Scotland's highest earners to pay £164m more in income tax
Scotland's highest earners to pay £164m more in income tax
Richard Leonard has been helped by a Corbyn surge
16 December, 2017, 07:48
Scots face a double tax raid next year amid the spiralling cost of the weekly shop.
And he said a bigger increase in the top rate of tax for those earning more than £150,000 - which some opposition parties had called for - would actually reduce revenue as high earners would find ways to avoid paying it.
Under proposals announced today (December 14) by cabinet secretary for finance and the constitution Derek Mackay, the overall culture budget for will be £166.8 million, an increase of nearly 10% on 2017/18 figures.
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Mr Mackay said that more than two thirds of income taxpayers will pay less tax than they now do under his proposals, which will need to be approved by MSPs before coming into force from April 2018.
The Scottish Fiscal Commission, a body recently set up and similar to the Office for Budget Responsibility in London, said that combined with last year's freeze in Scotland's higher tax threshold, the new tax rates increased Scottish government funding by £366m.
Those earning £25,000 a year will see their tax bill fall by £10, while those on £40,000 will have to cough up an extra £140.
In his draft budget plans for 2018-19, Mr Mackay revealed that the 1% public sector cap will be lifted, and workers earning less than £30,000 per year will get a pay rise of 3%, while those earning more than £30,000 will get a 2% increase.
The country's top earners make up 1 per cent of the adult population but they are expected to contribute nearly a fifth - 19 per cent - of total Scottish income tax liabilities. That made it far harder for councillors to fund a pay rise for local government workers.
Andy Willox, from the Federation of Small Businesses in Scotland, said their members "have a real concern about the effect of these changes on household spending power".
And he told the Scottish Parliament that those earning above that figure would only pay a "proportionate amount more" than they now do. At a time of zero wage growth and rising inflation it makes no sense to increase taxation. "Not only will that be more fair, more progressive, and will substantially increase local authority budgets, but it will also have the added bonus of stabilising property and land values which is absolutely essential if we are going to tackle the inherent inequality of our housing system". "They represent lifelines. They represent lives". She defended the income tax rises, saying Tory cuts had left a £200m hole in the Scottish budget.
But Mackay's proposals, which need to win support from at least one other party to get passed at Holyrood, were soon attacked by potential allies, including the Scottish Greens and trade union leaders at the Scottish TUC, after it emerged he was not directly funding all the public sector pay rises.
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