The SNP leader, Alex Salmond, has announced the Scotland will be fairer after independence. The gap will be closed between rich and poor. To me this suggests that taxes will be raised. Since the SNP have said they will lower business taxes to encourage more businesses to come to Scotland, therefore personal taxes must be raised. So the climate will be favourable to business but not to individuals.
Actually the SNP has also said Scotland has an aging population, and that lower business tax rates will encourage businesses to come north of the border. More business will create more jobs which will encourage Scottish people to remain in Scotland and return home. However, higher rates of personal taxation will not encourage skilled workers who demand higher wages.
Therefore, the most likely jobs to come to Scotland are call centre personnel. These jobs are not highly paid. Often workers require assistance via social security and tax credits. So Scotland does not grow the athluent population who support the aging members of society. The SNP has also said it will look again at the UK government’s decision to raise the pensionable age 67. It should be remembered a pension was originally an insurance against dying when too infirm to work. Our life expectancy is now higher thanks to better medical practices and life style (though this should not be taken for granted).
I believe, if Scotland becomes independent, it must recognise its thrifty past. People who can work must contribute to Scottish society, and supported to play their part. Those who can’t must be treated with dignity, but those who refused must face consequences. Benefits must be capped, to be used to support people becoming meaningful members of society, and not a way of life!
Health in the western world is becoming a disaster. Ten percent of the UK’s health bill goes on diabetes care. During the Second World War, food was rationed, but people were healthy. I would advocate a return to ration cards for those on benefits. Taxes should not pay for benefits to buy alcohol, tabaco, and high sugar, processed foods, which lead to health problems. Ration cards via system supported by supermarkets, etc would ensure people are fed and clothed properly. High sugar foods should be taxed at an appropriate rate.
Scotland must spend its money carefully, growing a skilled work force so education and training must be key government objectives. Building an environment for real businesses to flourish, and not the chosen few in the financial services and banking.
Businesses should be encouraged to pay a living wage rather than a minimum one. People on a minimum wage still often require benefits. This is fine, if it is a low profit business. High profit businesses should be penalised for such practices since they are profitting from other tax payers, who are subsidising them.
Scotland’s government needs to be lean and mean to deliver opportunities, not handouts, for all not just those at the top and bottom of society! Failure to deliver will result in a pensions and welfare time bomb from which Scotland will not recover.
I am an undecided voter, because I don’t feel as yet either side have given me the answers I desire.