Calman penalties

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Sam Ghibaldan (Perspective, 21 June) misses the key point regarding the second question in the 1998 Devolution Act. The referendum question could have asked if we wanted Labour’s policy of power to vary income tax by 3 per cent, but it did not. It asked if we wanted power to vary taxation, and nearly two thirds of votes were Yes.

To the many in political and social circles who supported the Claim of Right (that sovereignty rests with the Scottish people) this means that we already have the right to vary any and all taxes. If it does not mean that then the difference between what was offered and what was delivered was the biggest example of mis-sellng in our lifetimes.

If there is a No vote the Westminster establishment will apply the Calman changes, plus further changes to income tax “powers” then load us with further services to pay for, and say “Use your tax powers”.

Scotland can and should take responsibility for all its expenditure, but can only do so with the ability to set, collect and allocate all types of taxation, that comes with independence.

John Smart

Kinneddar Street

Lossiemouth, Morayshire

NEWs that the Scottish Government has only just advertised for accountants to work out the start-up costs for an independent Scotland, and that the people of Scotland will not get sight of these costs before the referendum is another own goal from Alex Salmond’s campaign to break up the UK.

The SNP does not live in the real world. Very few people would buy an item of clothing without knowing the price beforehand yet Mr Salmond thinks we should break up over 300 years of history without knowing how much it will cost.

Even more worryingly the SNP has been in government now for seven years and only thinks it necessary to calculate these costs less than three months before we go to the polls. For a party which has campaigned all along for the break up of the UK this is quite ­incredible.

This only adds to the long list of uncertainty, over the currency, European Union membership and euro.

We cannot make the biggest political decision of our lives based on so much uncertainty.

James Todd

Turners Avenue, Paisley

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