Green MSP critical of government’s standstill income tax policy

The finance secretary has revealed that the Scottish Government’s Income Tax policy remains “under review” after questioning by Patrick Harvie MSP at a meeting of the Finance and Constitution Committee.

However, Derek McKay refused to answer the Green MSP’s questions on “progressive changes to income tax rates and bands”, a position Harvie says will lead to a missed opportunity “to cut poverty and inequality”.

The SNP is now a minority government and therefore needs to win parliamentary support for its tax plans in order to pass a budget next month.

Glasgow MSP, Patrick Harvie said:

“Derek Mackay seems unable to give any reasons for his standstill income tax policy. An inflation-based increase in the Higher Rate threshold will only benefit high earners, who have already benefited from UK government policies. The Scottish Government is quite unable to justify this, while they refuse to make any progressive changes to income tax rates and bands.

“The SNP has argued for progressive taxation over many years, and they now have the power to make it happen. It will be a huge missed opportunity if they dig in their heels and insist on a no-change tax policy now that they have the power, and the political support, for real change to cut poverty and inequality in Scotland.”