Liam Kerr: SNP ‘break income tax pledge and squeeze councils’

The SNP manifesto for the Holyrood election last included a clear, unequivocal pledge not to raise income tax for basic rate payers.

That promise has been broken. Along with any last vestiges of trust in anything this government promises.

In one stroke, Derek Mackay has dragged hundreds of thousands of hard-working Scots into paying more at a time when our economy is struggling.

The Scottish Government says the income tax hike only applies to people earning £33,000 or over. But this is smoke-and-mirrors using the personal allowance increase introduced by the UK Government.

Once you start earning £26,000, you will pay more in tax than your equivalents in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In total, nearly half of Scottish workers – 1.16million people – will pay more than if they lived elsewhere in the UK.

This means grabbing more tax from the salaries of nurses, primary school teachers and police officers.

This is a tax on aspiration, and sends a clear signal to wealth creators and public servants alike that their pay packets will be raided if they move to Scotland.

This also comes as the revenue budgets for our local councils are being cut once again.

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities says the reduction will be about £153million.

The SNP has given local authorities a choice – raise your council tax to plug the gap, or make cuts. The reality for many people is that they will now pay more, but receive less public services.