Political Battle Over Who Can Make Scots Richer
The battle for Scotland moved to a scrap over who would put more money in the pockets of the Scottish people as conflicting economic visions were presented by each side.
Westminster claimed staying in the union would mean a £1,400 a year "UK dividend" for Scottish people, while the Scottish Government said splitting would give each person a £1,000 "bonus of independence".
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond both presented their financial cases to the people of Scotland at the same time in buildings on opposite sides of the road in Edinburgh.
Mr Salmond said his financial assessment found Scotland would be £5bn better off by 2029 if the country opted for independence in September's referendum.
He promised to put more money in the pockets of Scottish families without raising taxes from an "increase in productivity".
He said: "Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, more prosperous per head than the UK, France and Japan, but we need the powers of independence to ensure that that wealth properly benefits everyone in our society.
"That wealth means we will start life as an independent nation with strong finances and huge economic potential."
But Mr Alexander cautioned that Scotland would face higher interest payment on Government debt if it left the union and that start-up costs would be £1.5bn alone.
Presenting his financial case, Mr Alexander said: "Today we have shown that, by staying together, Scotland's future will be safer, with stronger finances and a more progressive society.
"Because as a United Kingdom we can pool resources and share risks it means a UK dividend of £1,400 a year for every man, woman and child in Scotland.
"That dividend is our share of a more prosperous future. It is the money that will pay for better public services and a fairer society."
Mr Alexander's delivery was dealt a blow after the academic behind the research claimed the Treasury had "badly misrepresented" it.
Patrick Dunleavy, a professor of politics at the London School of Economics (LSE), says that when Treasury officials used his research to calculate the start-up costs of independence, they overstated the figure by 12 times.
Officials had previously briefed that, partly based on the research of Professor Dunleavy, they estimated the start-up costs for an independent Scottish Government at £2.7bn - although this was not the figure used by Mr Alexander in his speech.
Professor Dunleavy wrote on Twitter: "UK Treasury press release on Scotland costs of government badly misrepresents LSE research.
"Appears to take minimum Whitehall reorganisation cost of £15m and multiply by 180 agencies to get £2.7bn. Overstates maybe 12 times?"