INDEPENDENCE would create up to 35,000 new civil service jobs, the SNP conference will be told later this month, with the roles to be dispersed around the country.

A motion to be debated at the online event says that similar-sized EU countries, such as Denmark, each have between 40,000 to 50,000 officials working directly for their government.

It points out that currently the Scottish Government core civil service numbers are around 7500, while the UK civil service in Scotland has an additional 25,000 staff – though some of those service UK-wide tasks, such as Overseas Development in East Kilbride, MoD Salaries in Glasgow.

“The implication is that the Scottish Government will require a major staff expansion, some of which may come from taking over staff currently employed by the UK Government,” the resolution states.

“The Scottish Government is likely to require around 35,000 new posts, of which at least 10,000 cannot be filled by existing UK employees.”

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It goes on to says that “to ensure that all areas of Scotland get a fair share of the benefits of independence then conference proposes that an SNP Scottish Government should ensure that all core civil service jobs are distributed across the 32 council areas in proportion to the populations of those areas” including that of the head offices of the various new ministries and the civil service chief’s office.

The motion also calls for some rural or disadvantaged areas such as Dumfries and Galloway, the Scottish Borders, the Highlands, Inverclyde and An Na h-Eileanan nan Siar to be given “an extra weighting of a minimum of 20% of their current population” when calculating their allocations of civil service jobs – as a way of providing economic boosts to those areas and stopping depopulation.

It adds: “This policy will help prevent a repetition of the excessive centralisation on the capital that has characterised the UK and will ensure that the new jobs and incomes deriving from independence are fairly spread across the entirety of Scotland.”

The resolution has been submitted by the SNP’s Dalkeith and Thurso branches and is expected to get overwhelming support when delegates vote on it.

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It updates a draft motion which was submitted to the party’s September conference, which was also held online. It is understood the party’s committee which organises the conference’s agenda believed the original resolution needed some more work before it got debated.

No specific locations have been given for the new government departments, but one of the authors of the original proposal, Dr Tim Rideout (below), suggested the new state’s Ministry of Defence could be located in Argyll, the Ministry of Education in Perth, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in either Falkirk or Stirling, the Department of Fisheries in Lerwick and the Ministry of Energy and accompanying Scottish National Renewables Company (the equivalent of what the Norwegian Statoil was in the oil age) in Aberdeen.

The National: TIM RIDEOUT.

Rideout, who chairs a transition to independence working group of the SNP policy development committee, also suggested the Ministry of Business, Trade and Enterprise could go to Glasgow, subsume Scottish Enterprise, already based in

the city.

The Ministry of Pensions and Social Security could go to Dundee (to build on the existing Social Security Scotland) and the Ministry of Agriculture to Dumfries.

Civil service jobs are likely to be a key area for debate ahead of a second independence referendum with the UK Government already promising an expansion of the roles in Scotland.

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The SNP’s conference will take place from November 26 to 29.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants to hold a second independence referendum by the end of 2023 so long as the coronavirus pandemic has passed.

In September she told Holyrood in her Programme for Government statement that she was instructing civil servants to update the prospectus for independence which was paused at the start of the pandemic.

She indicated in an interview with the Financial Times last month that she would give an update on concrete measures in the spring.