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Tories set to offer income tax freedom to Scotland

The Conservatives look set to offer Scotland powers over how it raises income tax in the event there should be a no vote in the independence referendum in September, according to reports.

The Financial Times reports that the plan will be published later today in a report for the party by Conservative peer and former Leader of the House of Lords, Lord Strathclyde.

It will set out ways the party will devolve more powers to Scotland if it votes to stay in the United Kindom later this year and will give Holyrood more power to decide Scottish income tax bands and rates.

The paper says party officials declined to comment on the proposals. But writing in the Scotland on Sunday, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said the Scottish Parliament’s powers over tax are too limited and giving it more control over tax would strengthen the UK as a whole.

She said: “We cannot continue with a pocket-money parliament, which gets its allowance from Westminster and then spends it as it pleases.

“We must move to a new system that brings real accountability to Scotland’s politics. In short, the buck must stop at Holyrood.”

If the plans are adopted by the party it would mean a bolder offer than the Labour party. In March Labour offered Scotland greater control over income tax rates but barred them being cut for wealthier individuals.

Some Labour figures said full control could lead to a “race to the bottom” with Scotland competing with the rest of the UK to attract wealthy individuals.

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Comments

There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Ummm… Scotland was granted its own income tax raising powers in the Scotland Act 2012. Sounds like nothing dressed as something. If there’s no ability to alter VAT or Corporation tax, you have zero control over the economy so what’s the point?

    And for as long as the oil money goes to Whitehall before coming back to Scotland via the Barnett formula, the myth that Scotland is subsidised will persist.

  2. I understand that Scottish residents get free Residential Care if required. Is that not one form of subsidy?

  3. No. Someone who spends their money differently/better to someone else isn’t necessarily subsidised.

    If you compare the bottom lines of the first two tables here (which are the fairest representation) you’ll see from the official figures that Scotland generally paid in a higher percentage than it got back.

    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/03/7888/1

    Of course, being more accurate, we’re all subsidised, that’s why the national debt is ticking up. But Scotland is paying it’s way as much as anyone else is.

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