The No campaign has been left facing embarrassment today after an article by the boss of ASDA demolished claims that a Yes vote would see supermarkets hike up prices.
Writing in the Herald today (Thursday) ASDA Chief Executive Andy Clarke stated “I am not saying prices have to rise in an independent Scotland. I am saying that politicians of all sides need to work with business if they want to reduce the cost of doing business and in turn the cost of living.”
Meanwhile the Huffington Post reports that Morrisons have said it was “wrong” to suggest they are planning to increase food prices, stating “if an independent Scotland increased or decreased regulation or taxes we’d have to take a second look at our pricing. Clearly that could work for or against Scottish customers depending on the direction of travel.”
Tesco previously distanced themselves from the claims when they first appeared.
Scotland’s Future sets out plans for lower corporation tax and a fuel duty regulator in an independent Scotland, lowering the cost of doing business in an independent Scotland.
Anti-independence politicians had been quick to hype up the claims, with Margaret Curran claiming “the cost of doing the weekly shop in Scotland is cheaper as part of the UK and would be more expensive with independence.”
Commenting, South of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine said:
“Once again the No campaign has been left facing embarrassment after jumping in with both feet and not a second’s thought.
“With supermarket bosses stressing that independence does not mean price rises, the anti-independence campaign has been left looking ridiculous in their hyperbolic reaction this week.
“Supermarkets are highly competitive and to suggest that they would hand their competitors such an easy advantage by imposing price rises is patently nonsense.
“What matters are the decisions that an independent Scotland makes and a Yes vote next year means that these will always reflect the needs and priorities of people living here.
“A Yes vote next year will give us the tools we need to make Scotland one of the most attractive places for companies to do business in Europe – benefitting businesses and the consumers they serve.
“Taking responsibility for tax and spending decisions in an independent Scotland will give us the tools we need to make Scotland a fairer, more prosperous country that achieves more for people than has ever been possible under the Westminster system.”
Andy Clarke’s article can be viewed at http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/columnists/agenda-the-large-retail-levy-just-does-not-add-up-for-our-customers-or-for-us.22918258
The comments by a Morrisons spokesperson can be viewed at http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/12/11/scotland-supermarkets-morrisons_n_4424751.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003
The measures to support business growth set out in Scotland’s Future can be viewed at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/11/9348/7
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