The supposedly impartial, apolitical, National Audit Office issued incorrect figures last month suggesting that more than half a million Scots would pay more income tax than those in England on comparable incomes. The Scottish government is committed to a more progressive and fair taxation system which spreads the burden more equitably but the NAO release to the media seriously overstated the number and this was used by the Unionist media and politicians to create a storm which has done damage that their grudging, almost invisible, withdrawal will not be able to compensate for.
The issue concerned the SNP decision to freeze the 40p threshold at £43 000 pa while the threshold in England and Wales was lifted to £45 000, meaning Scots on this salary or more, would pay up to £400 per annum, or about £8 per week, more.
The Scottish Tories even tried to suggest the SNP had bullied the NAO! I doubt that’s possible.
The SNP figure was 366 000 out of 2 600 000 taxpayers (14%), the initial release by the NAO was 507 000 and they have grudgingly revised it down to 386 000. Either way they really got it wrong and this casts serious doubt on their competence and/or impartiality.
The NAO then issued a huffy, dishonest, wee withdrawal pretending they’d noticed the mistake themselves and leaving that to the very end of the notice:
‘The NAO identified this at a late stage and immediately took the decision to postpone the report’s publication.’
They didn’t even have the common decency to mention their mistake in the title so it’s by no means the deserved apology. I expect no apology from the Scottish Tory’s Arithmetic Correspondent (Failed), Muddled Fraser. Here’s what he said:
‘Once again we see this SNP government trying to bully anyone who they disagree with. It is clear that they have pressurised the National Audit Office into this climb-down, simply because the SNP didn’t like what they were hearing. This was an independent report that rightly highlighted that a huge number of Scots will be paying more tax thanks to the decisions of the Scottish Government.’
This is the man whose Unionism is so fanatical and mind-warping that he thinks Rangers FC are her majesty’s team: