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Revealed: Independence papers that cost £10.85 for every read

The cost per download of the SNP’s much-criticised independence papers has been revealed – with some totalling more than £10 for every person who accessed it.


It was reported earlier this week that there have been 210,000 clicks across the Scottish Government’s first nine separation documents.


Those documents cost £150,467 to produce, prompting criticism of nationalists using taxpayers’ money to fund constitutional propaganda.


And while the first nine papers works out at 72p per download, individual breakdowns of each paper show more stark findings.


The eighth paper – ‘Our marine sector in an independent Scotland’ – cost £14,057 to produce.


Since its launch in November, it has been accessed on 1,295 occasions, equalling £10.85 per download.



A month later ministers unveiled a paper on social security, costing £20,271. It has since been downloaded 3,902 times, or £5.20 per person.


The paper on the EU, launched in mid-November, has cost £2.65 per download, while the document on a “modern constitution” totals £2.71 per download.


Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said:


“Since the SNP-Green government embarked on this exercise, the chief criticism has been that it is a disgraceful waste of money.


“Taxpayers’ cash shouldn’t be used to promote nationalist propaganda.


“It would seem, judging by the number of people accessing these reports, that the public agrees.


“Ministers must explain why spending several pounds for every person downloading a report, as was the case with some of these papers, is good value for money.


“It’s time for the Scottish Government to stop wasting resources this way and focus on people’s priorities.”


Below is the cost to download ratio of each of the first nine independence papers:


Independence in the modern world - £18.993 and 64,160 full downloads (30p per download)


Renewing democracy through independence - £10,034 and 20,621 full downloads (49p per download)


A stronger economy with independence - £16,628 and 50,608 full downloads (33p per download)


Creating a modern constitution for an independence Scotland - £18,011 and 6,642 downloads (£2.71 per download)


Citizenship in an independent Scotland - £13,616 and 36,474 full downloads (37p per download)


Migration to Scotland after independence - £16,165 and 17,930 downloads (90p per download)


An independent Scotland in the EU - £22,692 and 8,575 downloads (£2.65 per download)


Our marine sector in an independent Scotland - £14,057 and 1,295 downloads (£10.85 per download)


Social security in an independent Scotland - £20,271 and 3,902 downloads (£5.20 per download)


Total for first nine papers - £150,467 for 210,207 downloads (72p per download)


Details of the download figures were reported this week and can be seen here.


The original data is here.


Scotland in Union previously revealed that the SNP-Green government had spent £3.5 million on independence, including £150,467 on the first nine independence papers - See here.


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