Job prospects

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Rachel Smith (Letters, 19 
August) writes from the heart about the fear of job losses following independence.

Some posts would certainly be lost, notably those of the MPs representing Scottish constituencies. On the other hand, there would be an increase in the civil service in Scotland with the transfer of functions from London.

In the commercial world it is hard to say what would be the effect of either a Yes or No vote as so many factors come into play. Lord Kilclooney (Letters, same day) highlights one: the 
prospective devolving of corporation tax.

Over many decades there has been a drift of Scottish businesses to England. Would an independent Scottish Government be able to stem this or the buying up of businesses by foreign firms? I do not know.

Some businesses, such as certain financial concerns, are footloose and will go to wherever the fiscal and regulatory regime is most favourable, be it London, Dublin, Frankfurt, Singapore or even Edinburgh.

Nor, unfortunately, does voting No guarantee anything.

Those ship yard jobs, for 
instance, depend on a host of factors – the state of the UK’s 
finances, the priorities and 
defence strategies of future 
governments in a changing world etc – which we can barely guess
at.

In short, while job prospects are always a concern, I cannot see how to weigh them up with 
regard to the referendum.

S Beck

Craigleith Drive

Edinburgh

So, Sir Tom Devine has decided to change his stance from No to Yes in the referendum debate (your report, 18 August).

He thinks Scotland’s manufacturing base can support numerous public sector jobs.

The flaw is that if the private sector does not produce profits there will be no public sector jobs.

It does not add up.

Alastair Paisley

Baberton Crescent

Juniper Green