Scotland

White Paper: Finance and economy

BBC Scotland's business reporter Gillian Marles looks at what the Scottish government's White Paper on independence could mean for the economy and business.

Scotland has strong economic foundations and as an independent country would be able tailor its economic policies to Scottish businesses and industry, the White Paper says.

  • An independent Scotland would retain the pound and the Bank of England would continue to be the lender of last resort.
  • Negotiations would take place on Scotland's share of public sector debt and UK assets.
  • The paper claims Scotland's finances are healthier than the those of the UK as a whole and there would be no requirement for an independent Scotland to raise the general rate of taxation to fund existing levels of spending.
  • If the SNP won the 2016 election, the Scottish Parliament would set out a timescale for reducing corporation tax of up to 3% to stimulate economic activity and to retain and attract new investment.
  • It would reduce Air Passenger Duty by 50% and introduce a simpler tax system which would reduce costs and cut down on tax avoidance leading to a gain of £250m a year.
  • The priority would be to re-balance and re-industrialise Scotland's economy with increased manufacturing activity leading to more high-value jobs and to help boost competitiveness and exports.
  • The Scottish Government would take firm action to cut energy bills.
  • On personal finances, the planned married couples tax allowance would be scrapped.
  • The so-called bedroom tax would abolished.