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by Kevin Schofield
25 May 2018
Independent Scotland 'should offer tax breaks to skilled migrants', Growth Commission report says

Independent Scotland 'should offer tax breaks to skilled migrants', Growth Commission report says

Saltire and Yes sign - Image credit: Holyrood

Generous tax breaks should be offered to highly-skilled migrants to encourage them to live and work in an independent Scotland, the Growth Commission report is expected to say.

The SNP’s Sustainable Growth Commission, led by former SNP MSP Andrew Wilson, will finally publish its findings on the economics of independence later today.

It will set out a 'Come to Scotland' package containing measures aimed at increasing immigration and boosting the size of the Scottish population.

They include so-called "transition relief" to reduce the income tax paid by foreign workers, increasing support for entrepreneurs and an aim of retaining 5,000 international students a year in Scotland.

According to the BBC, the report will also recommend that Scotland keeps the pound for at least ten years after independence to provide stability, with the Bank of England continuing to set interest rates and other monetary policies.

After that it would introduce its own currency.

The report will predict that independence could boost Scotland's economic growth, delivering a £4,100 boost for everyone living in the country.

Wilson said: "We have a great opportunity for Scotland to strike a completely different tone on a vitally important area of economic policy – how we attract talent to our country.

"For the next 25 years all of Scotland’s projected population growth is expected to come from migration.

“Under current UK policy there is a real danger that the working population in Scotland could fall – meaning fewer people creating wealth, jobs and contributing to our NHS.

"Growing our working population and, through it, our economy is perhaps the greatest national challenge we have – and is made even more urgent by Brexit and the threat it poses to our working age population.

“Scotland needs more migration to drive our economy forwards and we need to extend a friendly welcome to international talent."

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser said the call for tax breaks showed that Scottish workers already pay too much money to the state.

And Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie said: "The SNP should learn from the chaos of separating us from Europe with Brexit.

“On the back of Brexit, independence would be a negative and damaging development."

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