Dundee MP Stewart Hosie today welcomed a new poll showing that 45% of Scots would favour an independent Scotland if the taxes were lower than at present, with only 35% against independence.
While this might seem an obvious statement – that voters would vote for lower taxes, it also shows how central the tax issue is to the question of Independence and reveals that relatively few are opposed to Independence on principle.
The most recent Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, which questions Scots about whether their attitudes to Independence would change depending on whether taxes would be higher or lower than at present, also found that if an independent Scotland were to keep household taxes the same 36% would support independence, almost neck and neck with the 38% who opposed it.
Mr Hosie said; “This new survey gets to the heart of the matter. Independence is not just some obscure political theory. It is about jobs and making people’s lives better. It is about the potential for economic growth and improving household incomes – and when that is realised, support for independence is galvanised. We have known for a long time that many people who oppose Independence do so because they believe it will lead to higher taxes. It is probably the most-often used argument against Independence – and it is based on a myth.
“This survey shows that if taxes in an Independent Scotland were the same as now or lower, nearly half all Scots voters will back Independence.
“It is only with full financial responsibility and independence that Scots households will see the growth and support they need.
“People across Scotland believe the Scottish Parliament should have responsibility for the most important tax and welfare decisions there is clearly real support for the Scottish Parliament to have far more powers than the limited aims of the Scotland Bill which has been tabled by the Tory-led Coalition Government.
“While the Tories have designed it as a tax trap, the people of Scotland are clear they want the real financial powers of independence to boost the economy and help households.
“We know that had the provision of the Scotland Bill been in place since the start of devolution – which would leave 85 per cent of Scottish tax revenues in the hands of the Tory Treasury at Westminster – Scotland would have been £8 billion worse off instead of better, the equivalent of £1,600 for every man, woman and child.
“This new survey demonstrates beyond doubt that the Scottish people want far more than the modest provisions of the Scotland Bill and that with economic growth and responsibility, people across Scotland want the full powers of independence.”