Independence tax

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Mr ORR (Letters, 15 November) suggests that companies from south of the Border and all over will be panting to come to Scotland when our corporation tax is slashed to an Irish or Luxembourgeois low rate.

But why should they when they can just as well carry on as some already are in relocating to or setting up new head offices in Luxembourg or Ireland?

We can surely only win in this game if our corporation tax as part of being “business friendly” is even lower – and this race to the bottom could lead to a no-corporation-tax-at-all business-friendly environment.

We would benefit just from employees’ wages, associated income tax and national insurance and VAT from wages being spent. A grim prospect!

There are other tax-avoidance havens also already available, such as Jersey and the Isle of Man, so we would not be so special.

Granted, the 90 per cent left of the UK would not welcome the considerable revenue loss if it too joined in wholeheartedly in such tax-slashing, which seems to be implicit in the letter, but a whole raft of other countries are currently looking askance at these low-tax havens, and there could well be an international backlash aimed at blocking such antisocial activities.

It is of note that currently some of the UK’s prized 
inward-investing companies such as Amazon (lauded by Mr 
Salmond) and Starbucks pay 
virtually no tax on large earnings anyway, so loopholes in whatever we did could well make the low-tax concept useless 
anyway – neither companies nor individuals will pay tax ever if they can avoid it.

Joe Darby


Dingwall Ross-shire