New expert evidence has again confirmed that setting a Scottish rate of Income Tax 1p higher than that set by George Osborne is fair.

 

 21st February 2016

New expert evidence has again confirmed that setting a Scottish rate of Income Tax 1p higher than that set by George Osborne is fair.

Ahead of the final vote on the Budget in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday, new analysis by the independent experts at the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) shows that under Labour’s plan around two-thirds (64%) of the increase would be paid by richest 20% of households. The SPICe analysis also confirms that if a Scottish rate of Income Tax was set 1p higher, 92% of the increase would be paid by households in the top half of earners.

Households in the bottom half of earners in Scotland would pay less than 10% of the increase.

However, under Labour’s plan those income taxpayers earning less than £20,000 a year – including pensioners - would receive an annual £100 payment to ensure they did not pay a single penny more.

Many income taxpayers earning less than £20,000 a year would end up better off thanks to this payment.

Here's why our plan is a real alternative to austerity:

The SNP’s Budget for 2016/17 is set to cuts hundreds of millions of pounds from schools and other vital public services.

Under plans set out by Labour these cuts could be avoided and education spending protected in real terms over the next five years. The SNP stood shoulder to shoulder with the Tories to vote for cuts to schools and against protecting education spending in real terms.

Separate analysis by the experts at SPICe confirms that unprotected areas – including education – could face cuts of 16% over the next five years under the SNP’s plans.

That would mean cuts to local authority education budgets worth almost £800 million a year by 2019/20.

Here's what Kezia has said:

“This new expert evidence proves beyond all doubt once and for all that Labour’s plan to set a Scottish rate of Income Tax just 1p higher than that set by George Osborne is fair.

The fact that 92% of the cost of this plan would be paid for by the top half of earners in Scotland shows that it is the right thing to do. “The SNP are planning on cutting hundreds of millions of pounds from education and other essential public services so that people on six figure salaries don’t have to pay a bit more in tax.

That’s just not fair. I won’t put the future success of our young people and our nation at risk like that.

“We know the SNP have stood shoulder to shoulder with the Tories to oppose Labour’s plan to stop the cuts to schools and protect the education budget.

When the Budget returns to the Scottish Parliament for its final vote on Wednesday the SNP should examine their consciences and do the right thing for the sake of Scotland’s young people.

“The Scottish Parliament has the powers now to bring an end to the cuts.

We can make different choices from those of George Osborne.

Faced with the choice between using the powers of our Parliament to invest in the future prosperity of our country or cutting the budget for schools and other services, we choose to use the powers.

“If the SNP vote for these hundreds of millions of pounds of cuts to schools and other public services on Wednesday they will be selling out the people of Scotland.”