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Independence can unlock ‘vast potential’ - Salmond

Alex Salmond has said independence will unlock Scotland's 'vast potential'. Picture: Getty

Alex Salmond has said independence will unlock Scotland's 'vast potential'. Picture: Getty

  • by SCOTT MACNAB
 

ALEX Salmond today said independence will unlock Scotland’s “vast potential” and shift the economic focus away from London and South-east of England.

Speaking the morning after his TV clash with Better Together leader Alistair Darling, the First Minister set out his vision for economic transformation at a conference of business chiefs in Edinburgh.

The SNP leader endured some awkward moments in his much anticipated head-to-head TV clash, particularly on the issue of currency, with snap polls after the event surprisingly showing the former Chancellor came out on top.

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Mr Salmond was addressing a conference of the pro-independence Business for Scotland organisation today in Edinburgh and welcomed a new report setting out how the powers of independence can be used to maximise job creation and business potential.

Mr Salmond said: “Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. We produce more output, per head, than France, Japan and the UK.

“But for far too many people in Scotland it doesn’t feel that way. Today’s event is a great opportunity to demonstrate that independence is the key to unlocking Scotland’s vast potential so that the great wealth of Scotland can be used to benefit many more people here.

“For Westminster, London and the South-East of England are seen as the most important economic areas so investment and other job-creating measures are inevitably targeted there.

“Independence is not a magic wand but a golden opportunity to tailor economic policy to match our needs here in Scotland and meet the challenges we will face.”

An independent Scotland would gain control of business taxation, with a 3 pence cut in corporation tax to attract big firms so that companies have an incentive to set-up and expand in Scotland.

The extra tax revenues would also give Scotland control of Scotland’s tax revenues to help fund a transformation in childcare and get a generation of mothers back into work.

A 50 per cent increase in exports could lead to an extra 100,000 jobs in the long-term.

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