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3 July 2019, 05:25
Jeremy Hunt has claimed his proposals to cut corporation tax would save small businesses in Scotland around £1,300 a year.
The Tory leadership hopeful last month set out his plans to cut corporation tax to 12.5% if he becomes the new prime minister.
According to Mr Hunt, the move would mean that a company making a profit of £20,000 would pay £1,300 less in tax than they do presently.
However, the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) think tank suggests that the Foreign Secretary's proposals would ultimately require spending cuts, tax increases or higher borrowing.
Currently, the corporate tax rate in the UK is set at 19%, with plans for it to be lowered to 18% from May next year.
Outlining the impact that his corporation tax plan would have on Scotland, Mr Hunt accused First Minister Nicola Sturgeon of creating an "anti-business environment".
"As the first entrepreneur to become prime minister, my government would back business like never before," said Mr Hunt.
"My corporation tax cut would give small businesses an extra £1,300 every single year. For a company struggling to get by in Nicola Sturgeon's anti-business environment, that could be the difference between success and failure.
"Across Scotland, my proposed tax cut would give Scottish businesses a billion pound boost that they could use to employ more people or invest to increase profits.
"My proposal would mean more highly paid jobs and more opportunities for people to get ahead.
"By giving companies more of a chance to expand, my government would raise economic growth and by doing so, increase the money available for public services like schools and hospitals."
A spokesman for the Scottish Government's Finance Secretary, Derek Mackay, said: "This is a desperate bid by Jeremy Hunt to try and deflect attention from the catastrophic damage which he knows his Brexit plans will do to Scotland's businesses, to trade, to jobs and our economy.
"But in reality, all he will achieve will be to devastate funding available for public services - Jeremy Hunt wants our schools, hospitals and our police force to pay the price for the mess that the Tories have created.
"Under the SNP, Scotland has the most competitive business rates regime in the UK.
"What businesses in Scotland want - and what the vast majority of people in Scotland voted for - is for the UK to remain in the EU and to avoid all of the damage that Tories are planning to inflict on us."