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UK Government Ministers and officials have regular discussions with the Scottish Government on matters of importance, including the Scottish fiscal framework. That historic arrangement delivers one of the most powerful and accountable devolved Parliaments in the world, and it is up to the Scottish Government to use those powers wisely further to increase the economic prosperity of Scotland.
It goes without saying that I agree with my hon. Friend, and it is disappointing that Scottish taxpayers who earn more than £27,000 will pay more tax in Scotland than they would in the rest of the UK. Furthermore, taxpayers in Scotland will pay 41% income tax on earnings between £43,500 and £50,000, compared with just 20% in the rest of the UK. That means that a police officer with 10 years’ experience—mid thirties; bringing up a family—will pay 21% more tax on earnings between £43,500 and £50,000 in Scotland than they would pay in the rest of the UK.
Will the Secretary of State acknowledge that for the third consecutive year more than half of Scottish income tax payers will pay less tax than taxpayers in the UK? Will he explain to those UK taxpayers why his Government is ripping them off?
That figure about less tax is correct—about 56% of Scots will pay less tax. [Interruption.] Before the Scottish nationalists become over-jubilant, I point out that that is the grand amount of 40p per week.