September 17, 2014
From issues of currency and defense to trade and the monarchy – taxes could become a primary factor in determining the outcome of Scotland’s impending vote on whether to secede from the UK.
The slogan “No taxation without representation” popularized one of the major grievances for the British colonists who would eventually participate in a political upheaval now known as the American Revolution. On the eve of the Scottish independence referendum, voters on both sides of the debate could also act to leverage the matter of taxes when deciding the future of their country’s sovereignty.
The Better Together campaign, which aims to preserve the United Kingdom’s current makeup, argues that an independent Scotland could face up to a £6 billion budget deficit if a subsequent sharp tax increase is not enacted. Other no-vote supporters have alternatively proposed changes in Westminster legislation that could increase the Scottish Government’s control over income tax, capital gains tax and the air passenger duty (APD) – an excise duty charged to all passengers who fly out of UK airports.
The counterargument from Yes Scotland — the campaign in support of independence — is that the Scottish Government could actually increase tax revenue by simplifying the current tax code and closing loopholes. Dennis Canavan, chairman for Yes Scotland, has also subtly expressed interest in a system in which the wealthy pay higher tax rates than lower income taxpayers. A proposed 3% cut to corporate tax rates might also draw new companies to Scotland, along with more jobs. Yes-vote supporters also believe that cutting back their air passenger duty could encourage more travel, spurring local commerce and transforming large Scottish airports into major international hubs.
Whatever the outcome of tomorrow’s vote, it will certainly be fascinating to witness how divisive the issue of taxation could be in determining the future of the United Kingdom.
Source: Belfast Telegraph
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