Last week, Chancellor George Osborne gave a speech in Edinburgh in which he declared that a currency union with an independent Scotland “is not going to happen.” In the wake of his comments, the Professional Contractors Group (PCG) published a statement that highlighted its concerns in the event of a dissolution of the existing currency union.
As PCG policy and public affairs director Simon McVicker pointed out, more than 150,000 freelancers operate in Scotland and most of them will be seriously worried by Osborne’s announcement. It should also be noted that Scotland is the home base for many vital industries, oil and gas being just one example. These industries cannot operate effectively without access to the talent of locally-based independent contractors.
The fact that the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats have presented a united front on the currency union issue should serve as an alarm bell for the SNP…
Osborne’s statement only fuels the uncertainty surrounding the debate for an independent Scotland, McVicker noted further. The Scottish government is expected to answer 200 questions submitted by the CBI, which is seeking to determine the impact of independence on the thousands of freelancers and small businesses based in Scotland. The fact that the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats have presented a united front on the currency union issue should serve as an alarm bell for the SNP and inform the independence debate in general, McVicker added.
The PCG is making its own contribution by canvassing the opinion of its Scottish-based members. The organisation is looking to establish how independence would affect their operations. The PCG is hoping that the poll results will help it put forward sound arguments as the debate enters its final phases in the months ahead.