• STV
  • MySTV

SNP Budget plans face first vote in Scottish Parliament

Scottish Government proposals include increasing income tax for higher-earning Scots.

Holyrood: Minister says tax changes will boost NHS investment.
Holyrood: Minister says tax changes will boost NHS investment. ©Martin Pettitt & licensed for reuse Image cropped

Scottish Government plans to increase income tax for higher-earning Scots are facing their first vote in Holyrood.

Finance secretary Derek Mackay said the tax changes he has put forward would safeguard lower earners, at the same time as allowing ministers to invest a further £400m in Scotland's NHS.

Seven out of 10 Scots would pay less income tax than they are currently under his proposals, he has said.

But with the SNP without a majority in the Scottish Parliament, the finance secretary has to win support from rival parties for his Budget to be passed.

Talks have been taking place, but Green co-convener Patrick Harvie - who struck a deal with Mackay last year - said there needed to be "significant amendments to the Budget as it stands".

Mackay has already outlined changes to the income tax regime in Scotland which he said will see everyone earning less than £26,000 a year paying less than elsewhere in the UK.

'If he decides not to accept the changes we have proposed, it's unclear where else he will be able to seek support for his Budget.'
Green co-convener Patrick Harvie

Speaking ahead of the Stage 1 debate on the Budget, the finance secretary said: "Our tax proposals will safeguard the lowest earning taxpayers and, overall, when coupled with our spending decisions, will protect and grow the economy.

"It ensures that 70% of individuals will pay less tax than they do now for given incomes, with 55% paying marginally less tax than they would if they lived elsewhere in the UK.

"This is therefore a budget that provides the investments we need to meet the challenges of today and the opportunities of tomorrow.

"It is with this in mind, that I call on parliament to support this budget in order to give stimulus, sustainability and stability to our economy and public services."

Harvie said while Budget talks with the government had been "constructive and professional", changes were still required to the draft tax and spending plans.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1404525-greens-put-150m-price-on-support-for-snp-s-budget/ | default

The Greens are demanding more cash be made available for local councils and for increases in public sector pay.

"If he decides not to accept the changes we have proposed, it's unclear where else he will be able to seek support for his Budget," Harvie added.

The Scottish Conservatives have made clear their opposition to the Budget, hitting out at plans to increase income tax for some Scots.

The SNP's 2016 election manifesto included a pledge not to increase the basic rate of income tax, with the Tories now accusing ministers of reneging on this.

Finance spokesman Murdo Fraser said: "The SNP used to never tire of talking about how tax cuts across various areas would help Scotland's economy.

"But now that entire ethos has been dropped, and substituted with a drive to make Scotland the highest-taxed part of the UK."

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1404455-at-a-glance-how-does-the-scottish-budget-affect-you/ | default

Labour has put forward its own alternative Budget proposals, including plans to bring back to 50p top rate of income tax for the highest earners.

It would match the Scottish Government's new starter rate of 19p, but would also introduce as 45p rate for those earning £60,000 - contrasting with SNP plans to tax those earning over £150,000 a year a new top rate of 46p.

Labour finance spokesman James Kelly said: "A penny on the top rate doesn't cut it when the top 1% own more than the bottom 50% put together. We need a radical budget for real change, not more tinkering."

He insisted: "It's not good enough to tinker around the edges with as many as 260,000 children living in poverty. We should be looking at a budget that stops the cuts to lifeline services and increases Child Benefit."

Meanwhile, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie called for more money to be invested in education and mental health.

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.