Business – Companies stay loyal to Scotland

Responding to fears that the SNP would impose a higher rate of corporation tax, Scotland?s largest company, Standard Life, said it has ?no plans of any kind to move any of its operations, staff or head office anywhere?.

Jim Jack, Scottish Amicable?s finance director, said: ?We have no plans to move. We?d like to work with all parties and develop financial services here.?

But Jack, who revealed a boost of 500 jobs and a #15m development at Amicable?s Stirling headquarters, said the company would ?do what it could? to avoid any adverse tax implications.

An SNP spokesman said the party was planning to introduce corporation tax based on the Irish model of a gradually declining rate. He said: ?It would encourage businesses to come to Scotland.?

The spokesman said Standard Life had assured the party it had no plans to relocate. He added the SNP had also been in discussion with Scottish Equitable, Scotland?s ninth largest company, which also denied any plans to move their business. He said any changes would only be considered on the results of an ?open referendum?.

SNP leader Alex Salmond promised last month that Scotland could pursue lower corporation tax rather than the higher levels its critics said would force an exodus of Scottish businesses.

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