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Voting Blindfold

/ 12 September 2014

IMF warns Yes vote could ‘upset’ markets

IMF spokesman Bill Murray has said markets could be upset in the short term in the event of independence. “The main immediate effect is likely to be uncertainty over the transition to a potentially new and different monetary, financial and fiscal framework in Scotland,” he said. “While this uncertainty could lead to negative market reactions in the short term, the longer term will depend on the decisions being made during the transition, and I do not want to speculate on this.”

Source: The Daily Telegraph

Carney: Scotland would need to increase taxes to keep the pound

Bank of England governor Mark Carney has published an analysis showing how much Scotland would be required to hold in currency reserves if it kept the pound. Mr Carney’s figures suggest Scotland would need to back its financial services industry to the tune of £95bn – a sum that would require spending cuts or tax increases worth £18,000 per person. In a BBC interview, Mr Salmond, a former RBS economist, appeared to concede that he had not factored in the tens of billions of pounds of sterling reserves Mr Carney said he would require using the pound without a formal currency union.

Source: The Daily Telegraph

Weir threatens to quit Scotland

Keith Cochrane, chief executive of engineering group Weir, has said the firm could relocate its headquarters if leaders of an independent Scotland could not give immediate assurances on the country’s currency and tax regime. Mr Cochrane said: “Weir will only continue to be based here if the business environment…continues to support our ambitions. That means certainty over issues like currency, certainty over issues like taxation and certainty over issues like EU membership.” His comments come as major retailers such as Next, John Lewis and Asda voice concerns over price rises due to divergence in regulation, pensions and tax in the event of a Yes vote.

Source: The Times The Times

For us, the troubling thing about the Referendum is that voters in Scotland are being asked to make a decision on a change which would fundamentally and permanently affect everyone in the UK without being given the basic information on which to make a rational decision. What currency would an independent Scotland use? What would happen about the thousands of UK public service jobs in Scotland (for example, would HMRC retain one of their two main processing centres at Cumbernauld? Would Scotland be required to apply for EU membership and if so would the UK’s opt-outs be on offer? Would British warships ever again be built on the Clyde? How can anyone have ever thought it reasonable to expect voters to vote blind?