The lack of detail in the Scottish National Party's White Paper on independence will harm investment into Scotland and encourage some companies to move south, according to a leading tax expert.
Ronnie Ludwig, an Edinburgh-based partner at the accountancy firm Saffery Champness, said that the White Paper was full of content but lacked real economic detail about what independence would mean if Scots voted yes in the referendum in September 2014.
"The White Paper is heavy on content but light on the detail which voters want to see before making up their minds on how to vote," said Ludwig.
"Detailed policies on tax and spending will only emerge after the vote in September 2014, which means that voters are expected to take on trust any pledges made, without any details of how these policies will operate and be financed."
Ludwig said that a lack of certainty would affect the decisions of potential investors and their attitude towards Scotland. He said that "at best [they] will wait until there is more clarity, and at worst will invest elsewhere".
"The lack of detail is also likely to make a number of entrepreneurs consider a move south of the border as a pre-emptive precaution," Ludwig warned.
He was cautious about the SNP argument that independence would attract investment with lower tax rates.
"The tax residence of a company is determined not by where it is located but by where its central management and control are exercised. This lack of detail may well see a number of companies take the decision to move central management and control south of the border, so that they will then trade with, rather than in, Scotland," he said.
He added warned that Holyrood's shopping list of what it wanted to do in an independent Scotland needed close scrutiny.
"The paper talks about increasing tax allowances and credits and reducing corporation tax but it would be interesting to see how they have calculated this. There is nothing to support the assertions and it is a high-risk strategy in a modern world where the voting public are inquisitive and far from gullible."
Saffery Champness is a top 20 firm of chartered accountants with 61 UK partners and more than 400 staff. It has nine offices in the UK and offices in Guernsey, Geneva and Zurich.