Friday, 13 May 2011

Should the Treasury release the tax figures for Scotland now?

If / when there is a referendum on independence (I'm not convinced that Salmond is actually serious about having one) one of the key debating points will be the income from taxation and general points on the economy. This will be vital in many ways to both sides of the argument - to the pro-independence supporters to prove that independence if viable, and to the pro-Union supporters to prove the opposite.

In my opinion, it's vital that these are released early by the Treasury, and they will have to both be and be seen to be independently verified (though since it's a UK function releasing the figures, there'll have to be some trust there and even I can see the problems with this.) The Treasury has always ducked the questions on the economy, but I'd like to see these facts issued now and regularly updated so that the debate over the next few months / years is properly informed and educated.

Incidentally, I had a conversation recently with someone who used to work closely with a well-known and prominent economist. This economist was prevented from going public because of his employment, but he was insistent that he could prove that Scotland could be viable as an independent country. Now, I'm not in favour of independence, and neither was the person I spoke to, but the economist concerned is sufficiently high in stature that you do start to question whether it might be possible. If the Treasury were to release the information now, it would at least give economists and academics time to review and consider their impact.

No comments:

Post a Comment

"Comments are free, facts are sacred." Unless, of course, you post something slanderous, libellous, bullying or in any way just plain nasty, in which case I will remove it.