31 Jan 2018
The SNP has been accused of “rubbing salt in the wound” after it emerged a deal struck with the Greens will hit nearly 400,000 taxpayers.
Finance secretary Derek Mackay announced today he’d made a pact with his fellow Yes campaigners in Holyrood which would see his budget progress beyond stage one.
And as well as dropping the higher rate threshold to punish even more hardworkers, Mr Mackay managed to rustle up an additional £115 million, despite his claims that the Scottish Government is tight for cash.
The deal reinforces Scotland’s position as the highest-taxed part of the UK, with the higher rate threshold from the previously planned £44,273 down to £43,430.
For those taxpayers who earn more than £44,273 – and therefore will see all income between £43,273 and £43,430 now charged at the higher rate – they will pay an extra £169 in income tax compared to the SNP’s draft budget proposals.
That means taxpayers will be coughing up an extra £55 million to meet the terms of the SNP-Green deal.
Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary Murdo Fraser said:
“Instead of apologising for breaking their promise not to increase the basic rate, the SNP has decided today to rub salt in the wounds with yet another tax grab.
“Only a government as arrogant as the SNP would pick peoples’ pockets, and then come back for more.
“This SNP budget sends out a clear message: don’t bother trying to get a pay rise, or get a better paid job because we’re coming for your pay packet. It’s a tax on aspiration.
“Mr Mackay also announced today that he has found nearly £115 million to pay for local authority spending.
“While welcome, this extra funding demolishes the SNP’s claim it is being starved of funding.
“The SNP’s budget from Westminster is going up this year and, to nobody’s surprise, it turns out Mr MacKay’s had a rainy day fund all along to help buy off the Greens.
“Instead of this tax rising budget, the SNP should have cut waste, binned the vanity projects, and focused on delivering real economic growth.”