We’ve found out today (11 Sept) that the Prime Minister and other politicians have pressurised businesses to say things to stop independence, and the No campaign have even misrepresented what the businesses said, for example on the false claims about RBS jobs.
Today it emerged, from the BBC’s Economics Editor, Robert Peston, that David Cameron himself has pressured supermarkets to say that prices would rise after independence. Tesco, of course, have previously rubbished claims from the No campaign that their prices would rise.
Mr Peston also quoted one banker as saying that the Prime Minister’s Office was responsible for the series of announcements from Scottish banks about independence, saying "there was someone in Number 10 trying to get the banks to co-ordinate on this".
A number of banks such as RBS have said they may move their registered HQ to London in the event of a No vote – a move that would see no changes in jobs in Scotland, but which the No campaign has tried to spin as much as possible.
A letter to RBS staff from its chief executive, Ross McEwan, clarified the situation: "This is a technical procedure regarding the location of our registered head office. It is not an intention to move operations or jobs. Our current business in Scotland, including the personal and business bank, IT and operations, human resources and many other functions, are here because of the skills and knowledge of our people, and the sound business environment. So far, I see no reason why this would change should we implement our contingency plans."
We have long known that the No campaign – and the UK Government – will do and say anything to scare the people of Scotland into rejecting independence.
Claims that prices would rise in an independent Scotland aren’t new – they have been debunked before. Indeed when companies talk about higher costs it can often be because they would have to create new jobs and headquarter functions here in Scotland. That might be a nuisance for them but it is good for Scottish employment.
When the No campaign issued their referendum communication, delivered to every home in Scotland, they were rebuked by supermarket Tesco for claiming shopping would be more expensive after independence. Responding to a question from a customer who had read the leaflet, a Tesco representative said: “I can confirm that this is not true", saying that Tesco has "a great business in Scotland" and would "continue to offer the best prices whatever the outcome of the referendum".
Prices, of course, change all the time, and policy choices here in Scotland could also result in lower costs. Supermarkets and retailers, just as Tesco have confirmed, will offer the most competitive prices so as to attract the most customers. If a retailer did choose to raise prices unilaterally, shoppers would just go elsewhere.
People are increasingly seeing through No campaign’s appalling tactics. More and more people are realising the once and a lifetime opportunity we have with independence to make Scotland a more successful and more prosperous country, by putting our future in our hands.
As one of the top 20 wealthiest nations in the world, Scotland will be a great place to do business for all companies after independence, including retailers. With the powers of a Yes vote we can grow our economy further and create more jobs for people here. In stark contrast to the No campaign’s negativity, a Yes vote has to be the positive choice for Scotland’s future.
A more successful Scottish economy, with more jobs and higher wages will also mean more money being spent in our shops - local businesses as well as multi-national chains. The No campaign are encouraging some business leaders to intervene in the independence debate, but the real risk to Scotland is more Westminster governments we didn’t vote for imposing more policies we don’t want.
With a Yes we can make Scotland’s vast wealth work better for people living here. More and more people are realising the once in a lifetime opportunity we have with independence – and recognising the many and varied reasons why we must vote Yes.
Posted by Stephen Noon 11.09.14