Letter: Fiscal labour

The spat between the CBI's Iain McMillan and Ben Thomson of Reform Scotland has indeed provided amusing festive reading (Letters, 31 December).

What is astounding, however, is Mr McMillan's recent comment that "there is no proven positive correlation between the extent of a country's or sub-state's fiscal powers and its degree of economic success".

This is an astounding statement to make and is economically illiterate, proving to be especially worrying as it comes from the leader of a business organisation. There can be few with a background in even basic economics who would give this view any credence. By contrast, the argument in favour of fiscal independence is supported by Scotland's top businessmen such as Jim McColl, Dan Macdonald and Martin Gilbert, as well as leading economists such as Professors Andrew Hughes Hallett and Drew Scott.

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In fact, CBI Scotland's own manifesto for the 2011 Scottish Parliamentary elections calls for no tax variations which would make Scotland less competitive than the rest of the UK.

By Mr McMillan's logic the fact that different countries operate different fiscal regimes is of no significance and has no impact on their economic success, an incredible stance to take.

Alex Orr

Leamington Terrace