SNP welcome Sir Tom Hunter fiscal autonomy comment

Sir Tom Hunter today became the third leading Scottish entrepreneur in as many weeks to call for significantly more fiscal powers for the Scottish Parliament.

Speaking at the Business in Parliament event this morning, he said “We in Scotland need fiscal responsibility; quite simply we need to be responsible for what we raise in tax and what we spend in tax.”

The calls put further pressure on the anti-independence parties to explain what they will be campaigning for in the 2014 referendum.

Sir Tom also vindicated the SNP Government’s campaign for an immediate release of capital funding to support shovel-ready projects, emphasising the huge importance that capital investment plays in economy recovery:

“We have never emerged from a recession that has not been construction-led. We need to drive stimulus into our economy – not squeeze it out of it”, he said.

Speaking after Sir Tom’s speech, SNP MSP Chic Brodie, a member of the Scottish Parliament’s Economy Committee, commented:

“This is yet another of Scotland’s leading businessmen making quite clear that the status quo is holding Scotland back.

“Only last week both Tom Farmer and Jim McColl made similar comments based on their own significant personal experience, and even suggested they may vote for independence if there was no devo-max option on the referendum ballot paper.

“The full fiscal levers of any normal nation would allow us to target support for our key growth industries and maximise the potential of Scotland’s vast natural and human resources.

“Like many Scots, Sir Tom Hunter is looking forward to a real debate on the benefits of independence. If the anti-independence parties continue to offer nothing other than outright opposition to independence, their message is going to continue to be a very bleak and negative one which will not inspire support.”