Taxing issues

Alf Young (Perspective, 1 June) highlights the pitfalls of an independent Scotland trying to undercut the putative rest of the UK’s corporation tax rate.

Many economists question the efficacy of competing for incoming enterprises in this way, while there is every chance that other countries will undercut us before we even get going. My my, they already do – Ireland at 12.5 per cent with loopholes adding to Apple’s (and other global companies) tax avoidance. European tax loopholes and secrecy are well established in Luxembourg and the Netherlands, while the UK has its own tax havens: Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, the Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, Bermuda. We just could not compete, particularly as international efforts are being made to get companies to pay more where they do business.

Any guesses as to the increases in the number of jobs that could be linked to slashing taxes are just that. Let’s concentrate instead on beefing up our workforce’s skills, reinforcing the good start made with modern apprenticeships and boosting scientific and technical education, with obvious long-term benefits. Taxes are needed to do this.

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Joe Darby


Dingwall, Ross-shire