Tory cuts or progressive taxes - Swinney to decide

For immediate release 16 November 2010

Tomorrow's Draft Budget from Scottish Ministers is expected to confirm that the SNP intend merely to implement Tory cuts rather than setting a more progressive course for Scotland. The Scottish Greens will continue to argue that Ministers should look at an alternative approach and use the existing powers of the Scottish Parliament to raise revenue, either through the introduction of a Land Value Tax, other local taxes, or the Scottish Variable Rate of income tax.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"No-one voted SNP to see their Ministers simply implementing Tory cuts, cuts which are designed to hit the poorest and most vulnerable hardest. Neither did they campaign for years to establish a Scottish Parliament only to watch it implement a radical right-wing agenda that Scotland didn't vote for. Holyrood's options to raise revenue are limited, but we must take them.

"The Scottish people voted by a clear margin for a Parliament with tax-varying powers, and Parliament's Budget has never been under more pressure. It's time to honour that decision. Instead, this week it seems likely that the Scottish people will be offered four variations on a theme by the other parties, four ways to implement Tory cuts. Only the Greens are prepared to make the case for an alternative approach, one which uses the most progressive ways available to us to raise revenue and limit the cuts. If the Budget rules these options out it will be unfit for purpose."

A recent report by Andy Wightman, commissioned by the Green MSPs, showed that Land Value Tax at 4.4p in the pound could raise more than