Scottish independence: Salmond lays out job powers

Salmond has called on David Cameron to explain what employment powers Westminster will grant. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Salmond has called on David Cameron to explain what employment powers Westminster will grant. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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ALEX SALMOND will today set out the the job creating powers that could lead to full employment in Scotland after independence.

The First Minister says six key powers are guaranteed with a Yes vote - over areas like the business tax system and fiscal controls - and warned none of these can be assured without independence.

Better Together chief Alistair Darling had some uncomfortable moments in Monday night’s live TV debate when he struggled to set out job creating powers Holyrood would get after a No vote.

Mr Salmond was speaking as 200 business leader signed a letter setting out the opportunities of independence.

“As we approach September 18, people and business leaders are waking up to the opportunities of independence,” Mr Salmond said.

“With full control over economic powers we have the opportunity to tailor economic policy to our needs, which means a jobs policy that puts the interests of Scotland first.

“For politicians at Westminster, London and the South-East of England are seen as the economic powerhouse so it’s inevitable that they will focus jobs and investment there.”

A recent Scottish Government report suggested Scotland could achieve full employment after a Yes vote. This won’t mean everyone has a job, but would drive down the unemployment rate by a third to to about 5 per cent.

Mr Salmond called on Prime Minister David Cameron, who is in Scotland over the next two days, to explain what powers Westminster is guaranteeing to allow firms to boost employment and the economy.

Mr Salmond added: “If he fails to do so, the choice is clear – a Yes vote which guarantees the powers Scotland’s companies and entrepreneurs need to create jobs and opportunities for future generations of Scots, or a No vote which will deliver absolutely nothing.”

The key areas of control which independence would guarantee include control over corporation tax and Research and Development incentives.

Control over the country’s finances, Air Passenger Duty, as well as employment and trade polices would all give Scotland much needed control along with control over immigration policy.