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With independence, the Scottish Government and Parliament will have control over the full suite of economic levers, including taxation, business regulation, infrastructure and investment.

The government of an independent Scotland will be able to create a more supportive, competitive and dynamic business environment.

Within the powers currently available the Scottish Government is pursuing a range of actions supporting sustainable economic growth and higher quality jobs, including the Small Business Bonus Scheme, supporting Foreign Direct Investment, the Scottish Investment Bank and investment in infrastructure.

With independence, future Scottish Governments will be able to develop these policies further to enable Scotland’s businesses to reach their full potential. Future Scottish governments will have the ability to make choices over tax, use measures to boost innovation and exports, promote good industrial relations and support small and medium enterprises.

For example, corporation tax rates remain an important tool for securing that competitive advantage. Following independence we will announce a timetable for a reduction in the corporation tax rate of up to three percentage points. Modelling has already suggested that such a cut could increase the level of output by 1.4 per cent, boost overall employment in Scotland by 1.1 per cent (equivalent to 27,000 jobs) and raise overall investment in the Scottish economy by 1.9 per cent over the long term.

Other key policies to support business that we plan to introduce include:

  • supporting investment, including research and development

  • strengthening the role of the Scottish Investment Bank

  • expanding skill development, bringing together employment and skills policies and putting modern apprenticeships at the heart of our approach

  • expanding manufacturing, with a particular focus on manufacturing opportunities through the development of our offshore energy potential

  • targeted use of loan guarantees

  • reduce Air Passenger Duty by 50 per cent to boost international connections

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.