Monday, 24 January 2011

More a warning than a model......

I know that, in the past, the SNP has lobbied for a lower rate of business tax in Scotland "to attract inward investment". I presume that's still their policy: that an independent Scotland would have very low rates of Corporation Tax, and that would bring more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Unfortunately for the SNP, the evidence would seem to be to the contrary. In June 2010 the coalition announced a stepped reduction in UK Corporation Tax from 28% to 24%. This analysis of FDI in London has a few telling points to make, including the info that...
"...60% said the lower tax rate would not change the attractiveness of London as an investment destination, 13% said it would make them more likely to invest, but 22% said it would make them less likely to invest. Therefore a net balance of 9% said lower corporate taxes would make London less attractive to investors!..." (my italics)
"...US and Japan have business tax at 39%. Germany has a 30% rate. The lowest rates are in Iceland (15%) and Ireland (12.5%), which should be more a warning than a model!..." (my italics).

 So the  survey of potential foreign investors has shown that they are less likely now than before the tax cuts to invest in the UK, and those countries that adopted a lower business tax to attract investors (the erstwhile "Arc of Prosperity") are the same countries that are now chin-deep the an economic mire and in danger of defaulting on their debts. Which rather leaves this particular SNP strategy in tatters, don't you think?

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