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SNP Launches Bid to Recover Scotland

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TEHRAN, May 10 (ICANA) – Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Alex Salmond has demanded immediate borrowing powers to be given to the Scottish parliament to help fuel the region's recovery.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011 7:43:13 PM
SNP Launches Bid to Recover Scotland

This is while Salmond's landslide victory in Thursday's parliamentary elections in Scotland has stunned UK politicians.

The SNP leader is asking for greater fiscal autonomy for the region before calling a referendum on Scottish independence in a five years time.

He has promised an independence referendum and wants to assure public that Scotland can stand alone on its feet. Currently, a third of the Scottish people endorse the plan to end the 300-year-old union with Britain.

Salmond, as the parliament's majority leader, has put empowering the Scotland Bill his first priority.

The Scotland Bill now going through parliament in London gives the region greater tax and borrowing powers.

The bill is not scheduled to come into force for several years but Salmond is arguing that some elements -- notably the ability to borrow -- should be brought forward so the administration can raise funds to boost job creation.

"The borrowing we are talking about is borrowing for capital investment," Salmond said.

"That's what's been conceded in principle. We are now discussing the timetable of it. I think the timing is urgent because we want to sustain economic recovery in Scotland,” he added.

This is while the coalition government is vehemently opposed to some of SNP's demands.

However, some issues including the ability to set corporation tax or access to North Sea oil revenues and fundraising powers are potential areas for compromise.

"The government will listen to these representations as it recognizes the SNP's mandate," said a Treasury spokesman.

Salmond's pro-nationalist party won an overall majority in parliament for the first time in the Scottish Parliament's history since it was founded in 1999.

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