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Accuracy is good, but firm answers would be better

A UK-wide campaign called Cut Tourism VAT, which proposes boosting the tourism sector by reducing VAT from 20% to 5%, found itself in hot water when it quoted the Scottish Government's Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing saying that an independent Scotland "would cut VAT on tourism".

This might have been the impression that Ewing intended to convey, but it was not actually what he said in his keynote Scottish Tourism Week speech: "We are aware that other independent countries like Ireland and Portugal have cut VAT on tourism and gained considerably as a result. These are examples that an independent Scotland could follow."

After sending out its press release, the campaign HQ in London received a "flustered and frantic" phone call from a Scottish Government spinner claiming what the minister meant was that indy Scotland "could" cut VAT. Could they please rush out a correction?

The "could" line is technically true, but not hugely helpful as guidance for the Scottish tourism industry. The Scottish Government is free with promises of indy milk and honey, but it also fears questions about how to pay for these commodities in the short term.

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Local government

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