Monday, 04 August 2014 19:03



By Bill Austin

Book UK £6.99 + Postage and Packing

iScotland £6.99 Add to Cart

Published, August 2014.

Darling and Brown set the conditions for the current UK revenues Tax Gap currently estimated at £100bn to £120bn. 

Assessing approximately 10% of £100billion Tax Gap estimate as being uncollected as that which an iScotland may be able to recover through an effective Customs service this would be up to £10 billion - or  £2500 per potential Scots Referendum voter. "

Within the current public and academic debate on the 18 September 2014 Referendum regarding the question of Scotland's self government this book seeks to clarify how iScotland's revenues and borders may be maintained within the perspective of national defence of our Common Weal, her people, territories, airspace, waters and cyberspace.


The authors contribution to this  debate is from his perception as an international customs consultant.


Within such an environment, this paper contends and focuses on recommendation to form a  Scottish Customs division within Revenue Scotland[1] (RS), in the event of a "Yes" vote. Customs must be a key component of protecting Scots society with the primary function of defending iScotlands revenue base without which a nascent national economy would be unable to function and grow. No revenue, no defence. No revenue, no Common Weal. Simplistically, RS may be divided into divisions dealing with direct and indirect taxation.


Customs would principally focus on indirect import & export taxation, VAT and Excise  collection plus offence action in order to protect and increase national tax yield on behalf of the Community of Scots through their elected government. Those who believe in the importance of the  state must support this. For Unionist neoliberals this is anathema. Tax non-compliance, avoidance and evasion are unacceptable.


The phrase "taxpayers money" is wrong. iScotlands government will spend their own money, legally theirs, properly collected, and not subject to a claim by other persons. iScotlands government will be accountable through the ballot box for the amounts of tax they wish to collect and for the use of the tax collected. This is democracy in action.


"Government would willingly incapacitate itself by believing it is an agent for those who make payment of tax as it might consider itself especially accountable to those who might make some of the largest payments."[2] This would also be wrong. "Tax [is necessary] to both redistribute income and wealth and to meet need." [3]  The political economist and author of  "The Courageous State", Richard Murphy, also goes on to argue that government needs tax to "Support and sustain communities and personal development in an environment of mutual understanding". The late Jimmy Reid  aspired to such in his famous "We are not rats" Rectorial Address[4] to the University of Glasgow on 28th April 1972.         


Additionally, Customs should augment and support the existing Border Policing Command[5],[6] in prevention of importation of prohibitions and restrictions, such as drugs and weapons. Legally, Customs should have borders primacy with a Chief Customs Officer having an equivalent place in government with the Chief Constable. At least 75% of UK offences affecting the economy are revenue - as this paper will evidence. The ratio can expect to be similar in iScotland.  

The "Al Capone" analogy is he was imprisoned for smuggling/tax related offences - not for police offences. Society must be protected from organised crime and terrorism by whatever legal means possible.


Customs should be a key, integral element of an iScotland and EU defence strategy. Currently, unlike the UK.

[1] SCOTLANDS FUTURE, Scottish Govt, p384, November 2013.

[2] Murphy, R. "The Courageous State" p98 (Searching Finance Ltd, London, 2011).

[3] Ibid p210.


[5] ,dated 23 Jul 2013.

[6], dated 6 Jun 2014.





1.                     Introduction                                                                                          

2.                     Historical Customs Background, 1909 - 2005                                        

3.                     Current UK "Customs" Situation,  2006 - 2014                                        

4.                     iScotland Customs Strategy, Operations

                        & Tactics                                                                                            

5.                     Analysis and Conclusions        




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