Lords to quiz IFS on economics of Scottish independence

26 November 2012

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee will tomorrow take evidence from Paul Johnson, Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

The IFS recently published a paper Scottish Independence: The Fiscal Context which suggested an independent Scotland would face significant economic challenges as North Sea oil and gas revenues declined in future years.

The Committee will question Mr Johnson on a wide range of economic factors relevant to Scottish independence including:

  • Is there a danger that the economy of an independent Scotland would become overly reliant on oil exports to the detriment of other sectors?
  • When do the IFS think the ‘cross-over’ point, where dwindling North Sea Oil Revenue means Scotland’s fiscal balance becomes worse than the rest of the UK, will occur?
  • What impact would independence have on rates of corporation tax? Would it mean that tax relief on losses incurred on one side of the border could not be claimed by companies based on the other side?
  • Will the IFS publish a ‘scorecard’ adding up policy commitments in the run-up to the referendum?
  • If an Independent Scotland had to set up its own Revenue and Customs function are there any reliable estimates of what that might cost?
  • Why doesn’t the IFS report cover the possible impact of an independent Scotland’s currency choice?  

The evidence session will take place at 3.30pm on Tuesday 27 November in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords and will be webcast live at www.parliamentlive.tv.

The evidence session is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament’s Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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