Pig in poke

Ken Currie (Letters, 9 June) claims to have read the devolution promises of the main Westminster parties. I find it strange that he hasn’t realised that what they’re offering is a “pig in a poke”.

Already we have started to see the promised devolution of Air Passenger Duty (APD) start to unravel. The proposal by the SNP to reduce the rate to boost tourism and the wider economy has already been met with concerns that it will damage Newcastle Airport.

You might rightly argue that this should be a consideration in a United Kingdom context but what it underlines is that promises of devolved tax-raising powers, however small, will always be considered in a UK context.

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I would suggest that this paralysis will be a feature of Scottish Government tax policy should we vote No.

The situation as regards the devolution of income tax is even more troubling. Public spending is higher in Scotland and English MPs have long despised this fact, particularly those in the poorer parts of England.

The devolution of income tax will be the perfect excuse for them to push for a levelling of the playing field. After all, if we can vary income tax why shouldn’t we pay higher levels of tax to pay for higher expenditure?

If I was an English MP I would be arguing this case. I would encourage Mr Currie and others to think very carefully about the promises of so-called additional powers being put forward by the main Westminster parties.

If they deliver on their promises, which isn’t certain given their track record, we won’t get more powers, we’ll just get higher taxes.

Andrew SR Gordon

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