See this from the Scotsman today:
‘SNP tax rises could harm struggling High Street, retailers say: Finance secretary Derek Mackay’s proposal to increase income tax amid strong signs that local authorities are set to increase council tax has led to the Scottish Retail Association (SRC) saying businesses will have to work hard to attract consumer spending. All the evidence is that consumers continue to be careful with their spending at a time of uncertainty. With income and council tax rises coming in later this spring, along with inflation and potential interest rate rises, retailers will have to continue to work hard to encourage consumer spending in the months ahead.’
First, the Council Tax rises can only be described as such if they are brought in by an SNP council. Otherwise they will be ‘Labour tax rises’ or ‘Tory tax rises’.
Second, remember the budget meant that only Scots who earn more than £33,000 would pay more. 70% will pay less income tax next year if their income stays the same and 55% will pay less than they would if they lived elsewhere in the UK.
Third, reducing taxation on the least well-off 70% of the population will surely benefit many businesses. Those who are barely coping spend everything they earn on food, clothing, energy and other basics including a modest level of entertainment. If they pay a little less tax, they will spend a little more in shops. The other 30% who seem to worry the SRC so much, tend to have at least some monthly surplus they can choose to spend or to save and the modest increases in their taxation levels will not force them into cutting back except perhaps on foreign holidays or cars, neither of which enrich the vast majority of our ‘High Street’ businesses.