Newsnet Main Articles

By a Newsnet reporter
 
Calls for even more powers for the Scottish Parliament were amplified today after Sir Tom Hunter became the third leading figure from the business sector to claim Scotland needed more fiscal levers.
 
The leading entrepreneur was speaking at the Business in Parliament event this morning, when he said "We in Scotland need fiscal responsibility.  Quite simply, we need to be responsible for what we raise in tax and what we spend in tax.

"I don't know if we need independence yet.  I'm still waiting to hear both sides of the argument.  Hopefully, we won't have to wait too long.  But I do know that we need to have that debate."

Sir Tom has joined namesake Sir Tom Farmer who recently spoke out in favour of fiscal autonomy for Scotland and Clyde Blowers Billionaire Jim McColl who also called for more economic powers to be devolved to Holyrood.

Both men have suggested that if Devo-Max is not an option on the ballot paper they may opt for full independence instead.

The calls will put further pressure on the anti-independence parties to explain what they will be campaigning for in the 2014 referendum. 

All three Unionist parties – Labour, Conservative and Lib Dems - have signalled support for more powers for Scotland if Scots vote No in the independence referendum, but as yet neither has defined exactly what new powers they will devolve.
 
Sir Tom also vindicated the SNP Government’s campaign for an immediate release of capital funding to support shovel-ready projects, emphasising the huge importance that capital investment plays in economy recovery:
 
"We have never emerged from a recession that has not been construction-led.  We need to drive stimulus into our economy – not squeeze it out of it", he said.
 
Speaking after Sir Tom’s speech, SNP MSP Chic Brodie, a member of the Scottish Parliament’s Economy Committee, commented:
 
"This is yet another of Scotland’s leading businessmen making quite clear that the status quo is holding Scotland back.
 
"Only last week both Tom Farmer and Jim McColl made similar comments based on their own significant personal experience, and even suggested they may vote for independence if there was no devo-max option on the referendum ballot paper.
 
"The full fiscal levers of any normal nation would allow us to target support for our key growth industries and maximise the potential of Scotland’s vast natural and human resources.
 
"Like many Scots, Sir Tom Hunter is looking forward to a real debate on the benefits of independence.  If the anti-independence parties continue to offer nothing other than outright opposition to independence, their message is going to continue to be a very bleak and negative one which will not inspire support."

Comments  

 
# clootie 2012-06-08 19:57
I have seen the Westminster tactics over too many years.

I for one will never buy the "Jam tomorrow" pitch.

Simple research on the internet will provide all the evidence you need that when Scots have taken their foot off the pedal they have been punished.

Yes - I am biased!. That is why I suggest you do your own homework if you read this page.

Labour and Tory have colluded over the years to give a false picture of the true status of Scotland's wealth.
As for the LibDems - Recent history should suffice!

Vote YES in 2014
 
 
# RaboRuglen 2012-06-08 20:56
Hi clootie,

You write :- "Simple research on the internet will provide all the evidence you need that when Scots have taken their foot off the pedal they have been punished."

How right you are. After Culloden the rebellious Highlands were punished. If Scotland votes no, the whole country will be punished for our "attempted insurrection", to deter us from ever trying to regain our Independence again.

God help us.

Vote yes.

Regards,
 
 
# RaboRuglen 2012-06-09 21:29
Hi there,

I also note that in their interactive TV news facility, the BBC in their never-ending pursuit for balance quoted Sir Tom's statement "I don't know if we need Independence yet" but forgot to mention that he had indicated that in the absence of a devo-max option giving full fiscal autonomy on the ballot paper, he would prefer to vote for Independence.

Nice one BBC, erroneously giving the impression that Sir Tom is completely anti-Independence, when it seems he is not.

And we have to pay for that service!

Vote yes.

Regards,
 
 
# Leswil 2012-06-08 20:35
Tom says the right things, exception being the best way to get the powers as we will never get them from Westminster.
Oh only one option I guess!
 
 
# Cattanach69 2012-06-08 20:52
I suspect he is a wicked evil Nationalist! He puts up a persuasive argument for more powers but he obviously knows nothing about the fact that we are stronger, more brilliant being in the kowtow position to our superiors in London who always know what is best when it comes to the economy.

I hear the sound of Brit Unionist boaking as they will no doubt tell us that Tom Hunter hasn't a clue about the economy and making money!

Hunter, Farmer and McColl will now become targets on the Brit Unionist Smear Machine! Mark my words on that!
 
 
# border reiver 2012-06-08 21:04
Two words sums up the unionist economic lie, they still never utter the words
"McCrone Report"
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-06-09 10:38
For newbies.McCrone Report in brief from 'The Independent' newspaper.
independent.co.uk/.../...
and at length:---
www.oilofscotland.org/.../

One quote:---
"This paper has shown that the advent of North Sea oil has completely overturned the traditional economic arguments used against Scottish nationalism. An independent Scotland could now expect to have massive surpluses both on its budget and on its balance of payments and with the proper husbanding of resources this situation could last for a very long time into the future."

Oh dear me---Labour and Tory----I don't trust them on Scotland.
Not one bit.
They buried it deep in Whitehall.
 
 
# ButeHouse 2012-06-09 16:59
But don't forget D W one minute your Oil could be $140 a barrel the next only $100 so ye cannae count on it, which is a bit like saying to Colin and Chris Weir the trouble wi yer lottery win is it well might be £161million now but wi inflation n that it could come doon tae £130million so ye cannae really rely on it kin ye?

Mind you it was only $10 a barrel in 1975 when it first came ashore and London has practically re-built itself with the profits not to mention fought several illegal wars and much more.

For us undeserving Scots to get a wee shot of our own money:

VOTE YES in 2014
 
 
# J Wil 2012-06-08 21:14
The unionists are not to be trusted on the 'more powers' promise.

Even if they substantiated them fully tomorrow they are still not to be trusted to implement them. They will find some excuse not to, kicking the ball into touch for another extended period.
 
 
# Mark 2012-06-08 22:05
The unionist Parties told us if we wanted independence then we should vote for the SNP.
We have Voted for the SNP in a very big way but, now they are opposing independence.
How can we trust any promises they make?
There is one thing for sure, they will punish us if we do vote "No".
Vote YES in 2014
 
 
# xyz 2012-06-08 22:13
Don't fall for it:
dailymail.co.uk/.../...

"Cameron will hand Scots control of 70 per cent of all income tax it raises as a 'reward' if they reject independence"



Sources from article:
"according to reports in The Spectator magazine"
"A senior Government source told the Mail"

It's all bull . .. just another excuse to call us subsidy junkie:
"Scots have £1,000 more spent on them per head by the Government than English residents"
 
 
# xyz 2012-06-08 22:23
Tory promises are worth as much a Labour promises .. zilch ..
Imagine we voted no .. The Tories then promise more control ..then they get kicked out of UK government in 2015 . in comes Labour .. and we're back to square one. It was all a scam.
 
 
# D_A_N 2012-06-08 22:25
This is brilliant news. Nobody will fall for this.. It will just confused the issue more for staying in the union. It's perfect really.. All this confusion the unionists are trying to create about independence, it is actually the status-quo that's getting confusing and people will wonder why they are being offered 70% and not 100%.

People will also wonder if these unionist politicians really believe in the UK and how fair it is why they must change it to sell it to us..

This will play a massive part in ending the union imo.
 
 
# Old Smokey 2012-06-08 23:43
And we will get 100% of all income taxes raised, PLUS all Oil revenues, excise and taxes raised as a reward for full independence! No brainer really
 
 
# Macart 2012-06-09 05:40
If and I do mean if this story is true then that's the second time Cameron's blinked this week. Along with the new energy deal with Norway its adding up to a very nervous government.

Firstly securing a new source of fuel and energy and secondly a jam tomorrow promise. The fact that it appears to be a second hand story supposedly leaked from a 'government source' suggests the tired old tactic of floating an idea (easily disowned) to see how it flies with public opinion.

True or not we'll take the 100% thanks.
 
 
# Independista 2012-06-09 16:14
Every time I see a story like this in the MSM, I always give my short reply.
Vote NO. Get nowt!
 
 
# Callan 2012-06-09 09:15
Agreed. The tories are very clever when it comes to misdirection. Remember the chancellor's big budget-bloodbath? To be fair it still ended up a messy budget but he made it look worse, hoping we would all think it wasn't that bad after all when the real budget was delivered. I must say I am too young (22) to remember the last tory governmeny but I can see now why they are despised by so many here in Scotland after such a short time in power. Maybe someone could enlighten me as to who was worse Thatcher or Cameron? I suppose only time will tell. I agree with the general sentiment here though, if we want more powers we need to vote yes to independence. Otherwise we may aswell just be saying to Westminster that we are happy with the rancid union we have now.
 
 
# Barontorc 2012-06-09 10:13
Thatcher wrecked the UK.

I will happily tell you that Thatcher was a pro-active wrecker of society in the UK with Scotland suffering more than elsewhere.

The re-constitution of industry, welfare, international relations, politics, media, broadcasting, public utilities, banking with an over-reliance on financial black-arts, jingoistic sabre-rattling and power-playing was all driven by a shameless London-centric dogma.

As for Cameron and his Bullingon cronies, they are a pathetic crew of reactive nonentities, promoted way above their capabilities and taking us all into a deepening mire.

Thatcher is notable for the wrecking policies she implanted, like ticking demolition charges on SS UK, whereas, Cameron will be noted for little else than being on watch, as SS UK imploded and was scuttled.
 
 
# Angry_Weegie 2012-06-08 22:37
More powers if we vote no? You've got to be joking.

There is no doubt that Scotland will suffer if the vote in 2014 is no. Westminster will make as sure as they can that this will never happen again.
 
 
# Morag Lennie 2012-06-09 00:12
we will never have full fiscal levers, while thirled to Sterling.Our interest rates, deposits at the Bank of England, and so much more will be dictated by the Monetary Policy Committee of a foreign un- regulated bank, with close ties to any Westminster Govt., which will more than likely formulate its Monetary policies to suit the economy of the South East of England, and the City of London, financial institutions, and money markets. Thus our fiscal policy can be undermined at any time. A.Salmond says we will have a representative on that committee. First of all, A representative, there are nine committee members, and secondly who says so? This is pure conjecture, unless he knows something he's not telling us. Independence? Not by my definition.
 
 
# xyz 2012-06-09 00:31
Sterling is a reasonable transition currency. In due course we can create our own currency.

Without Scotland Sterling may not be stable so that must give us influence on things like interest rates and printing money. Other than being lender of last resort that's all the BOE does.
 
 
# D_A_N 2012-06-09 00:43
This is unionist drivel. It's like the argument "you'll still have the queen, how is that independence?".

It's about making decisions.. Do you think all the members of the EU would be happy if you told them they are not fully independent?

Yes, there will be disadvantages of using the pound.. But I'm sure after 10 years or so we can make a Scottish pound and besides it's already run in England, so how will it change anything? Simple..

This line that I've heard many say is not the reason they'll vote no.. It's just people holding on to some scrap of an argument they think they have left.
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-06-09 09:11
Unless the UK wants to suddenly start buying the bulk of its oil and gas (and increasingly electricity) from somewhere else, it would be wise to keep an independent Scotland on board with respect to monetary policy.
 
 
# The Tree of Liberty 2012-06-09 10:43
SS, True, but there's another thing that they will need in future....water.
 
 
# Exile 2012-06-09 09:31
Fiscal policy is a different matter from monetary policy. The BoE has always set interest rates to suit the City of London, but that has no implications for fiscal policy in an Independent Scotland. If at some point the Scottish Government decide we'd be better off with different interest rates, we can then disengage from the BoE. It's not a difficult concept to grasp, so why do certain people keep conflating monetary and fiscal policy?
 
 
# Macart 2012-06-09 00:25
Welcome comment from Sir Tom, undecided, but certainly in favour of Holyrood control of the purse strings.

I'm with clootie on this, we don't let up, we don't give an inch, we keep pounding away at all the myths. As relentless as the MSM are at peddling the same tired old lines, we must be equally tireless in challenging them.

Westminster and Westminster party politics cannot ever be trusted.

Vote YES in 2014.
 
 
# rob4i 2012-06-09 05:59
The minute Scotland votes NO we will immediately have taken a retrograde step into the abyss and become the laughing stock of the world!

It can only be a 'YES' vote!!
 
 
# UpSpake 2012-06-09 07:01
It's a veiled call for independence. Scotland cannot operate as a country till the money supply and interest rates are controlled from here.
Every other option is London Control, plain and simple.
Anyone calling for greater fiscal control is really calling for INDEPENDENCE or they are being disingenuous.
 
 
# Seagetagrip 2012-06-09 07:35
Just heard Lamont on Newsweek Scotland, being shot down in flames over her ill informed questions re the role of Sterling and the Bank of England in an Independent Scotland. The finance expert (sorry his name escaped me) foresaw no real difficulties.
 
 
# xyz 2012-06-09 08:55
Is it possible to 'listen again' on this show?
 
 
# Holebender 2012-06-09 09:29
 
 
# xyz 2012-06-09 09:32
Thanks,
 
 
# uilleam_beag 2012-06-09 14:44
Thanks, fowk. That was a great interview -- Prof Drew Scott is wonderful. He speaks with such clarity and lucidity, he really makes sense of what are fairly complex issues. It cuts right through the complete guff the unionists have been bandying about recently.
 
 
# Dances With Haggis 1320 2012-06-09 12:06
Seagetagrip "The finance expert (sorry his name escaped me)"

Its Prof Drew Scott of the Europa Institue at Edinburgh University
 
 
# Seagetagrip 2012-06-09 09:20
Thik it is available on Ipod shortly.
 
 
# Aplinal 2012-06-09 09:24
OT but this is a must read. Article by Rev Stu over on wingsoverscotla nd. Summarises everything that is wrong with the present cosy three "party" Westminster politics that we can dump, once and for all after 2014.

If the link doesn't work (I am a computer numpty) the title of the piece is "The wrong lizards".

wingsland.podgamer.com/.../
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-06-09 11:07
Very interesting read on the futility of the cosy Westminster three party system.Above link.
Short quote:----
"When Johann Lamont says that all of these things can be achieved within the UK, the simple truth is that in every conceivable political sense she’s lying. Labour supports keeping and upgrading Trident, supports the Tories’ savage austerity cuts (quibbling only slightly over their timescale), took the country to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, backs £6000 tuition fees, bitterly opposed the SNP’s council tax freeze (except for a brief moment of cynical electoral opportunism that backfired horribly), and began the welfare “reforms” that the coalition are enthusiasticall y continuing."
Oh dear,When Will We Ever Learn?
 
 
# daveniz 2012-06-09 09:26
very intresting video from pr gavin mccrone on assets and actually undermines unionist scaremongering stories and lies with Scotland gdp would be 20% higher than it is now if you factor in north sea oil!

www.youtube.com/.../
 
 
# Aplinal 2012-06-09 09:49
Yes, but did you notice that he was suggesting that the apportionment of the debt might be either per capita or per GDP, in which case would the rUK expect Scotland to shoulder an extra 20% as well!

We will have a real fight during the negotiations after the Independence referendum.
 
 
# brusque 2012-06-09 15:26
Quoting daveniz:
very intresting video from pr gavin mccrone on assets and actually undermines unionist scaremongering stories and lies with Scotland gdp would be 20% higher than it is now if you factor in north sea oil!

www.youtube.com/.../



I watched the whole debate, and Gavin McCrone was splendid. He spoke from an informed perspective, did not favour either side of the debate, and was very quick to let questioners know that they were barking up the wrong tree.

I enjoyed it so much I taped it. Best BBC TV I've seen in a long time.
 
 
# daveniz 2012-06-09 09:50
remember the £ is not exclusively English it was used long before the union was formed and is much Scottish as it is English we own part of the bank of England too (though under the union they have shunned us out with no say)! so we can tell England if we can't use the £ then nor can they as they don't have ownership of it! in an independent Scotland we then have 4 options continue using the £ (the bank of England would have to give us a say if it wanted to keep the £ strong or use the £ until something better is established) , have a Scottish currency, use the € (if it still exists) or join another currency eg krone etc. these all can be decided in a referendum! the simple point is independance will open up options for us all unlike the unionist who.choose to restrict it!

Aplinal

Yes, but did you notice that he was suggesting
that the apportionment of the debt might be
either per capita or per GDP, in which case would
the rUK expect Scotland to shoulder an extra 20%
as well!

We will have a real fight during the negotiations
after the Independence referendum.

I don't think it will be 20% higher because it can be argued that it be gdp of the moment we voted independance and that the 20% is nothing to do with the former union as that 20% happened after independance!
 
 
# Aplinal 2012-06-09 10:20
Quote:
I don't think it will be 20% higher because it can be argued that it be gdp of the moment we voted independance and that the 20% is nothing to do with the former union as that 20% happened after independance!


Hope you're right. I don't mind Scotland taking its fair share, but I do not want to be saddled with the debt from successive Westminster mismanagement.
 
 
# gt-cri 2012-06-09 10:37
So what if it's 20% higher due to GDP?

The value of the assets we hold already would have to be measured by the same rule; the bottom line would be positive but would most likely be written-off & a zero-value, or nominal sum used as the final figure.

Unless the assets are sold-off beforehand...
 
 
# balgayboy 2012-06-09 12:05
Quoting gt-cri:
So what if it's 20% higher due to GDP?

The value of the assets we hold already would have to be measured by the same rule; the bottom line would be positive but would most likely be written-off & a zero-value, or nominal sum used as the final figure.

Unless the assets are sold-off beforehand...

Correct, the london boys are very capable of this, negotiations with Norway spring to mind... beware.
 
 
# Briggs 2012-06-09 12:49
Good piece here..........

counterfire.org/.../...
 
 
# mutterings 2012-06-09 19:03
Quoting Briggs:
Good piece here..........

counterfire.org/.../...

I had seen the the unemployed stewards sleeping under the bridge mentioned before. I had not appreciated that this was for real - I thought it had to be a joke!
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-06-09 12:59
OT.Glasgow crane Nuclear Protest.STV.Comments permitted.
local.stv.tv/.../...
This obscenity will not go away until Scotland is independent.
Vote YES in 2014.
 
 
# Independista 2012-06-09 16:24
Excellent summation. But meanwhile over at the Herald, here is how they report the same conference.

“BILLIONAIRE businessman Sir Tom Hunter has warned Scotland must raise its game or risk becoming a Third World nation.
STARK WARNING: Entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter addresses the Business in the Parliament conference at Holyrood. Picture: Andrew Cowan/PA
Scotland's second richest man told other business leaders and politicians, including First Minister Alex Salmond, they had better "think again" unless they were happy to accept a 1% growth rate and be compared to other European countries struggling through economic crises.”

heraldscotland.com/.../...

I have copied most of the above report and posted it as a reply.
Im not holding my breath though, that they will publish it.
 

You must be logged-in in order to post a comment.

Banner

Donate to Newsnet Scotland

Banner

Latest Comments