continue to come to the Clyde if Scotland was part of the United Kingdom.

"If you choose to walk away from the United Kingdom, then you walk away from these jobs," he maintained.

Ms Sturgeon accused her rival of "talking down the Clyde", a charge he strongly rejected.

"I have never talked down the Clyde, what I have done is I have brought jobs to the Clyde as part of this government guaranteeing ship building until 2034 so no lectures from you, thank you on that," he riposted.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.