Fairer system of Income Tax shows Green influence

On the UN’s World Day of Social Justice (20 Feb) and ahead of tonight's vote in parliament to set a fairer system of Income Tax, Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie MSP pointed to analysis showing his party's influence means most Scots (56 per cent) will pay less tax in the coming year, while the richest ten per cent of households will pay more.

In the 2016 Holyrood election the Scottish Greens were the only party to put forward a progressive system of rates and bands, with the aim of helping those on lower incomes keep more of what they earn, ensuring higher earners pay a fairer share, and overall raising additional funds for the public services everyone relies on.

Since then the SNP government has moved towards the Green proposal, and in recent weeks Labour has dropped its policy of an across-the-board rise.

Analysis also shows the Income Tax changes will particularly benefit women and young people with 79 per cent of women paying less compared with 64 per cent of men, and 93 per cent of young adults under 25 paying less.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"Green MSPs will support tonight's Income Tax Rate Resolution because it is a significant step towards making Scotland fairer and will help turn a funding cut into a real-terms increase for local services. It shows that the Green approach to politics - constructive but challenging - gets results.

"It remains a frustration that it took so much pressure from the Greens to get SNP ministers to shift their position, cancelling their absurd proposal to give a tax cut to higher earners and committing to this new, fairer system. Fully costed Green proposals had included options for going further to cut inequality and raise much-needed revenue.

“However, the result is one we can support, with new rates and bands resulting in a bit more money in most people's pockets, especially women and young people. Negotiations over income tax and the budget are vital for people's jobs, wages, schools and social care, and Greens engaged early and openly. Our approach has been recognised by local councils’ body Cosla and the trades unions.

"If other parties continue to play games, either by refusing to engage or by producing last-minute untested proposals, they will continue to let communities down."

Figures referenced are available here.