Tag Archives: tax

Rennie’s penny on tax for education is progressive – IPPR

The Institute of Public Policy Research Scotland has been looking at the parties’ tax plans ahead of the Scottish parliament elections.

The SNP has had a go at us for raising the basic rate of tax for workers, making out like they are protecting the low paid. In fact, IPPR says that our plans are progressive and will deliver what we say they will.

 Willie Rennie has welcomed this conclusion.

The IPPR shows that the Lib Dems’ penny (why do we not call it Rennie’s penny?) for education will raise £475 million a year, with almost half of that revenue coming from the richest 12%.

The IPPR research also shows that the Conservatives’ plans help the richest, giving those on highest incomes an extra £390 a year.

Willie said:

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Tim Farron on tax: “We must not miss this opportunity to change the system”

Tim Farron by Paul WalterTim Farron has written a note about tax on his Facebook page. As party leaders publish their tax returns, (including Willie Rennie, that’s 5 minutes of your life you won’t get back if you choose to read this unremarkable document), he says that it’s actually the system you need to change. He’ll publish his in the next few days, but that is not really the point. Here are his comments in full:

The politics of envy helps no-one, but trust in politics does.

I have no desire to poke around in the Prime Minister’s private wealth, and definitely have no desire to force him to relive the pain of losing his father, having to confront that time all over again through the pages of national newspapers.

It is absolutely essential that British people have full confidence in our leaders, and that when decisions are made and Budgets are written there is not even a slightest hint of a conflict of interest or personal gain. But we are now in a position where people no longer have complete faith in this Government’s decisions.

Trust in politics and our ability to get things done is taking another hammering. It’s an poor indictment of our political system that the demand is now so great for the public to see politicians’ tax affairs. Are we now in a world where there is an assumption that a politician is doing wrong, or is playing the system?

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WATCH: Alex Cole-Hamilton on tax, education, glaciers and the SNP’s “magic tractor”

This week, Edinburgh Western candidate Alex Cole-Hamilton took part in a debate on Scotland 2016 on tax.

Here are his highlights. I think my favourite was the “magic tractor.”

Scotland 2016 Tax Debate

Last night Alex Cole-Hamilton took part in the Scotland 2016 Tax Debate. If you missed it – catch the highlights below, including John Swinney's magic money tractor and our plan for education:

Posted by Scottish Liberal Democrats on Wednesday, 6 April 2016

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Should politicians publish their tax returns?

Here’s Tim Farron telling Sky News on Friday that he is going to release his tax return, regardless of whether anyone else does. He said he made his decision because he thought that people had “a right to have their confidence in their leaders enhanced and not further diminished.”

Tim Farron: “I’m Going To Publish My Tax Return”“It’s up to him. I’m going to.” Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron on whether David Cameron should publish his tax return.

Posted by Sky News on Friday, 8 April 2016

And so, David Cameron has now published his tax return. It doesn’t really tell us anything that we didn’t know already. We discover that he’s a rich man. We discover that he and his wife get more in rent for their Notting Hill home every year than some of our homes are worth. They are getting in more than £7,500 per month.

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Let’s all defer our tax liability for a year, shall we?

So we have another instance of a large corporation deciding how much tax it’s going to pay. Why does the Government let companies like Facebook, Starbucks, Amazon and Google get away with this?

It’s another example of where being rich and powerful gets you special treatment. The BBC reported:

After heavy criticism that it was avoiding tax, the BBC can reveal that profits from the majority of Facebook’s advertising revenue initiated in Britain will now be taxed in the UK.

It will no longer route sales through Ireland for its largest advertisers.

That includes major businesses such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, consumer goods firm Unilever and advertising giant WPP.

Smaller business sales where advertising is booked online – with little or no Facebook staff intervention – will still be routed through Ireland, which will remain the company’s international headquarters.

I am told the change will mean that Facebook will account for substantially more revenue in the UK and will therefore pay a higher level of corporation tax on the profits it makes here.

Corporation tax is levied at 20% on the profits a business makes.

The changes will be put in place in April and Facebook’s first, higher, tax bill, will be paid in 2017.

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Willie Rennie announces Scottish zero rate tax plan

Last night in his annual speech to the David Hume Institute, Willie Rennie set out plans for a plan to help low and middle income Scottish earners by introducing a zero rate band of tax to go beyond the raising of the tax threshold. Because he’s also announced a plan to raise income tax by 1p to secure a £475 million investment in education, this new tax plan is going to be revenue neutral.

Both Liberal Democrats and Labour have announced plans for a 1p rise in income tax. However, Liberal Democrats are focusing on what you would get for it – more college places, reversing education cuts, a pupil premium and more nursery education. Labour’s is so complex that everyone is talking about the tax part of it. Fair play to both, though, for actually trying to use the powers we have.

Under Willie’s zero rate plan, Liberal Democrats would build on our record in government when we increased the personal allowance by over £4,000, helping to lift more people on lower incomes out of tax. Tax revenues gained by investing in education and boosting business by closing the skills gap would create a zero-rate tax band.

Willie  contrasted the progressive Liberal Democrat proposals with George Osborne’s commitment to increase the Higher Rate threshold from £43,000 to £50,000 by 2020, giving record-breaking tax cuts to the richest and costing Scotland £400m.

He said:

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LibLink: Willie Rennie: SNP obduracy on using tax powers shows party is no champion of progressive politics

Willie Rennie’s ambition for better education and health services in Scotland has been clear and so has his ambition to use the tax raising powers given to the Scottish Parliament. His plan for a penny on income tax for an almost half billion investment in education to introduce the Pupil Premium, extend nursery education and reverse cuts to college and schools funding.

The SNP, having squealed blue murder for years about not having enough powers to do anything, fails to use them when they are given them.

Willie often says these days that the SNP “talk left and walk right” and he has written a damning critique of the SNP’s approach in the Herald.

As it was a Liberal Democrat Secretary of State who delivered these new tax powers, it is perhaps not surprising that we were the first to propose using them to transform education in Scotland. By putting a penny for education onto income tax bands, we would raise £475 million a year.

Willie’s proposals have brought outrage from SNP and Tories alike. Finance Minister John Swinney said he would rather sacrifice public sector jobs (which in turn affects the most vulnerable) than raise tax rates. The Resolution Foundation says a tax rise is progressive. Willie challenges the SNP:

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , and | 17 Comments
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Recent Comments

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    @ Dave Orbison, The LSE carried out an interesting study. The report covering the first two months of his leadership laid bare the media bias....
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    You've ducked the question Denis, whilst focusing on my comparison to rotten boroughs, which I think is perfectly fair.
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    Simon Shaw - I will never stop complaining about The Sun. My reference to Young Lib Dems singing about Tony Blair's death was true was...
  • User AvatarDenis Loretto 25th Sep - 1:33pm
    I may have picked you up wrong, Stevan. If, rather than deciding policy by electronic vote of every member, you are talking about widening the...
  • User AvatarSimon Shaw 25th Sep - 1:15pm
    @Dave Orbison "... what are we to make if the Young Liberals (I think joined by one LibDem) MP singing joyously as to the death...
  • User AvatarSue Sutherland 25th Sep - 12:53pm
    Caractacus, Tim 13, I agree.