Early vote not needed – STUC

UNION chiefs in Scotland have denied claims by UK ministers that the prospect of an independence referendum is causing uncertainty, saying they had come across no evidence that the forthcoming poll was deterring investment in the country.

The Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) said that, as a result, it did not believe it was necessary to hold a referendum as soon as possible, as is being urged by both the UK government and opposition parties.

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The comments come with First Minister Alex Salmond facing growing pressure to proceed with the referendum, having said he does not plan to hold it until the second half of this parliament.

A spokesman for the STUC said: “There are far more immediate problems that need to be looked at.”