Matt Frei is Leading Britain's Conversation.
29 March 2017, 16:33
Iain Dale Gives Alex Salmond Some Home Truths About Scotland
Alex Salmond says that Scotland's deficit isn't as bad as Iain Dale claims...so Iain Dale checks the figures and guess who's right?
Alex Salmond tells Iain Dale that he has his figures wrong on Scotland's deficit - so Iain looks them up...and guess who's correct?
In a very sparky edition of the Alex Salmond Phone-In on the day that Article 50 was triggered, Salmond and Dale locked horns repeatedly. But the most extraordinary exchange came when a caller challenged the former First Minister on Scotland's deficit.
Surely, Paul asked Salmond, Scotland's deficit is far too high to meet EU membership requirements?
"The arguemnt Paul is putting forward is that you have to have a 3% deficit to be in the EU," started Salmond.
"And yours in 10.1%!" cut in Iain. "10.1%! It is, it absolutely is."
Salmond continued to insist it wasn't, so Iain reached for his laptop and confronted Salmond with the fact that it definitely is 10.1%.
"I've got the figures here. Scotland's deficit is 10.1% of GDP."
As the caller Paul laughed in the background, Salmond sought to convince Iain that the deficit of an independent Scotland would not be 10.1%.
He said the current economic figures "include things like Trident, like HS2, which clearly an independent Scotland would not pay for."
But Iain Dale was a dog with a bone at this point: "And all the money that's sent up the M6 to Scotland from London."
Salmond's withering response? "Talk about what you know about."