Independence 'could spark jobs boom'


John Swinney says the new Scotland Act powers will not be "nearly enough"

The Scottish government has suggested that cutting corporation tax in an independent Scotland would lead to a "jobs boom".

The statement was made at an event to launch a 200-page document setting out the economic policy choices available if voters said "yes" to independence.

The SNP-run government believes Scots will be better off if they back change in next year's referendum.

However, opponents have insisted a go-alone Scotland would struggle to cope.

Former chancellor and leader of the pro-Union Better Together campaign, Alistair Darling, said that in an independent Scotland the burden of the growing elderly would "fall on a population of five million, instead of 60 million [as part of the UK]".

Start Quote

To be clear, today was not a draft manifesto for the SNP - nor even a final list of Scottish government priorities. It was a menu, a declaration of what might be possible under independence, whoever might be in power. ”

End Quote

The independence referendum takes place on 18 September 2014, with voters in Scotland being asked the yes/no question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond and Finance Secretary John Swinney launched the government's economics report in Dundee.

It is the last of a series of documents ahead of next week's publication of the Scottish government's White Paper on independence.

It has set out the entire range of economic powers which would be available under independence - along with the argument that sensitive, sensible use of those powers would produce policies better tailored to Scotland's needs.

Mr Salmond said: "Scotland can more than afford to be a successful independent country, with a thriving economy and opportunities for everyone. We have vast natural resources and huge human talent - but those advantages have been stifled by having our economic policy run by Westminster.

Where might the jobs come from?

  • Increasing Scotland's productivity performance by 1% could boost employment by about 21,000 over the long-term.
  • Increasing Scotland's economic activity rate of one percentage point would be equivalent to an extra 30,000 plus people in the labour market.
  • Reducing corporation tax, and changing the tax system in general, could create approximately 27,000 jobs.
  • An increase in Scottish exports by 50% could create more than 100,000 jobs in the long-term.

Source: Scottish government

"The one-size-fits-all economic policies of successive Westminster governments have failed and are continuing to fail the people of Scotland. We perform well at the moment but we should be doing so much better.

"A simple glance at many other European countries of similar size to Scotland, some without the natural advantages Scotland has, shows that we have lagged behind their growth rates for decades.

"Independence will give us the chance to build an economy that takes advantage of Scotland's unique strengths and size to deliver a more outward focussed, fairer and resilient economy, boosting revenues and creating many thousands of more jobs."

Mr Salmond said the paper set out key policy areas post-independence, including;

  • Establishing an industrial strategy which rebalances the economy and diversifies Scotland's industrial base - promoting manufacturing, innovation and boosting productivity. (The SNP believes that increasing Scotland's productivity performance by 1% has the potential to boost employment by about 21,000 over the long-term).
  • Promoting participation in the labour market by delivering more efficient employability, welfare and skills programmes and transforming child care. (The SNP says an increase in Scotland's economic activity rate of one percentage point would be equivalent to an extra 30,000 plus people in the labour market).
  • Targeting measures to reduce outflow of labour and attract skilled workers to enhance Scotland's population growth. The Scottish government says this would build on the current projections of 9% growth over the 25 year period of 2012 to 2037.
  • Using tax incentives to support growth in key sectors, such as tourism and the creative industries, and target areas such as reforming Air Passenger Duty.
  • Using targeted tax measures, such as a reduction in corporation tax, to counterbalance the pull of London and the South East of England. The Scottish government says the initiative could create approximately 27,000 jobs.
  • And boosting the internationalisation and brand recognition of the Scottish economy. The Scottish government says a 50% increase in the value of Scottish exports could boost output by about £5bn and create more than 100,000 jobs in the long-term.

The latest paper from the Scottish government comes a day after a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) which suggested that an independent Scotland would face big challenges ahead.

The IFS forecast assumes a decline in North Sea oil revenues and a population ageing more rapidly than in the rest of the United Kingdom.

It warned an independent Scotland would need to cut spending or increase taxes for its finances to be sustainable in the long term.

It said Scotland would face a "fiscal gap" of 1.9% of national income, compared to 0.8% for the UK.

Better Together's Mr Darling said: "Yesterday the independent and impartial Institute of Fiscal Studies reminded the people of Scotland what John Swinney has been privately telling his cabinet colleagues for months.

When, Who, What?

  • The Scottish independence referendum takes place on Thursday 18 September, 2014
  • Only voters in Scotland are eligible to take part in the poll
  • They will be asked the straight "yes/no" question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?

"If we were to leave the UK we would face the prospect of big tax rises, damaging cuts to public services - or a combination of the two.

"Today, the Nationalists have chosen to ignore reality and to offer up a type of fantasy economics that beggars belief.

"Instead of admitting the obvious challenges caused by the rise in the number of elderly people, the fall in the number of people of working age and the eventual decline in North Sea oil, the Nationalists have reverted to type.

"Their response is to deny that there are any problems and to say, yet again, that the experts are wrong."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 90.

    Good... I say as a Londoner that we as well need to be independent, no longer paying our hard earned tax towards Scotland or England or Wales, LONDON 4 LONDONERS.

  • rate this

    Comment number 89.

    Scotland and the Scottish have played a huge part of putting the Great in Great Britain, which itself punches far above it's weight in terms of population in no small part due to having the Scottish on board.

    This is a power grab by the politicians in the SNP. All Hail King Salmond!!

    Scotland will also never be allowed to join the EU as an independent country as Spain/France would veto it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    Well there's a surprise. A report commissioned by a pro-independence group supports independence. Whatever next!

    And yesterdays negative IFS report was sponsored by the UK Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.

    None of these reports are independent and are therefore worthless.

    He who pays the piper calls the tune.

  • rate this

    Comment number 87.


    Examples include:
    Trying to involve you in another pointless war
    Looking on the sidelines as the big money is spent in England (pointless new railway)

    Oh that war that was orchestrated with George Bush by a SCOTTISH PM??? That war you mean. Its never Scotland's fault is it?? its always someone elses (im Not English btw)

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.


    This independence debate is turning Scot against Scot.
    We are treated like idiots & traitors

  • rate this

    Comment number 85.

    The only thing independence will transform will be the egos of the SNP.

    Untill that is the house of cards collapses and the Scottish people realise they have been sold a kipper.

  • rate this

    Comment number 84.

    @58 I'm afraid there will be more attempts as it is Eck's vanity project, apparently everything will be wonderful and rosey we will build warships for England whilst removing the subs from Faslane, not be at the mercy of Grangemouth as a stand alone nation, and improve everyone's pension.
    He's got my vote already..only joking, I'm not for closing the door as it's a door of no return when it fails.

  • rate this

    Comment number 83.

    Odd isn't it.

    Independence is better for Scotland but European slavery is better for the rest of us.

    Still, at least they get a referendum.
    We were promised one by Brown and Cameron.
    BOTH ratted on the promise as soon as the votes were counted.

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    BBC Scotland is anti Scottish

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    England has the same problem as Scotland it's just uneducated voters. who fool for the lies every election voting the same people in.. I hope by 2015 they learn an vote for someone new.

  • rate this

    Comment number 80.

    Just when you think they would benefit from throwing off the West Minsters snake oil salesmen, they just start emulating them.

    This isn't a debate, it's just flat contradiction.
    No it isn't.
    Yes it is.
    No it isn't.
    Yes it is.
    No it isn't.
    Yes it is.
    No it isn't.
    Yes it is.
    No it isn't.
    Yes it is.
    No it isn't.
    Yes it is.
    No it isn't.
    Yes it is.
    No it isn't.
    Yes it is.
    No it isn't.
    Yes it is.

  • Comment number 79.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    I am yet to hear good reasons for Scotland to remain part of the UK.

    Scotland is better off without the UK or
    The rest of the UK is better off without Scotland or
    Scotland and the UK are just as well off independently (but you still gain independent political/social choices for both)

    All of those scenarios are a Yes for me, as neither country should be forced to subsidise the other.

  • rate this

    Comment number 77.


    Braveheart was pish

    I'm Scottish and I'm saying it was pish. Historically inaccurate. U591 was more histroically accurate than Braveheart, and that's saying something

  • rate this

    Comment number 76.

    I never thought i'd say this but I am beginning to have sympathy with the Scots over their referendum.

    It seem to me that both sides are massaging figures so much, that you could almost say they are both lying through their teeth!

    All I would say is that a yes vote is for an awful long time as there will be no going back, so who do you distrust least?

  • rate this

    Comment number 75.

    Its Ironic that Scots talk about how high the UK debt is yet it was caused by 2 terms of labour government in which the leaders were SCOTS (TONY BLAIR AND GORDON BROWN). Maybe Scots should realise who the major contributors are to thier free uni fees and free prescriptions are.

  • rate this

    Comment number 74.

    We didn't ask for this vote, it was decided for us, and its not going to get through so the quicker the vote comes and goes the better

  • rate this

    Comment number 73.

    Scotland appears to want to pick and chose the best bits when it comes to Independence - It want's to have it's deep fried Mars Bar and eat it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 72.

    49.Sally the Rothbardian
    I wonder if Scotland will look back to their recent history, where they had gold backed currency, free market banking, a far smaller government, and were enjoying the industrial revolution.
    And when was this era? Just before the unification in th 18th century? Prior to then, the Scots were abused by feudal overlords from England. Do you mean then?

  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    I just love the pro-independence comments on here. As an Englishman I quite liked Scots until this debate showed me how unpleasant they can be. Now I just want them to get independence - but let it be true independence, and don't come looking for help in 10 years when your economy's bust. Passports, border controls - bring it all on.


Page 47 of 51


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