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Higher earners in Scotland to pay more income tax

Everyone earning more than £43,662 in Scotland will have to pay more income tax next year. Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the higher rate of tax will increase from 41p to 42p in the pound in April, and the top rate from 46p to 47p. The tax threshold for the top rate will also be lowered from £150,000 to £125,140.

This change has already been announced for other parts of the UK by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.
Mr Swinney described the increase as an “extra penny to enable spending on patient care in our National Health Service”.

And he said he was asking people to “pay their fair share” so they could “help to create the fairer society in which we all want to live”.

But the Scottish Conservatives said making higher and middle earners in Scotland pay more more tax than their counterparts elsewhere in the UK risked undermining the country’s potential for economic growth.

Scottish Labour said the extra money would be used to “fix some of the damage done by 15 years of SNP cuts and failure” and predicted that people will not accept rising tax bills “if all they see is further decline in services”.

Mr Swinney had been due to deliver his budget statement at 14:30 – but Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone suspended the session for 30 minutes so she could investigate how details of the tax rises had been revealed by the BBC two hours earlier.

Ms Johnstone later allowed Mr Swinney to speak after receiving “categoric assurance” from him and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon that the information had not been shared by the government.

Income tax rates in Scotland, as well as several other taxes, are set by the Scottish government rather than at Westminster. About 500,000 people in Scotland are in the higher rate bracket while a further 33,000 pay the top rate of income tax, according to the government.

The threshold for the 41p higher rate will remain frozen at £43,663 in Scotland – lower than the £50,271 elsewhere in the UK.

And there will be no changes to the rate paid by lower earners, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon previously saying this would be counterproductive in a cost of living crisis.

Source: BBC

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