'Independence is only way to economic recovery and growth'

By Ian McKerron

A group of prominent business figures, a number of whom previously backed Devo Max or Devo Plus, have publicly declared their support for independence as the best option to achieve recovery and growth.

In an open letter published this weekend, they explain why they are convinced that independence is now the only viable answer for the Scottish economy.

'We believe that if our nation is to realise its full potential and if we are to deliver a fairer, more competitive and faster growing economy, Scotland's parliament needs the full range of economic and social levers,' they said.

The full list of signatories to the letter are:-

  • Jim McColl, OBE, chairman, Clyde Blowers
  • Malcolm Fraser, founder, Malcolm Fraser Architects
  • James Aitken, partner Legal Knowledge Scotland
  • Michelle Rodger, founder, Tartan Cat Communications
  • Dan Macdonald, chief executive, Macdonald Estates
  • Peter De Vink, managing director, EFGH Ltd
  • Jay Spence, Infiniti Properties Management Ltd
  • Angus Tulloch, an Edinburgh investment manager

Mr Aitken, one of Scotland's leading constitutional lawyers, was one of the co-authors of Devo Plus, a blueprint that would have allowed the Scottish Parliament to raise most of the money its spends but stopped short of transferring all powers from Westminster to Holyrood.

The letter was released on the eve of yesterday's joint announcement in Edinburgh by First Minister Alex Salmond and Prime Minister David Cameron on expected agreement over the 2014 independence referendum.

The full text of the letter reads:

'It now looks certain that the UK government has rejected the possibility of a second question on more economic powers for Scotland in the 2014 referendum.

'We believe that if our nation is to realise its full potential and if we are to deliver a fairer, more competitive and faster growing economy, Scotland's parliament needs the full range of economic and social levers.

'In the absence of any clear statement from the other parties in the "No" campaign, the only choice which will result in the Scottish Parliament having the fiscal powers it so badly needs is to vote "Yes" for independence.'

Mr Aitken said: 'The fact that all of the main UK political parties are united in their opposition to even devolving minor fiscal powers such as control of the Crown Estate or air passenger duty means that independence is now the only viable option for Scotland.'

Blair Jenkins, chief executive of Yes Scotland, said: 'This is an extremely significant and welcome development and as we start to get into the debate now that the process appears to be complete, we are convinced increasing numbers of people will support independence as the right choice for Scotland.

'We are continuing to build the biggest community-based campaign in Scotland's history and over the next two years Yes Scotland will provide all the quality information people need to help them realise that taking responsibility for making our own decisions and shaping our own future is the only way for Scotland to grow, prosper and reach its full potential.'

"Calculating taxes" image courtesy of http://www.seniorliving.org
 
Topics: 
Economy

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