Taxing issues

The fact that so many column inches are being occupied by "Calman-plus" is, in itself, an indictment of the original tax proposal made in the Calman Report a year ago (your report, 2 June).

We would take responsibility for one-half of the standard rate of income tax, ie, 10p. The proceeds of that, estimated at 4.15 billion, would be recovered from the block grant. We could vary the tax, up or down. A tax rise needs no explanation. But if we reduced tax (in order to stimulate the economy) by, say, 1p, the "cost" would be 415m, but consequential additional VAT, as sales rose, would be shipped off to the UK Exchequer, along with the rest of our UK-determined tax proceeds.

I am pessimistic that Calman-plus would be a solution. The whole exercise seems geared to impressing the English that we "raise more of our taxes here"; but we do raise our taxes here already, but do not set the rates. What is required is full fiscal autonomy. That would provide access to the range of taxes necessary to manipulate the levers required to influence our economy.

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However, our funding is about to be drastically reduced. Therefore, The cuts present a unique opportunity to introduce fiscal autonomy, and so allow us to determine an optimum level of public spending, as well as to have control over our economy.


Thomson Crescent

Currie, Midlothian

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