Income Tax

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 27 March 2024.

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Photo of Jamie Greene Jamie Greene Conservative

6. To ask the Scottish Government at what specific annual income any individual would start to pay more income tax in Scotland than they would elsewhere in the United Kingdom under its new Scottish income tax levels. (S6O-03273)

Photo of Tom Arthur Tom Arthur Scottish National Party

Just over half of Scottish taxpayers will continue to pay less income tax in 2024-25 than they would if they lived elsewhere in the UK, including all individuals who are earning up to £28,850. Those who call Scotland home enjoy a range of support that is not available throughout the UK, such as the Scottish child payment, free prescriptions and free higher education. All of that helps to make Scotland a great place to live, work, study and do business in.

Photo of Jamie Greene Jamie Greene Conservative

Buried away in that answer was the figure of £28,867. According to this Scottish National Party Government, the richest in society should pay more tax. I wonder what people who are earning £28,000 a year would have to say in response to that. In fact, when we get to £50,000 in income, there is a 20 per cent differential between what we pay in tax in Scotland and what is paid elsewhere in the UK. Those are not wealthy tycoons; senior teachers, senior nurses, senior police officers and many in our public sector are earning that sort of salary. How does the minister think we will attract the brightest and best to work in our public sector, as well as our businesses, if they are paying more in tax in Scotland than they would pay anywhere else?

Photo of Tom Arthur Tom Arthur Scottish National Party

One of the ways in which we attract the best and brightest to work in our public sector in Scotland is by giving them the best remuneration anywhere in the UK. There are many examples of that across the public sector in Scotland. We continue to invest and we have taken the decision to have a progressive tax regime, because that is what is required in order to invest in our public services. Had we replicated the tax policies of Mr Greene’s party, that would have left us £1.5 billion a year cumulatively worse off. It is important that we continue to invest in public services and that we continue to have a progressive tax regime that allows us to do so. That could not only help us to retain the best and brightest who are working in the public sector in Scotland, but provide a range of benefits and services that are not available to taxpayers elsewhere in the UK, which can attract many more people to come to Scotland.