Saturday, October 08, 2005

Tax powers for Scotland

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With its oil wealth, Scotland should be as rich as Switzerland.

However, the oil wealth has been stolen.

Iain Macwhirter, in The Sunday Herald 9 October 2005, writes:

http://www.sundayherald.com/52153

1. Scotland has lagged behind England for generations in terms of growth.

2. Scotland has been hammered by the over-centralisation of Britain and the concentration of economic activity in the southeast of England.

3. The latest European Cities Monitor report shows how Scottish cities are losing out to the rest of Europe in attracting investment.

4. There has been huge government investment – so called invisible public spending – in the southeast of England on everything from defence spending to the London Olympics

5. As a result of this historic imbalance, Scotland has shed population as educated and skilled workers move south after job opportunities.

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http://www.sundayherald.com/52153

Iain Macwhirter asks if the Tories are supporting tax powers for Scotland?

The Scottish Conservative leader, David McLetchie, seems to want to cut personal taxation and take control of stamp duty, excise duty and VAT to reduce the overall burden of taxation.

According to Macwhirter, 'all the big four Scottish parties have been converted in varying degrees to fiscal autonomy and a tax-cutting agenda...

'Many believe Scotland is now on a road that can only lead to a form of fiscal independence and a minimal state...

'The SNP has launched a tax commission to look at, among other things, the idea of a flat tax, abolishing higher rates of personal taxation...

'There is a very strong historic case for Scotland being allowed to use fiscal measures to counter this economic pull of the southeast of England even if this means gaining a competitive advantage over England in terms of investment.'





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