In an effort to protect NHS and other services, the Scottish Government has used its new powers to vary income tax rates from those in the rest of the UK. The changes are fairly restrained but make sense as another move toward a more equal society. They are expected to raise an extra £164 million to offset cuts to the block grant from Westminster.
Here are the new rates and bands:
|A Starter Rate of 19%||Over £11,850 – £13,850|
|The Scottish Basic Rate of 20%||Over £13,850 – £24,000|
|An Intermediate Rate of 21%||Over £24,000 – £44,273|
|A Higher Rate of 41%||Over £44,273 – £150,000|
|A Top Rate of 46%||Above £150,000|
The effect of these changes, along with the increases in personal allowances, means that no one earning £33 000 pa will pay more tax and 55% will pay less than in the rest of the UK. Those earning more than £44 273 and less than £150 00 will pay around £10 more per week. The very small number of those earning more than £150 000 per year will pay more but less than us old lefties would have wanted.
Also included in the budget is a 3% rise for public sector workers earning less than £30 000 pa, a 2% rise for those earning £30 000 or more and cap of £1 600 on those earning £80 000 or more.
It might not seem much to some readers but it’s another sign that we’re are drifting ever further from the UK as the SNP administration works carefully and within the constraints of devolution to make this a better country. See these earlier signs:
If the above list is not long enough, search my blog for the word ‘different’ and you’ll get many more.
Footnote: From the New statesman today:
‘Lastly, the SNP have made the breach with the UK tax system, driving a gentle wedge between Scotland and the rest of the country which is only likely to grow with time. They have emphasised their progressive credentials against a Tory Westminster government that is still pursuing a strict fiscal policy and putting Brexit before all else. It is all very clever, politically. The economic consequences remain to be seen. So, attacked from left and right, Mr Mackay will feel he is sitting in roughly the right place. Nicola Sturgeon’s broad smile as he finished his statement suggests she feels the same