Legality of tax avoidance (Bryon Smith)

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gave the reason by mistake during the Scottish party leaders’ televised debate last Thursday.

When asked about the 50 per cent income tax rate, she replied that to introduce a tax rate that could be avoided by tax avoidance, which of course is legal, would be a mistake.

That statement by inference means that if the SNP ever won independence they would rewrite the tax laws so that tax avoidance was illegal for Scottish tax payers.

This is the tax avoidance that Alex Salmond uses to cut his tax bill to the UK Treasury. Could that be also the reason that he decided to step down as an MSP, thereby reducing his tax bill?

Bryon Smith
19 Primrose Avenue,


Add Your Comment
  • Charles Gallagher

    • March 31st, 2016 8:56

    Perhaps Mr Smith would care to tell us what tax avoidance Mr Saalmond is using?

  • Gordon Harmer

    • March 31st, 2016 14:08

    You should have a read of this Charlie, there have been several sources which allege Alex Salmond set up a company to avoid paying 40% tax.

    • Ray Purchase

      • March 31st, 2016 21:37

      So no evidence of any tax avoidance whatsoever – just some mud-slinging from a newspaper owned by two non-doms who also donate heavily to the Conservative Party. Poor attempt.

  • Ian Tinkler

    • March 31st, 2016 16:56

    Alex Salmond is a hypocrite, it has emerged that he has channelled earnings of more than £120,000 through a new “personal service company”. This would allow him to pay corporation tax at 20 per cent on the money, rather than income tax at up to 45 per cent. Not bad for someone suffering from austerity cuts!!

  • Gordon Harmer

    • April 2nd, 2016 7:00

    The article subsequently says the ex-SNP leader is inside the top 0.2 per cent of all Scotland’s earners. The piece also says that if he was taxed as an individual, Mr Salmond would pay £88,500 in tax and NI (not the £53,500 he is expected to pay).
    Proof if proof were ever needed what Salmond is up to, there are none so blind as those who do not want to see, Mr Purchase.

  • Gordon Harmer

    • April 3rd, 2016 16:55

    Nicola Sturgeon last year described corporate tax avoidance by companies using offshore bases as “obscene and immoral and downright wrong”.
    The First Minister said: “It is awful, it is despicable, I can’t actually think of words strong enough for it, and the sooner we start calling it for what it is, the sooner we might start to see it tackled and tackled effectively.”
    Then when we look deep enough this is what we find; hypocracy at the highest level.

    • Robin Stevenson

      • April 4th, 2016 1:03


      When O when will you and your pals, finally come to realize that whatever you read in rags like the express are aimed at the ignorant?…In most [if not all] cases read the headline then go the the last paragraph, generally you’ll find that it completely contradicts the entire story….In this instance:


      “SNP accused of ‘hypocrisy’ over tax haven partnership”

      Last paragraph:

      “A MacBrayne spokesman said: “The joint venture between David MacBrayne Ltd and GBA is a commercial arrangement which has secured a prestigious 35-year contract to operate the Marchwood
      Military Port in Southampton. We do not consider the location of GBA’s parent company to be of relevance.”

      You want REAL hypocrisy? Try reading this:

  • Ray Purchase

    • April 12th, 2016 21:05

    I expected to come back to this and find that the conversation had run and run given that a massive tax scandal involving the prime minister has been the lead item on the news all week but Messrs Tinkler and Harmer seem to have dropped it like a stone when the Panama papers were mentioned. No comments on Cameron gentlemen? No opinion on him holding shares in a company that has not paid a penny in tax for 9 years after becoming an MP and not declaring it as an interest?

    Oh, and absolutely no evidence in any of those articles you’ve posted that Alex Salmond has avoided tax. All they say is that he’s registered a business and, if he chooses to, could use this to avoid tax. Just a smear story you’ve latched on to.


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.