Darling: Financial plans for independence don’t add up

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THE SNP’s plans for Scotland’s currency and tax post-independence are “falling apart”, pro-union campaign chief Alistair Darling said yesterday.

The former chancellor, now heading the Better Together campaign for Scotland to stay in the UK, gave a speech to business chiefs in Inverness.

It came after a former adviser to Alex Salmond, Professor John Kay, this week said keeping the pound might not give Scotland real economic freedom after independence and it should
 be ready to adopt its own currency.

Mr Darling also accused Yes Scotland of endorsing a “high tax” economy after suggestions that Scotland could follow the Scandinavian model of public services, insisting this contradicted finance secretary John Swinney’s desire to cut corporation tax.

“Having a different currency from our biggest market and nearest neighbours would have a terrible impact on our businesses,” Mr Darling said.

“John Swinney has promised to cut tax, while the person in charge of the Yes Campaign has called for taxes to be higher. It just doesn’t stack up.

“There is nothing more fundamental to the prosperity of our people, our businesses and our country than our currency and the tax regime. The Nationalists need to stop trying to mislead the public with their claims and come clean about the true cost of separation.”

But actress and leading independence campaigner Elaine C Smith, a member of Yes Scotland’s advisory board, defended the commitment to public services after independence.

She said: “If we don’t embrace the inequalities in our country and face up to the harsh realities of so many people’s lives, then we are not doing our job, either in the Yes campaign or as a