Thu 14 Dec, 2017

The Scottish Government still has work to do to present a budget that we can support when it reaches the Stage One vote at the end of January Patrick Harvie MSP

Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-Convenor of the Scottish Greens, today (14 Dec) welcomed Scottish Government plans to create new rates and bands of Income Tax, saying it shows Green pressure is helping deliver a fairer Scotland.

The Greens also say their pressure on public sector pay has led to the proposed rise of 3 per cent for workers earning up to £30,000.

But Mr Harvie warned that the draft budget fails the Greens' test on protecting council services, as ministers are proposing a real-terms cut in the local government resource budget.

Patrick Harvie, Finance spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Glasgow, said:

“The creation of new bands of Income Tax, cutting tax for low earners and raising it for higher earners, is a landmark moment for Scottish politics, and shows Greens are playing a key part in delivering a fairer Scotland. Our proposals for a fairer system that raises more revenue have shaped the debate, and those still talking about tweaks to the basic rate or freezing it, are being left behind.

"Labour's last leader in Scotland said any progress on public sector pay will be down to the Greens' hard work but the welcome announcement of a three per cent rise for those earning up to £30,000 is due to solid campaigning by unions too and we look forward to workers getting the pay rise they have long deserved.

"Sadly it seems the Finance Secretary has not been listening on the need to start to repair the damage done by years of cuts to local council services. Last year Green MSPs cancelled the SNP's proposed £160m of cuts but we warned that we expected them to go further in future. A real-terms cut is unacceptable and the Scottish Government still has work to do to present a budget that we can support when it reaches the Stage One vote at the end of January."

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