Letter: Low tax might reap rewards for SNP

I was hardly surprised that new figures produced by the Scottish Centre for Social Research show a drop in support for independence (your report, 2 December).

However, what truly amused was the report that "the SNP took comfort from a finding that suggested that almost half (45 per cent) of those surveyed would favour independence, if it meant taxes were to go down by 500".

Maybe the Scottish Government should try dumping taxation altogether, or at the very least go for the creation of a low-tax economy, as suggested by Bill Jamieson (Comment, same day) which I know from personal experience has proven to be hugely successful in many other places, not least in Hong Kong, with its non-discriminatory low tax regime.

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If they could even see their way to also dumping such nonsenses as the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill and the obsession with trying to change weather patterns on land and sea, and fulfil 100 per cent of Scotland's energy needs by means of wind turbines, and other very costly bucket and bolt contraptions, that would be a bonus.

In fact, there is a whole host of other nonsensical options available, and if they dumped the lot, who knows, they could even have a landslide of support on their hands.

In the world of madness they have created since they came to power, it might be the only sane approach to secure survival of their species.

Neil McKinnon

Tulchan Garden

Glenalmond, Perth

Unfortunately, for all of us, I have to agree with Irvine Inglis (Letters, 2 December), that there is a "real likelihood of a Labour administration in Holyrood after May" - sadly, much due to the lack of scrutiny they are subjected to. His comments on their financial incompetence in office "UK-wide" are right and plain for all to see.

Heaven help Scotland when Labour gets its hands on the "borrowing powers" facilitated by the flawed Calman proposals.

Labour, of course, will ignore the objections to Calman from many distinguished economists and academicians as they ignored expert comment on the "minimum pricing for alcohol" debate. Debt accrued by their massively over-priced PPP/PFI projects should be warning enough.Bill Jamieson's "tongue in cheek" article on "tax haven Scotland" (Comment, 2 December) is timely and apposite - the chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management said he "could bring in some €33 billion of Luxembourg-based investment funds if Scotland had full fiscal autonomy".

Of course, the Unionist cabal led by Labour wants none of this; Scotland financially hamstrung, lack of policies, lack of imagination and a subservient attitude is all it can offer.

Who would believe it - Labour in coalition with the Tories? Forget the Liberal Democrats; they are finished and, apart from the shrill shrieks from their "leader" in Scotland, are totally below the radar.

Bill Mclean


Dunfermline, Fife

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While moves to devolve more powers to the Scottish Parliament through the Scotland Bill are to be welcomed, the financial powers are far too limited.

This tinkering around the edges will fail to boost economic recovery and support long-term sustainable economic growth. It will in fact lead to a budgetary reduction. From April 2016, Holyrood will set a Scottish income tax rate each year, applying equally to the basic, higher and additional rates. This would be accompanied by a reduction of some 35 per cent in the Scottish budget Treasury grant.

At the same time, the main UK rates of income tax will be reduced by 10p across the income tax bands.

Scottish ministers would then have the freedom to set a rate that was either below or above the rest of the UK. The bill suggest the new tax represents a "significant funding stream" with a 1p increase in the rate currently yielding 450 million - the equivalent of 1.7 per cent of the current Scottish budget.

These are more powers than the limited 3p adjustment to the basic rate voted on in the 1997 referendum.

Given the fact that the 3p adjustment necessitated a referendum question, it is only right and proper that the Scotland Bill proposals should be put to the Scottish electorate in a referendum.

Alex Orr

Leamington Terrace