Most Scottish income taxpayers to pay less than those in the rest of the UK as SNP government introduces more progressive and more fair system


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:

Scottish Government ‘tacks to the left’ as it taxes private schools

Who said Scots were not more left-wing than those in the rest of the UK?

Scotland has lower poverty rates than England: JRF Excerpt 1

Scottish Government continues to fight brutal Westminster austerity politics

Could Scotland end homelessness?

8% of the UK population and 28% of living wage employers. More evidence that we are different enough to want to run the whole show?

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


5 thoughts on “Most Scottish income taxpayers to pay less than those in the rest of the UK as SNP government introduces more progressive and more fair system

  1. Alasdair Macdonald December 14, 2017 / 7:31 pm

    This is the first full budget that the SG has produced since it assumed the powers devolved following the Smith Commission. These powers were wilfully constrained to maximise the chances of making the SG scapegoats, being damned if they did use them and damned if they did not. So, I think that the use of the income tax powers have been used quite skilfully, especially as Westminster still substantially sets the fiscal weather. The sums involved are relatively small compared to the size of the overall budget, but, nevertheless can make a difference to those at the lower end of the pay scale and will raise some funds to offset the cuts to the various social services. For people like me who pay tax at the higher rate the additional amount is not onerous, nor is it for those who pay the top rate. I am one of those persons who sees tax as a useful tool of redistribution, so the opinions expressed in the preceding sentence should be viewed in that context.

    Essentially, I think the budget was ‘political’ in demonstrating that Scotland can do things differently, and, in the context of being in a minority Government gave something towards the policies expressed by Labour, Greens and Lib Dems, thus increasing the pressure on them to support it in the end. The pre-budget politicking in establishing a public awareness of and consent – albeit, conditional – for an overall increase in taxation, provided it was spent on improving public services and was tilted towards the higher paid bearing a bigger load.

    What we need now is for the Greens, Labour and the LibDems to work with the SNP to develop a more sophisticated tax system, particularly a replacement for the Council Tax and a significant shift towards the taxation of land and property, which will wider community and individual ownership of land at the expense of the few huge landowners.

    With James Kelly now Labour’s finance spokesperson, I am not optimistic about them, especially since a majority of MSPs did not support the Leader and since many are the baleful oppositionists who have been in Holyrood since it was established. Willie Rennie is such a blancmange flimsy figure who relies on the shallow jibe, that I wonder if he can change. However, with things in Westminster on a shoogly peg, I hope that the minds will be concentrated and they can focus on how we do the best for Scotland in dire and uncertain times. I note that one of the COLONEL’s Westminster 13 is on the fringe of the ‘rebels’ and has been blackguarded recently in the Telegraph. So, there might be some shift amongst them and some of the MSPs like Brian Whittle.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ludo Thierry December 14, 2017 / 7:35 pm

    One of the mega-wealthy who will doubtless be caught in the new, fairer tax bands is our old friend and ‘Hole in the WALL gang’ member ex-cooncillor for Bitter Together Willie Young. Doubtless Young Willie will be able to console himself with his newly awarded honour from his Bitter Together pal Lord provost Barney Crockett (King of the Wild Frontier) (see below from beeb Jockland – the world truly has gone mad):

    Former Aberdeen Labour councillor Willie Young is set to become a Deputy Lieutenant of the city.
    Mr Young, the city’s former finance convener, lost his seat at the local government elections in May.
    An Aberdeen City Council spokesman said Mr Young had been commissioned by the Lord-Lieutenant, Lord Provost Barney Crockett.
    Official confirmation is expected later through the Edinburgh Gazette. There is a team of Deputy Lieutenants.

    I would have liked to be a fly on the WALL at that meeting. Surely the writing must be on the WALL for Deputy Lieutenant Willie? As Pres. Reagan would surely have said “Depute Lieutenant Willie – Tear this WALL down”. Anyway – I’m sure Willie is delighted with his WALL to WALL honours. In the great scheme of things it’s probably just another brick in the WALL.

    Philisophical question of the evening: Does a Deputy Lieutenant outrank an Hon. Col. in the Bitter Together ranks?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. William Henderson December 15, 2017 / 10:33 am

    I would like to register my 100% appreciation of the care taken by the Scottish Government over the presentation of the Draft Buget document. It consists 200+ pages of clear, unambiguous presentation of the arguments on which the proposed budget is based. To read it is to understand the thinking behind the proposals. The reader is given the opportunity to agree or disagree based on that understanding.

    What a change from the sound-bite rubbish we’re used to from Westminster – ‘Brexit Means Brexit!’, ‘TINA – There Is No Alternative’ etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. johnrobertson834 December 15, 2017 / 8:08 pm

    Yes it’s it’s almost as if they’re not really politicians.


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