Taxing decision

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WHEN a supporter of Better ­Together says an independent Scotland would have higher taxes or would not have the pound the claims are dismissed as “negativity” or “scaremongering” or “bullying” or similar. Can such claims be so easily dismissed when they are made by academics?

Professor Michael Keating told Holyrood’s economy committee (your report, 8 May) that if an independent Scotland wished to adopt the much trumpeted Nordic model then: “Taxes would be higher, there’s no doubt about it”. The white paper, he states, simply does not “face up” to that fact.

On the same day Professor John Kay, former economic adviser to Alex Salmond, informed the finance committee (your report, 8 May) that an “almost intractable problem” would cause negotiations on the pound to fail.

The problem has been pointed out by Jim Fairlie, former SNP deputy leader. Scotland would be “giving away most of the economic levers it hoped to gain by independence”. And, as Prof Kay says, the reality is that, “Scotland would not be willing to concede control over the banking system and fiscal policy”.

It is time for the SNP to come clean. The “Nordic model” with increased social investment but with increased taxes or the status quo? The euro or a new currency? Voters concerned about risk and uncertainty deserve honest answers to the critical analyses of respected academics which are simply realistic and not negative. 

Colin Hamilton

Braid Hills Avenue

Edinburgh