• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

51% of Scots expect taxes to rise under independence, poll finds

More than half of Scots expect to pay more tax if Scotland becomes independent, a new poll has found.

The Panelbase survey also found that less than half think a currency union with the rest of the UK is the most likely outcome in the event of a Yes vote.

The poll, conducted for the Sunday Times and Real Radio Scotland questioned more than 1,000 people between January 29 and February 7.

Loading article content

It found that support for independence stands at 37%, with support for the union at 49%, while the remaining 14% are undecided.

When those polled were questioned about taxation, 51% said they expected to pay more in personal tax to fund public services under independence, while just over 32% said they expected to pay less, and 17% did not know.

On currency, 41% of people believe keeping sterling in a formal currency union will be the outcome under independence, 15% believe Scotland will continue using the pound with no formal currency union, and 8% believe a separate Scottish currency will be set up.

A further 7% said Scotland will join the Euro as soon as it is feasible, and 19% said they did not have enough information to make a judgment.

Ivor Knox of Panelbase, said: "There's something of a disconnect on tax which may prove influential. While there appears to be a general belief that independence would lead to tax rises, fewer than one in five voters actually supports increasing taxes to better fund services, and a mere 6% feel that people on their own level of income ought to be paying more tax as a general principle."

John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, said: "Over half believe they would end up having to pay more tax to fund the public services they enjoy, while hardly anyone, including most Yes supporters, believe they would pay less.

"Less than half think an independent Scotland should use the pound - there is scepticism among Yes voters that this would be the best course of action. Many of the No side are disinclined to disbelieve the assurances that monetary union is possible."

Pro-union campaign leader Alistair Darling said: "This poll will only add to the pressure on Alex Salmond on the currency issue. It is increasingly obvious that Scotland cannot leave the UK and keep the security of the UK pound. How much longer can he ignore the opposition of decision-makers in the rest of the UK and economic experts here in Scotland?

"Alex Salmond might be ignoring what the experts are saying but the voters aren't. They know that the SNP cannot promise that we would keep the pound while the rest of the UK says no.

"Alex Salmond's reckless threats to default on Scotland's debts if the rest of the UK say no to a currency union reveal the First Minister's weakness on this issue. The entire White Paper is predicated on keeping the pound. Losing the pound leaves the SNP without a plan for independence."

Yes Scotland chief executive Blair Jenkins said: "The Sunday Times Panelbase poll demonstrates that momentum is firmly behind the Yes campaign. With little over seven months to go, a swing of only just over seven points to Yes puts us ahead.

"We know from our own detailed research that many people throughout Scotland are on a journey from No to don't know and from don't know to Yes.

"The more people hear the positive case for independence, the more likely they are to complete that journey and we will continue to take our message to every doorstep, organisation and community in the coming months."

SNP business convener Derek Mackay said: "We know that the facts and figures show that Scotland will be better off as an independent country - which is why more and more people, including leading business figures, are backing a Yes vote in September."

Mr Mackay said that Scotland is financially stronger than rest of UK, therefore "there is no need for tax to be higher in an independent Scotland".

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

211554