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RNIB hosts a unique take on the Scottish independence referendum

This news post is almost 9 years old

Sightloss charity RNIB is to hold a Question Time-style debate on Scotland's future

It's been called a step in the dark, but what will it be to those Scots who have spent some or all of their lives in the dark?

That’s the question being asked by sightloss charity RNIB Scotland as it gets set to host a unique debate on the Scottish independence referendum.

In a Question Time-style discussion, the implications of independence for people who are blind or partially sighted will be explored.

For people with sight loss, the implications of an independent Scotland are profound and far-reaching, touching on the services that they depend on much more than most Scots

RNIB’s Insight Radio will record a debate in the National Gallery in Edinburgh on Wednesday 25 June, attended by a cross-section of its listeners and members, which will be broadcast on Tuesday 1 July.

The speaker forthe yes campaign will be actress, comedian and broadcaster Elaine C Smith and Better Together will be represented by Stirling MP and former disabilities minister Anne McGuire.

Chairing the debate will be Insight Radio presenter Allan Russell, who is himself blind.

Dr Nicola McEwen, senior lecturer in politics at Edinburgh University, will provide impartial background detail to the debate.

An RNIB spokesman said: “For people with sightloss, the implications of an independent Scotland are profound and far-reaching, touching on the services that they depend on much more than most Scots.

“Services such as health, social services, welfare, transport, and those provided by the 800 cross-border charities, for instance.

“What, indeed, would the position of a UK charity such as RNIB be in an independent Scotland – could it continue as it does?

“The number of Scots affected is not insignificant. 35,000 people are formally registered as blind and partially sighted in Scotland, but around 180,000 have significant sight loss – and the numbers are increasing.”



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Tiiu-Imbi Miller
almost 9 years ago
I work for a small Scottish registered charity dependent on donations from both sides of the border. What would happen to us if Scotland were to become independent is very worrying. I assume we would not get gift aid from a foreign country, That gift aid helps a lot, and the situation would likely be even worse, as people who like charities to claim gift aid instead of their money going to the government might not donate to us at all. Or do we split a tiny charity? If we did, would the supremely generous friends and family I have down South be as willing to donate to a split entity managed by people they don't know? And what would a split involve in extra admin? I'd appreciate some constructive comment on this from all these readers who have been voting for independence.