Patrick Harvie MSP, Finance and Economy spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, tonight (11 Feb) renewed his call for the Scottish Government to allow local authorities to raise funds to protect frontline services.

The Scottish Greens have been challenging the SNP throughout the current Parliament to find progressive ways of raising revenue, and have put forward specific proposals for doing do. However, the party believes that Scottish Labour’s income tax proposals are seriously flawed. Tonight the 4 MSPs who are members of the Scottish Greens will vote for the Scottish Government's parliamentary resolution that the new Scottish Rate of Income Tax should remain at 10 per cent for the time being.

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

"We’ve been making the case for raising revenue to protect public services since 2011, and it’s now overwhelming. But an income tax plan that depends on a rebate nobody knows how to deliver isn’t the way to do it, and would open up loopholes for high-income individuals to avoid paying their fair share. 

“Scotland can protect its public services by raising revenue, and the Scottish Greens' policy is to do that fairly and locally so we are targeting property wealth and freeing up councils to act according to local need.

"By unfreezing council tax, by taxing derelict and vacant land, and by amending the council tax multiplier to address under-taxed high-value properties, we could raise hundreds of millions of pounds in the coming financial year to reverse the cuts in the Scottish Budget and invest in frontline services. 

"For the next Parliament, Scottish Greens will set out clear plans to replace Council Tax and to use the more flexible income tax powers which aren’t yet available. We see an urgent need to shift the tax base from income to wealth and from central control to local control. Underpinning all this must be a fair and stable financial settlement from the UK Government. We look forward to publishing our longer term proposals in the coming weeks."