Colin Beattie MSP has challenged Iain Gray MSP on his decision to vote for a tax hike for 2.2 million basic rate taxpayers across Scotland – including almost half a million pensioners.
The SNP budget was debated by the Scottish Parliament this week and, in contrast to Labour plans, will deliver a pay rise for up to 51,400 low paid workers and no rise in Income Tax or Council Tax bills.
The draft Budget was debated by the Scottish Parliament last week – with key pledges including a £500m rise in the NHS budget, the protection of the teacher-pupil ratio and the protection of the police budget.
Commenting, Mr Beattie said:
“This week Iain Gray chose to vote for a complicated, unfair and unworkable tax hike that would hit low and middle-income earners hardest – rather than backing a pay rise for 51,400 low paid workers.
“I voted for an SNP budget that will help people on low incomes by rolling out the living wage across the social care sector, freezing the council tax and supporting low paid public sector workers – while Labour voted to increase how much tax they pay.
“Iain Gray wants to shift the burden of Tory austerity onto working people across the country – forcing people such as all newly-qualified nurses, teachers and police officers to effectively take a pay cut.
“I will continue to stand up for low paid workers in Musselburgh and East Lothian and fight the impact of Tory austerity – I will never ask ordinary workers to pay for Tory cuts.”