Growing Numbers in Business Community Back Independence

Commenting the Scottish National Party Spokesperson said:

"The SNP have the initiative and the ideas to build a more successful Scottish economy - as Alex Salmond has been outlining in our positive proposals to support business in Scotland.

"We will also give the people of Scotland the opportunity to choose independence in a referendum, which would give our parliament the powers to make Scotland even more successful, for example by cutting corporation tax to give us a competitive edge.

"Willie Haughey is a long standing Labour Party member who has given them over £1 million in donations in the last 3 years, and has already made his views known in a Sun article on 8 February.  Clearly, Labour are unable to bring any new or non-party voices to the debate. 

"But the event backfired on Labour, as Mr Haughey said that his business would stay in Scotland under independence - very sensible given our pledge to cut corporation tax.

"There are growing numbers in the business community who are positive about the SNP and independence - such as Sir Tom Farmer, Crawford Beveridge, Ben Thomson, Bill Samuel and Sandy Orr - which shows that support is gathering ground significantly.  And poll information indicating an SNP lead among AB voters as well as every other category points to very substantial business support.

"Labour used to publish lists of 100 business supporters - now they only have one or two."

ENDS

Notes:

Business people who have backed independence:

  • Ben Thomson, chief executive of the Edinburgh-based investment bank Noble Group

"I'm
not at all afraid either of fiscal autonomy or independence.  I would
welcome it if it were used as a platform to help business in ways such
as the SNP's proposal for lower corporate taxes in Scotland.  Look at
the wealth the City of London generates for England.  If we could
create something that would make it more attractive for more financial
firms to be based in Scotland, then it would bring a huge amount of
wealth, which would improve our overall tax take because earnings in
Scotland would rise.

Sunday Times, November 5, 2006

  • Crawford Beveridge, former chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise

"I,
for one, believe independence could focus the minds of politicians to
create the conditions for economic growth, which would translate to
better jobs, higher wages and stronger communities.  My opinion on
independence is based on my confidence that Scotland is just as capable
of running its own affairs as any other country."

Sunday Herald, 14 February 2007

  • Sir Tom Farmer, businessman

"What
we have got in Scotland at the moment with devolution is a half-way
house and that is just not right. The question is how do we go forward
from this?" he said.

"None of us has a crystal ball, but there is
a very, very high chance that we will end up with independence. If you
really press me I think it is going to happen.  We are five million
people wanting to be the greatest small country in the world, wondering
why things haven't happened quicker.  Maybe being part of a small
independent country we'd realise that government can't do everything
for us -- that we need each other.  Maybe people will feel their
involvement is worth more in a small country than in a big one. Maybe
there's an opportunity here that we should be reaching out and
grasping.  There is currently some frustration among the Scots about
the say they have over what happens here, and that is part of what is
pushing the independence movement. I can see this coming, perhaps not
in the next few years, but before too long."

Sunday Times Scotland, October 15, 2006

  • Sandy Orr, Hotel chain tycoon and leading figure in the Scottish arts

"Scotland
is a nation, it's not just a rugby or football jersey.  Scotland is not
doing brilliantly. We are losing a lot of headquarters and I get the
sense that we'd have a better chance of Scotland attracting decision
makers if we were able to take all our own decisions. From an economic
and social point of view, I think the prospect of Scotland being
independent is quite exciting but it has to be fully debated."

Sunday Times Scotland, November 19, 2006

  • Professor David Simpson, founder Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute and senior economic adviser to Standard Life

"A
growing number of people in Scotland today seem to share my view that
if the economy is to flourish so that we can escape from our culture of
dependence, that is most likely to be brought about by political
independence.  Only a sovereign government can undertake the internal
arrangements and negotiate the international agreements necessary to
serve and protect Scotland's interests."

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