By Martin Kelly
The publication of a blueprint for growing Scotland’s economy from independent business organisation N-56 which backs a shared Sterling area after a Yes vote has been welcomed today.
The Scotland Means Business: The Facts report states that, “from a business perspective, the continued use of Sterling would help to maintain the certainty required for long-term investment decisions.”
The document also makes clear that “the Sterling area current account deficit would increase by 75% if Scotland stopped using Sterling, as a result of the loss of Scotland’s £25.5 billion trade surplus from the currency area, which would put downward pressure on the value of Sterling”.
The accompanying Strategy document published by N-56 sets out specific economic policy proposals designed for Scotland’s particular economic circumstances and backs the planned reduction in corporation tax set out in Scotland’s Future.
Commenting, SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson said:
“This comprehensive report from leading economic experts and business leaders makes it abundantly clear why it is in the interests of both Scotland and the rest of the UK to agree to a shared currency area following a Yes vote.
“A shared Sterling area will help to support the value of the currency and support investment both in Scotland and the rest of the UK.
“And sharing the pound will also put Scotland in charge of 100 per cent of the nation’s finances, with the freedom to set tax and spending policies which reflect and promote Scotland’s interests.
“The wide-ranging policy recommendations that N-56 have published underline just how important it is for Scotland to gain responsibility for our own financial decisions.
“Policies like the reduction in corporation tax put forward in Scotland’s Future will help to deliver stronger economic growth in Scotland – but will only be possible with the full powers of an independent Scotland.
“This report highlights the opportunity that we have to redress the unbalanced nature of the UK economy which puts London in such a dominant position to the detriment of the rest of the economy.
“With a Yes vote we will be able to pursue a comprehensive economic strategy that plays to Scotland’s strengths and helps to create jobs and deliver stronger economic growth.”
All three pro-Union parties have pledged to block a currency union in the event of Scottish independence. However one unnamed senior coalition minister recently told a newspaper that the threat is merely a pre-referendum campaign tactic and that there will be a currency agreement if Scots vote Yes.