Two banks have stated they will leave should Scotland vote “yes” in the independence referendum next week, and more are likely to follow. There are some major questions that people want answers to considering they are being urged to make a decision next Thursday.
Some of the major issues are over currency. The people have no idea whether they will be allowed to keep the pound or not. Westminster say a definite no, while First Ministers Alex Salmond wants to create a currency union. Due to these issues, Lloyds Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) have both said that they will leave the country should it get independence. According to RBS, the headquarters will need to move to England, however there are no plans to move jobs or operations at this time. The everyday banking for the Scottish people is not likely to be affected, but surely that will depend on the end result of the currency talks.
Another issue is where the revenue would come from should the country get independence. Salmond states that the oil revenues would offer the country the money it needs, which is a similar way that Norway gets its money. However, Prime Minister David Cameron has stated that the oil revenues are joint efforts. It is possible that Cameron is worried because he would no longer have access to any of the money from oil revenues as it would no longer be on British territory.
There are more questions over banks and taxes in Scotland should the independence referendum end up being a yes majority. It would likely mean that the taxes would increase. The country would need to bring in more money for all the benefits that it currently receives, especially as the oil revenues decrease, which they are likely to do.
Higher tax rates on income are expected. However, the opposite could happen. There would also be issues with joining the EU, as the country would have to reapply. Members of the EU council are not in favor of the country getting all the benefits of the United Kingdom, since it will become a new state.
Should a no vote occur, there are talks of more devolution powers. While Cameron has only said a “maybe” right now, it is seen that more devolution will be offered as a bribe. Talks will need to take place, but some powers are likely, especially around tax. After all, what would stop the Scottish government from holding another referendum and reminding the people just what happened after the first?
Whether the country votes yes or no, there will be questions regarding the tax payments. Those who commute between Scotland and England regularly will need to find out which tax they will pay. They will need to make sure they are on the right tax code, and that is already an issue for many. It does not help that there are still questions about the border controls and whether passport checks will be carried out every time.
The Scottish people need to make a decision by next Thursday. However, there are still many trying to find out the answers to many crucial questions. These include what will happen once the banks leave, what currency will people use and much more should Scotland vote yes in the independent referendum.
By Alexandria Ingham