Expert warns Scots not use the pound after independence and so avoid
Scottish News: News in Scotland - Monday
Scots warned to ditch the pound after independence
A post-independent Scotland should not adopt the pound as its currency because of the "dysfunctional" state of the British economy a think tank has warned. According to a Jimmy Reid Foundation study author and leading Scottish economist Margaret Cuthbert argues that the UK economy is so heavily biased towards London that keeping the pound would mean monetary policy changes would not equally impact all areas of the monetary area. Ms Cuthbert also pointed to how from 1963 to 2011, Scotland's GDP has risen by 263 percent under-performing chronically in relation to the UK as a whole - 329 percent. Ms Cuthbert argues for an independent currency in order that Scots will have control over the value of their currency rather than allow the Bank of England and Westminster to set interest rates and indulge in money printing (quantitative easing). Many independence supporters outside of First Minister Alex Salmond's inner circle now question the value of keeping sterling after independence.
Scotland's youth still to be convinced by independence
Teenagers who will have a vote in Scotland's independence referendum next year are not yet convinced of the case for an independent Scotland according to an Edinburgh University study. As many as 60 percent of young Scots aged 14 - 17 are currently opposed to independence while 21 percent were in favour and 19 percent undecided. The 'yes' campaign has faced criticism for being SNP-dominated and with an emphasis on brand promotion rather than intellectual dialogue while people generally feel locked out of the debate and so are more fearful of change. An author of the report, Dr Jan Eichhorn commented: "I think there is something about not knowing what will happen. A lot of young people don't feel they have enough good information to help them decide."
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Latest Lords scandal ‘demonstrates need for independence’
Despite Nick Clegg's pledge to create a "cleaner, better politics" in the wake of lobbying and sleaze allegations involving MPs and peers; the SNP have stated that only a Yes vote next year will ensure a modern democracy for Scotland. Commenting, Angus MacNeil, the SNP MP who initiated the cash-for-honours inquiry, said: “The issue of reform of the House of Lords has been with us for well over a century but never transpires - we still have 800 unelected peers presiding over policy impacting on Scotland”. "That is why we must grasp the opportunity of a Yes vote next September to allow Scotland to finally get rid of this undemocratic Westminster institution once and for all”.
Gibraltar advertising itself as a UK ‘tax haven’
Gibraltar is launching a campaign to persuade hedge funds to ditch their plush Mayfair offices for the low taxes of "the Rock". Fabian Picardo, chief minister of the British overseas territory, said multi-millionaire hedge fund managers should quit London for Gibraltar because it's "much cheaper", while promotional material promises they are "unlikely to be liable for corporation tax". He said he was delighted that the UK was "finally going to crack down on tax evasion", which he said was good for Gibraltar who already has "the toughest regulation". Gibraltar boasts no VAT and social security payments of just £120 per family a month. In the UK the top rate of income tax is 45 percent, VAT is 20 percent and national insurance is levied at 14 percent of weekly earnings above £797.
‘Secret’ WikiLeaks whistleblower trial to begin today
Private Bradley Manning is to finally go on trial behind the gates of Army Base Fort Meade in Maryland today for disclosing 'national secrets' to WikiLeaks and allegedly aiding the enemy in a case that could lead to life imprisonment. Becoming increasingly controversial, is that much of the non-jury court martial is to be held behind closed doors with no press, public or outside stenographers present on the grounds that testimony from witnesses may contain 'classified' information. The trial begins as the US government comes under increased scrutiny for the ferocity of its war against 'national security' leaks to the media.The Obama administration has sought to prosecute whistleblowers, including Manning, like none other before it.
Unrest continues for a third day in Istanbul
Police again used tear gas after thousands of protesters flocked back to Istanbul’s Taksim Square and gathered in other Turkish cities for a third day of protest. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed he’ll not give in to pressure calling the protesters “marauders”. The demonstration marks the third day of protests in Turkey, which started as a peaceful sit-in against the re-development plans in Gezi Park, but quickly turned into nationwide riots after police brutally cracked down on protesters. Erdogan remains defiant of the protests, calling them “ideological” and manipulated by an opposition “unable to beat (the government) at the ballot box”. Although he remains Turkey's most popular politician, critics point to what they see as his authoritarianism and religiously conservative meddling in private lives as being a key precipitator for the unrest.
China: leading news outlet condemns fake duck epidemic
China's People's Daily, widely viewed as the voice of the Communist Party has condemned the popping up of fake ducks across the world's second largest economy. After an art installation of a giant duck, erected in Victoria Harbour by artist Florentijn Hofman, became a sensation in Hong Kong and mainland China property developers began installing copies in cities across China in order to attract customers. The People's Daily is incensed by the fake duck epidemic arguing: "This is not innovation, it's selling our inheritance".
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