Scotland promised greater tax powers if it rejects independence

THE LEADERS of the three main political parties have promised that Scotland will be granted new tax and legal powers if there is a no vote in the referendum on Scottish independence.

David Cameron yesterday signed a joint statement along with Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, that will give Holyrood more tax raising powers “as swiftly as possible” after next year’s general election.

Scotland is already due to gain power to alter the basic rate of income tax above 10p in the pound from 2016, and to take charge of some minor taxes such as stamp duty, under the Scotland Act 2012. Control over these powers would be extended under the pledge.

The Conservatives said they would give Scotland full control of income tax. Labour would allow Holyrood to vary the basic rate of tax by 15p, while the Liberal Democrats support a system that would hand fiscal powers to the Scottish parliament.

The declaration was signed ahead of yesterday’s TV debate between Scottish first minister Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling, the former Labour chancellor who heads the Better Together campaign.

“We support a strong Scottish Parliament in a strong United Kingdom and we support the further strengthening of the Parliament’s powers,” the declaration stated.

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