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I am pleased to speak in support of the measures in the Bill. I have previously spoken of a number of reservations about some of its measures. I wish to record my disappointment at the timetable for changes to fixed odds betting terminals. I believe the wait is too long. We can take some comfort from the fact that, while the Government did not oversee their introduction, it is this Government who will see the stake plummet to £2, but not on a timescale that I would have wished for.
I believe the Bill is well matched to our nation’s present circumstances and will do much to benefit my constituents in Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock. Scotland will benefit from the personal allowance being increased by the UK Chancellor to £12,500. That is almost double what it was when we came into power. The Scottish Government do not set that allowance, but they do set the tax bands, which are more numerous. We hear often that there is a tax saving for a certain band. That is indeed correct: it amounts to £24 a year for some, which equates to less than 50p a week—not over-generous. The Scottish Government have it within their gift to vary the tax rates and thresholds of non-savings and non-dividend income for Scottish taxpayers. I await with interest their budget next month, which will be a challenge for the Scottish Government. [Interruption.] Every budget is a challenge. My personal budget is a challenge. Presently, Scotland is the highest taxed part of the UK for income tax and the highest taxed part of the UK in which to run a business.