Referendum Wrecking Tactics – Supermarkets – Banks & Retailers
1. Wrecking tactics, (conceived, organized and ordered by David Cameron) require the billionaire heads of banks and businesses to issue, “gloom and Doom” messages to their Scottish staff and the public in the last few days before the referendum. Frighteners such as; transferring banking activity and employment to London, (adversely affecting 30,000 people employed in the Scottish financial sector). Price increases, across the board in the case of retailers and in particular Supermarkets, (designed to spread negative messages to retailing staff and shoppers).
2. The Banks
3. But the devil is in the detail and David Cameron may yet be hung by his own petard
a. The total cost of employing 30,000 highly trained finance staff in Scotland is approximately £1 Billion.
b. Assuming it might be feasible to locate and purchase 30,000 homes in or near London and transfer staff and their families relocation cost would be in the region of £10 Billion.
c. On-costs, house purchase, mortgage support, travel and other aspects of relocation would require another £50 Billion.
d. Then there is the additional wage bill for 30,000 staff who would attract salaries in line with those in place for London staff .750 Billion.
e. Total cost £61 Billion.
f. Is it financially prudent to relocate staff? No it most certainly is not.
g. I n any event it would not be possible to recruit new staff in London and financially prohibitive to relocate Scottish staff and there is insufficient housing stock available.
h. The solution? Move the brass plate to London effectively registering the banks there, ensuring any financial deficit carried over from the financial crash are retained in London with the UKr Treasury. Note: This will happen regardless of the outcome of the referendum
i. Retain all 30,000 staff in Scotland, effectively outsourced from London. Discharging the same duties as before. Might need some IT investment but this would be minimal.
j. Result. Everybody happy. No unnecessary financial expenditure associated with the changes
4. Supermarkets and Retailers
5. Retailers were put under ruthless, unfair and persistent pressure from David Cameron to back and make public their support for a no vote in the Scottish referendum, (but most refused). However the attack dog, (self appointed) is Sir Ian Cheshire, the, (soon to be replaced) Chief Executive of Kingfisher, the business behind B&Q, the DIY chain. His position is that, “business leaders need to speak out and get the facts in front of Scottish voters who need to make a decision”. “It’s not scaremongering. Independence is possible but there are costs and consequences of separation. I think the current system works well, but people have to decide if it is better.”
6. The thrust of the intervention by the Chief Executives of a few retailers and two of the largest supermarkets, (since withdrawn) is centered around the probability of, “Increased Prices” for goods and services in the event of a, “Yes” vote. Such increases would be justified since goods distribution costs to Scotland are higher than in the rest of the UK.
7. If Scotland votes, “yes” in the referendum, at the date of change supermarkets and retailers would be free to establish new markets in Scotland. Assuming Scotland would retain, “special membership status” within the EU all, “new” markets would be governed by internal market regulations operating within Europe. To that extent any restriction of trade measures that Supermarkets might seek to introduce would need to meet all aspects of the aforesaid regulations. The European Commission may, if provided with reference, decide to order a market investigation so as to ensure a fair extension of the frontiers of competition within Supermarkets operating within England & Scotland.
8. Any costs inflated by carriage charges would need to be measured and imposed equally across the entire supermarket distribution area, (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). eg Asda, (based in Leeds) would need to introduce an added carriage cost for distribution to Glasgow, Edinburgh, London, Plymouth, Portsmouth and Cardiff. It would not be permissible to add carriage costs to goods for sale in Scotland to the exception of the same goods for sale in England.
9. Tax – Now That’s Another Thing to Sort
10. UK lax tax laws provide a myriad of loopholes which are widely used for tax avoidance and the Treasury is losing many £ billions of tax revenues each and every year. Five of the UK’ largest banks use tax havens, namely BARCLAYS, LLOYDS, TSB, HSBC, and the ROYAL BANK of SCOTLAND. Just about all of the larger retailers, (supermarkets) and food manufacturers compete for places in the top 10 tax haven users A survey of the UK’s largest 100 public companies revealed that there are over 8,000 linking offshoots involved in business activities, (onshore and offshore) all registered in tax havens. Only 2 out of the 100 public companies had no offshoots registered in tax havens. George Osborne, in a recent speech brought the issue to the attention of the UK public stating the matter needed to be resolved. The task of closing the loopholes and recovering tax due is proving to be just about impossible since the bulk of the offshoot companies were registered in UK Crown dependencies such as, Bermuda, Gibraltar and Jersey.