Katy Gordon compares Lib Dem & SNP tax plans: “SNP fiddle at margins, Lib Dems choose to make Scotland great again”

Katy GordonYesterday the SNP revealed their tax plans for Scotland. They were, to be honest, the plans of a Government that’s cosy with being the Establishment, not of an insurgent movement wanting to bring change.  You’d have thought, after all their moaning about the 50p rat being reduced to 45p, that they’d have put it straight back up but, no. Having said that you could argue that we could have done the same thing given that we were forced into it by the Tories in coalition in exchange for the raising of the tax threshold for the lowest paid. However, in our defence, our Scottish plans for a zero rate for the lowest paid will involve tax rises for the richest.

The SNP plans not to raise the higher rate tax threshold – but that’s it. Other than that they will keep tax rates where they are. They wanted powers but when they are given them, they choose to tinker around the edges rather than use them for good. The cuts they have lumped on local authorities make their assertion that they are anti austerity sound hollow.

Over at the Scottish Lib Dems’ website, Katy Gordon, our lead candidate for the West of Scotland,  has given her analysis of the SNP’s proposals compared to ours. 

I’m glad Nicola has confirmed that Scotland won’t follow George Osborne’s sneaky tax cut for higher earners that would increase the tax threshold for the 40p tax rate.  So now with Liberal Democrats, Labour and the SNP all agreeing on this, it is only Ruth Davidson and the Tories who seem to support rewarding the better off.

But the SNP again failed to live up to their claims to be a progressive party by refusing to use the new powers to increase income tax to raise the money to make Scotland the best again.  In fact, in guaranteeing not to increase anybody’s tax bill, they are far closer to the Tories than they like to pretend.  Today’s announcement by the SNP is a feeble response to the pressing need for more investment that our public services need.  In fact, I find it quite odd that the SNP are so dead set against using the new powers they have always demanded.  Anyone would think they are scared to use them in case more people realise we don’t need independence to transform Scotland into a better place…

Where is the bravery and boldness that you need in a government?  While the SNP fiddle at the margins, the Scottish Liberal Democrats have made distinct political choices to make our country the best again.

I’ve been so proud to promote our plan to put 1p on income tax to pay for the transformation of education in Scotland.  Income tax is the most progressive tax and it really frustrates me that the SNP won’t use it.  They seem to prefer to blame Westminster for everything, but won’t lift a finger to use the new powers to make a difference.

I’ve been so pleased at the reaction to our education plans on doorsteps from Paisley to Helensburgh, Giffnock to Milngavie.  The public are not daft.  They tell me about the lack of college places, the endless fundraising they do to pay for school textbooks, the juggling of childcare.  Our 1p on income tax will put £475 million into massively increasing pre school childcare, introduce a Scottish Pupil Premium to help close the attainment gap,

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  • nigel hunter 23rd Mar '16 - 9:59pm

    As I have previously commented the SNP need the Tories each one is in the others pocket. They need each other to succeed. As you say, they are now The establishment not revolutionaries ‘frit’ to be radical wish to keep the status quo. Scottish Tories at prayer.

  • Thomas Shakespeare 23rd Mar '16 - 10:55pm

    @nigel Worryingly convenient isn’t it? SNP: Tories want to enforce austerity on Scotland. Tories: SNP want to raise your taxes to fund Scotland.

    Then SNP get fiscal powers but don’t use them cos don’t want to endorse Tory Scotland Bill.

    Can they both just grow up please?

  • Robin Bennett 24th Mar '16 - 11:26am

    John Curtis summed up our plight recently when he said that, although the opposition parties can try to show that they will hold the government to account, the SNP has “outflanked” the opposition. The SNP had referred to the successful settlement with the Westminster government of the “fiscal framework” for the next five years and claimed that the SNP had therefore “stood up for Scotland”. Nicola Sturgeon hammered home the point that her negotiators had not conceded a pound, or even a penny. The opposition parties, with their English ties, are unlikely to be believed if they also claim to “stand up for Scotland” against Westminster, hence their dismal poll ratings. “Make Scotland great again” (e.g. by boosting education) may mitigate this handicap a little even if it does produce guffaws because of the Trump connotation.

    Nigel: the SNP used to be called the Tartan Tories, a better term which we might usefully revive as – despite Nicola’s rhetoric – we are now positioned to the left of her party. By the way, the word “frit” was first heard by most of us when M. Thatcher used it. It was explained that it was native to the Lincolnshire area from whence she came.

  • Bruce Hosie 24th Mar '16 - 5:05pm

    The only way we will make Scotland greater again is to have full control over all taxation, not just the piddly little concesstion agreed by the 3 unionist parties, who were also were happy for the treasury to try to take 7 billion from the Scottish budget. You will not recover in Scotland until you understand that devolving less than 30% of taxes and 20% of welfare is not modern home rule in any shape or form. Scotland has changed and you need to get on board.

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