New tax powers should be used to protect services & make Scotland fairer

Patrick Harvie MSP, Finance spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (2 Nov) welcomed comments by economic experts on the creation of new income tax bands to raise revenues for public services.

Speaking at Holyrood's Finance Committee, David Bell, Professor of Economics at the University of Stirling, suggested opting for a "Scandinavian solution", where additional tax bands are created between the current 20p basic rate and the higher 40p rate, to generate additional funds.

This approach was advocated by the Scottish Greens in the 2016 election paper: Fair Funding For Public Services.

David Heald, Professor of Public Sector Accounting at the University of Glasgow, told MSPs that the current jump from 20 per cent to 40 per cent income tax is "too abrupt."

Patrick Harvie MSP, Finance spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and a member of Holyrood’s Finance Committee, said:

“The Scottish Greens were the first to propose bold, creative approaches to income tax during this year’s election. By splitting the basic rate into two, we can raise additional revenue for public services while cutting the income tax paid by everyone earning less than the average salary. 

“Greens also want to ensure that people on high incomes – MSPs for example – make a fair contribution, and the uncertainty arising from Brexit and its impact on living standards only increases the case for a more progressive tax system. What’s essential is that the new tax powers are used not only to protect public services but also to make Scotland a fairer and more equal country.”


Fair Funding For Public Services (Scottish Greens taxation proposals, 29 March 2016)