Politics

SNP candidate branded ‘deluded’ for plan to ‘create money’ in independent Scotland

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Osama Bhutta, who is running as an SNP candidate in next year’s parliamentary elections, claimed an independent Scotland could “literally create money” and said it “isn’t correct” that the state required tax revenue to spend. The Glasgow-born Holyrood hopeful, who previously worked for Amnesty International, drew the wrath of critics on social media over his comments.

One person said the claims suggested he may be “deluded” while others said he was spouting “fantasy economics”.

Mr Bhutta said: “Once we have our own currency, we will have the ability to create money and spend it on the things that are needed.

“The state literally creates money.

“It does not need our money.”

The 40-year-old is the cousin of Scotland’s Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf.

Mr Bhutta is challenging MSP Kenny Gibson for the SNP candidacy in Cunninghame North for the election in May.

Scottish Unionist David Griffiths was among those who hit out at the Holyrood hopeful over his remarks.

Mr Griffiths, who is the Alliance for Unity candidate in West Scotland constituency, said Scots who have not yet made up their mind on who to vote for next year should read Mr Bhutta’s latest comments.

He said anyone wondering “what’s the worst that could happen if Scotland became independent” should look no further than the SNP candidate’s prediction for the economy.

Mr Griffiths added: “Do you know what happens when a new nation state ‘creates money’ in a new, unbacked currency?

“These people are seriously unhinged.”

Another opponent of Mr Bhutta’s tax plan said Scots should prepare themselves to cart around massive amounts of cash just to buy basic items.

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One person joked: “Just nipping out for a loaf of bread dear, wheelbarrows may be a good investment for an iScotland!”

Mr Bhutta opened up about his vision for an independent Scotland in an interview with the pro-independence outlet Skotia Media.

Asked if he would support raising taxes on the wealthy if Scotland gained independence, he explained: “Taxes are important in creating equality.

“But I do subscribe to the view that, when it ends up being a dichotomy of taxation or not, and the idea that the state needs taxes in order to spend, that isn’t correct.

“I know once we have our own currency, we will have the ability to create money and spend it on the things that are needed.

“That’s where the UK has completely stalled ever since austerity measures came in, and you can argue it even further back than that.”

He said if Scotland became independent the country could “do things in a different way” and argued the state “does not need our money”.

Instead, he said, “the people need the state’s money”.

Mr Bhutta claimed his vision was shared in many parts of the globe.

He claimed “there seems to be much more of a consensus emerging in many parts of the world about the nature of economics not being about tax and spend, but more being about the state literally creates money”.

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