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SNP challenged to keep manifesto commitment on tax

12 Dec 2017

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The Scottish Conservatives will use their party business in the Scottish Parliament tomorrow (Wednesday) to challenge the SNP to stick to their own manifesto promise on tax.

The motion calls ‘on the Scottish Government to freeze the Basic Rate of Income Tax throughout the Parliament to protect those on low and middle incomes’.

The SNP manifesto promised that the SNP ‘will freeze the Basic Rate of Income Tax throughout the next Parliament to protect those on low and middle incomes’.

A recent Survation poll for the Sunday Post highlighted that, asked what the Scottish Government should do first, 61% say the SNP should review public spending, only 22% say they should raise tax.

The Federation of Small Businesses, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, the Scottish Retail Consortium and the Fraser of Allander Institute have all warned the Scottish Government against raising taxes due to the negative effects on the economy.

In particular, the Fraser of Allander Institute has stated that Scotland’s economic performance is so bad that the SNP would not be able to raise the money to fund any significant increase in public sector spending.

Murdo Fraser, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance said:

“The SNP told people one thing when it wanted their votes, now it’s saying the complete opposite.

“The Deputy First Minister has previously called tax rises as a ‘punishment’ and said it would be the ‘last thing’ the SNP government would do.

“The Scottish Conservatives believe that hitting hardworking families with higher taxes will only damage the Scottish economy in the long run, leading to less money to fund public services.

“There is now a serious consensus within Scotland’s business community that the SNP should not increase income tax, including even the pro-independence, SNP supporting Business For Scotland.

“Indeed, the latest analysis suggests that these potential tax rises will not raise the required amount of money for public services, only punish taxpayers.

“In addition the public also overwhelmingly think that the SNP should review public spending prior to any tax increases.

“The SNP must focus on growth and productivity; on revitalising the Scottish economy.

“Bluntly, the SNP must stick to their manifesto and not raise punishing and counter-productive taxes.”