Sunday, 8 June 2014

Business, but not as usual

Independence offers a great opportunity for Scotland’s world famous brands and companies, but it’s also a chance for our small and medium sized businesses to flourish. Our parliament has already shown more interest in helping entrepreneurs to succeed than Westminster. We can see this in the ‘Small Business Rate Relief’, a scheme which benefits 2 out of every 5 business properties in Scotland. With all the powers of an independent country, our parliament could do so much more.

Sign for Scotland
We believe most of these business leaders support independence
Robert Bain wrote in his excellent blog entry a chance to diversify our economy that independence will result in a boast to public finances in Scotland. With this additional funding, there will be the opportunity to change business rates, simplify employment law, break up monopolies and oligopolies, and improve infrastructure.
More flights entering Scotland from more destinations will open up new markets, an all year direct ferry link from the east coast to mainland Europe will drive up tourism and trade, and having a Government that promotes Scotland all around the world will make our products and services more attractive. Within our own borders, we can look to improve our rail stations and road networks, making it easier to do business.

As an independent Scotland will have a more proportionate parliament, there will be a greater diversity of parties to support, including the SNP, the Labour Party, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, the Scottish Green Party, the Scottish Democratic Alliance, the Scottish Socialist Party, Independent candidates and many others. This gives business owners much more influence, as a never-ending two party duopoly would be impossible to maintain, and those politicians and parties who fail the business community and harm the economy won’t be guaranteed to return to power 4 to 12 years later.

Which lane do you think Westminster will give us if we vote 'no'?
We know how Westminster, whether it is led by a Conservative or a Labour government, views big business, and in particular the banking industry. A good example was David Cameron’s refusal to apply EU banking regulations in 2011. This wasn’t to aid local corner shops or manufacturers, and it wasn’t to safeguard lending or savings, it was for one purpose and one purpose only: to protect the city of London. As Ian Rankin said at the time, ‘The United Kingdom consists of 90,060 square miles. David Cameron has fought tooth and nail for 1 of them’.
This is great in the short term if you happen to run one of the big six banks, but this isn’t the case for most of us. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister isn’t alone in this attitude.
“A pound spent in Croydon is far more of value to the country than a pound spent in Strathclyde. You will generate jobs in Strathclyde far more effectively if you invest in parts of London.” Boris Johnson, Mayor of London
Do you want a Parliament far away, led by a party that simply waited for the other side to become temporarily unelectable, who may not even have support in Scotland, to be in charge of business rates and conditions in Scotland? Or, should Scotland become an independent country, with a greater diversity of parties to choose from, and with funds to invest in infrastructure projects and economic reforms?

Westminster ballot paper
If you believe that the business environment could be better, then ‘Yes’ is the side you should support. Independence offers the possibility of a level playing field where success is based on effort and talent. Voting no just can’t do that.

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