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STUC publishes tax proposals to revive Scotland’s public services

The STUC is seeking changes to income and property taxes and the introduction of a wealth tax to raise billions (PA)
The STUC is seeking changes to income and property taxes and the introduction of a wealth tax to raise billions (PA)

Scotland’s largest trade union body is urging the Scottish Government to use its existing powers to raise billions more pounds to pump back into public services.

A new report published by the STUC sets out how it believes changes could be made to income and property taxes from April next year to raise an additional £1.1 billion.

The body argues the introduction of wealth taxes, replacing council tax with a proportional property tax and introducing a super tax on private jets could also raise a further £2.6 billion per year for public finances in the longer term.

The STUC claims the tax measures are progressive and would reduce both income and wealth inequality.

The updated report follows a similar paper from the STUC last year setting out how the powers of the Scottish Parliament could be used to raise public revenue through progressive taxation.

The report also contains detailed analysis of how council tax could be replaced in a way that ensures low-income households do not lose out.

The move comes as a response to Deputy First Minister Shona Robison’s recent warnings of public sector workforce cuts ahead of the Scottish budget this December.

STUC general secretary Roz Foyer said: “Our updated tax report makes clear that the Scottish Parliament has the power to make a real difference to our communities and raise over £3.7 billion of additional revenue for our public services.

“The Scottish Government must step up for Scotland. It’s clear that, with one foot out the electoral door, the Tories are hellbent on saddling any future UK Government with devastating public sector cuts.

“We can choose a different path. It’s within the powers of our parliament – through income, land and additional dwelling taxes – to raise an initial £1.1 billion from April next year. Coupled with longer-term wealth, property and aviation taxes, the Scottish Government can raise another £2.6 billion.

“At a time when workers are suffering the biggest drop in living standards since records began, and our public services need investment more than ever, it would be a chronic dereliction of duty for government ministers to sit back and let workers suffer Tory-inflicted austerity.

“They must rise to the challenge. For the sake of our workers, communities and public services, there is simply no other option.”