They have all announced plans to enable their relocation south of the Border, in the event of separation, to protect their business and shareholders interests.
As an example of one of these major Scottish public companies, Standard Life plc, in its statutory accounts for 2012, reported that “total tax contributions to tax authorities in the UK amounted to £631 million”.
In the event of separation and Standard Life following through on its option to relocate to England, where it is reported it transacts up to 90 per cent of its business, how would a separate Scotland replace this huge hole in its public finances?
I read George Kerevan’s article, “Brown’s plan a recipe for disaster” (Perspective, 12 March), with interest. While I agree with most of the content and his conclusion, I would take issue with George’s comments about corporation tax. If that tax were devolved to Scotland, the European Commission would mount a challenge based on state aid through the competition directorate.
The same argument applies to air passenger duty. This is one of the reasons, no doubt, why British Airways chief Willie Walsh recognises the airline would benefit from an independent Scotland, if that tax were abolished.
I am sure Gordon Brown already knows this. It is one of the reasons why corporation tax is a non-runner in his grand plan.
The “race to the bottom in tax rates” spells out why it is a competition law issue in EU terms that only a Yes vote removes.