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Salmond digs in on pound and Scottish taxes

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has defied critics of his plans for a post-independence currency union with the rest of the UK, insisting such a pact would leave Edinburgh in full control of taxation.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Salmond waved aside concerns about the working of such a currency union, which were highlighted this week by an unprecedented intervention in Scotland's independence debate by Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England.

The first minister also reiterated his warning that an independent Scotland could walk away from its share of the UK's £1.2 trillion national debt if Westminster continued to reject its plans to share the Bank of England.

(Read more: Carney to Scotland: Be careful what you wish for)

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The currency question is one of the central battlefields in campaigning ahead of Scotland's referendum in September on whether to leave the UK, a vote that would have far reaching consequences across the British Isles and beyond.

Pro-union campaigners have seized on Mr Carney's suggestion that a post-independence currency union would require "very significant" pooling of fiscal resources between an independent Scotland and the remaining UK.

Alistair Darling, former UK chancellor and leader of the pro-union Better Together campaign, claims a currency deal would mean Scotland would have to seek approval from London for its tax policy.

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Mr Salmond said an independent Scotland would be happy to cede sovereignty on monetary policy but on fiscal policy it would only have to accept aggregate limits to state debt and borrowing.

"That doesn't cover the rates of taxation, I don't think there's any need for that," the first minister said.

(Read more: Scotland independence: Widnae it work?)


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