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 1010.

    @994 Science Sceptic.
    Don't be fooled by the nonsense on here, most Scots do not hate the English, as most English don't hate Scots.

    Unfortunately there is a vocal minority on both sides who see this as a differentiator between our nations, rather than celebrate being part of the United Kingdom.

    I have friends (and relatives) in all 4 nations.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1009.


    None of these reports matter, the vote will go down sectarian lines;
    Majority of Protestants and immigrants will vote to stay in
    Majority of Catholics will vote for Independence

    What complete and utter DRIVEL.
    It's Scotland, that is having a referendum, not Northern Ireland. None of that sectartian tosh matters here.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1008.

    Faith Misplaced I agree with your idea about separation, but it was a labour govt who allowed the devolution which is leading our country to fragmentation, NOT Mr Cameron, but Tony Blair who described the Scottish parliament as akin to a parish council. The 'International' party allowed one of its failed politicians to mislead the Scots into a mess which will not go away.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1007.

    @959 Hobo
    Wasn't that due to the two idiot Scots that conned the country into electing them, then squandered a fortune causing our current misery?

    Bte - who actually asked for Union in the first place?

    What I want to know is how soon after the Yes vote can we expect droves of Scots to start claiming political asylum? And what odds BetFred'll give me on it happening?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1006.

    955.dan Doherty
    Currently the UK credit rating is actually AA+ . Scotland would take around 8% of the national debt, it would also take same percentage in the assets. Scotland would have 96-97% of the Oil fields, which will provide a healthy revenue and the billions of revenue from global sales in Whisky RBS is not the national bank of Scotland

  • rate this

    Comment number 1005.

    @940. Demad

    " Scotland will lose tens/hundreds of thousands of Civil service & MOD jobs"

    so scotland will not replace any jobs lost with their own departments that move back across the border, as you say?

    Should the Type26 order(not yet confirmed) be taken back to a rUK yard, The Scottish surface fleet would still require to be built so giving the yards enough work, even increasing it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1004.

    Well, it might and then again most probably it will not!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1003.

    How can anyone believe a single word Wee Eck and his sidekick have to say.
    Do we honestly believe that they are going to tell us the truth?
    Both will promise the people of Scotland anything, to achieve the separation and break up of the UK.
    Please do not be taken in by these con men.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1002.

    929.The original Pete
    Must be dark up there by now.

    It is. Nice to see a bit of humour

  • rate this

    Comment number 1001.

    #981 alex

    don't you mean guerrilla not gorilla unless you count northern monkeys . were you educated at a Scottish university by any chance ? .

  • rate this

    Comment number 1000.

    I don't think it matters which way the Scots vote in 2014, attitudes have hardened on both sides in Scotland & the wider UK. If it doesn't happen in 2014 it will just come up again in xx years until the oppressed Scots get their freedom.

    Better the whole UK goes its separate way so we don't have listen to the constant anti-English whining.

  • rate this

    Comment number 999.

    How many racist and childish comments will BBC allow on this subject? In both directions. As for those poor wee timorous fearties who are being scared by the no- camps' continuous negative campaign, grab your future in your hands and don't leave it to a lot of MP's who know they will be out of a job hopefully come next autumn, as will all those sycophants like John Reid in the lords

  • rate this

    Comment number 998.

    All this Scots vs English bickering is just stupid. My ancestors came from Fife, Cornwall and London. They fought in the wars together, they married and they all thought of themselves as British. Alas politicians have a different agenda, one that suits themselves, not the people they are supposed to represent.

  • rate this

    Comment number 997.

    Loaf of bread in Norway: £2.34 - UK: £1.30
    Pint of Beer: £7.00 - UK: £3.20
    Milk - 1 Pint £1.40 UK 4 Pints £1.30
    Ciggys: £9.00 UK £6.50
    Fuel: per litre £1.45 UK £1.30

    Nothing is cheap in Norway, they are taxed to the hilt!

  • rate this

    Comment number 996.

    In Independant Scotland we will all be millionaires, have free, completely enviromentally friendly energy, flying cars, talking animals and free ice cream everyday!!

    What are the SNP not going to claim independance will give Scotland?

  • rate this

    Comment number 995.

    I travel all over the UK for work. London is one of the most run down places. Where is this myth of the SE getting everything coming from?

    I've seen much more development going on in Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield etc.

    The national capital is always going to wield significant power, but its hardly streets of gold.

    HS2? It links the capital with the major northen cities.

  • rate this

    Comment number 994.

    Please can someone from Scotland enlighten me as to why you appear to dislike the English? What have we the English people done to make you feel like this?

  • Comment number 993.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 992.

    Think this forum should be closed now, the trolls seem to be taking over.
    Along with a great deal of 'You Scots...' / 'You English...' barbs/vitriolic/racist/plain nasty comments. There's no really constructive debating going on is there?

    Close the forum now before someone says something really offensive.

  • rate this

    Comment number 991.

    No you're wrong because the Oil & Gas from Scottish waters tax will come to Scottish Government. UK only give licences to drill by sale to other companies. The Oil & Gas Industry isn't owned by UK Government. Just the same as if English minerals are found in their area they're entitled to the tax revenues.


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