Welcome to the Wealthy Nation Institute!
Here is the place to read how Scotland can become a free country, in its economy, in its political constitution, in the ordinary lives of its citizens. Our aim is liberty for all – for individuals, for families, for communities, for nations.
Confessions of a justified tax avoider ... and why flat tax would stop fiddles.
Michael Fry | 20th November 2017
Let’s start with a brief history of my own career as a tax avoider. Quite a long time ago now, I spent three years of my life in Brussels, working as the employee of a Scottish company.
It paid me my salary gross, with no deductions of any kind, and did not know or care (in any case never asked) about my relations with the Belgian tax authorities.
Admittedly at arm’s length, those relations were trouble-free. Soon after my arrival I got a visit in my office from a short, round, jolly Flemish accountant, who specialised in serving expat workers like me. He had a winning sales pitch: “You wanna pay a lodda tax or a leedle tax?”
Government meddling in the private sector won't help Scotland to attract inward investment
Michael Fry | 24th October 2017
One reason we need to argue about wealth – and The National makes a grand job of it – is that we haven’t got as much as we should have. We can blame decades of Unionist economic mismanagement, in particular the frittering away of the oil revenues, all now to be worsened by Brexit.
But in part we must also blame ourselves in Scotland, for having lost the instinct among a bleak country’s natives for `gathering gear', as Robert Burns put it.
There is an obscure series of government White Papers from the 1890s, published in preparation for William Gladstone’s scheme of Home Rule, as it was then called. It never came to pass ...
Why the pursuit of equality will ruin Scotland for sure
Michael Fry | 17th October 2017
AFTER all the SNP conference was not totally devoid of interest, mainly because of a well-crafted speech by Nicola Sturgeon. If you are doomed to dash some hopes among the growling pack of this party – for example, by going slow on activists’ demands for indyref2 at the earliest possible date – then it is best to throw them bones marked equality.
This was indeed the First Minister’s tactic. At a key moment of her speech she said: `It is the challenge of our age – tackling the unfairness and inequality felt so sharply by so many. Here in the UK, inequality is among the worst in the developed world. We intend to drive change here too.
A trend to decentralisation could favour independence
Mark Littlewood| 14th October 2017
Mark Littlewood of the Institute of Economic Affairs in London might be thought to have ventured into the lion's den when he spoke at the SNP conference in Glasgow. His views are his own, but we think Scottish independence should not be defined entirely as a cause of political left – especially as the political left has never had the support of a majority of Scots voters.
Michael Fry: We will not win indyref2 if we put up taxes and discourage growth
Michael Fry | 4th October 2017
HUGE pressure is building up in advance of the SNP conference in Glasgow next weekend over the question of holding a second referendum on Scottish independence, whether sooner or later, before 2021 or afterwards.
I want to put my ha’porth into this argument and say there is no chance of Scotland breaking free unless it markedly improves its economic performance, so as to achieve a growth rate equal to that of the UK as a whole, and for preference better.
Michael Fry: Indy Reset Must Go Hand in Hand With a Radical Rethink of Economic Policy
Michael Fry | 4th July 2017
In her last speech of the parliamentary session at Holyrood, Nicola Sturgeon called for a “reset” of the timetable for a second referendum on independence. If I had been her speechwriter I think I would have chosen a stronger term – “recharge” or “relaunch” – considering how the engine has died on the whole project. But at least she revved herself up a bit for her peroration: “Over this summer we will set out afresh our vision for the country we lead, together with creative, imaginative ...
Michael Fry: The Best Way to Inspire Confidence in Our Economy? Balance the Books
Michael Fry | 27th June 2017
It was a valuable contribution to the debate about a Scottish currency that came last week from the think tank Common Weal, since this question is likely to prove one of the main battlegrounds in a future referendum on independence, just as it was last time. The report written by Peter Ryan was perhaps a little neurotic on the problem of official reserves, which would be used to back the currency on the international financial markets. These ...
Why Everybody is Wrong About the Land Value Tax (Except Me)
Sam Bowman (Adam Smith Institute) | 29th June 2017
Conservatives laid into Labour’s manifesto pledge to consider replacing council tax and business rates with a land value tax (LVT). They’ve dubbed this a ‘garden tax’ and claimed that it ‘could’ triple property tax bills to £4000 per household.
It’s a bit silly to call this a ‘garden tax’, since council tax valuations already include gardens. Unless the Tories are proposing to exempt gardens when we calculate ...
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