Tax Changes (Scottish Government Employees)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 28th March 2019.

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Photo of Murdo Fraser Murdo Fraser Conservative

2. To ask the Scottish Government how the tax changes in its budget will impact on its own employees. (S5O-03069)

Photo of Derek Mackay Derek Mackay Scottish National Party

Under Scottish income tax policy, 55 per cent of taxpayers are better off than they would be if they lived elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Next year, 70 per cent of public sector workers covered by our pay policy will get a 3 per cent pay award. When our progressive pay and income tax policies are combined, our own lowest-paid employees will, after tax, be £628—or 3.3 per cent—better off in 2019-20, ensuring that our public services are well funded and the people who deliver them are fairly paid.

Photo of Murdo Fraser Murdo Fraser Conservative

Thousands of employees of the Scottish Government and its agencies with attached workplace parking face being hit by the car park tax, thanks to the Scottish National Party-run councils in Glasgow and Edinburgh talking about introducing the new tax. What assessment has the Scottish Government done of the likely overall costs to its own finances as a result of the introduction of the car park tax, and does it intend to pay the tax itself, or will it pass it on to its employees?

Photo of Derek Mackay Derek Mackay Scottish National Party

As Murdo Fraser knows, his question is premature, because the legislation has not been taken through Parliament yet.

Photo of Derek Mackay Derek Mackay Scottish National Party

Murdo Fraser now seems to want to have a debate rather than ask a question. I quite enjoy a debate too, but his question was about the costings. The legislation has not gone through Parliament, and Parliament will naturally engage with that question as it goes through.

Interestingly, I heard Murdo Fraser say, “It’s in your budget”. Actually, in financial year 2019-20, when we will be spending £42.5 billion on Scotland’s public services, no workplace parking levy will be initiated. In that respect and in that regard, then, the answer is no, it is not in the budget.