The SNP's tax plans will protect low and middle income taxpayers in East Lothian and Midlothian by setting a new Starter Rate of income tax of 19% for earnings between £11,850 and £13,850. As a result of this change as well as the increase in the personal allowance, all taxpayers earning up to £33,000 in Midlothian, East Lothian and across Scotland will be protected from any tax increase.
Overall 70% of taxpayers in Scotland will pay less next year and 55% of Scottish taxpayers will pay less than they would in England. At the same time, SNP tax plans will increase the Higher and Top Rate of tax to 41% and 46%.
SNP MSP Colin Beattie, Midlothian North and Musselburgh, said:
"This poll shows strong 2 to 1 support for the SNP's progressive tax reforms that will allow the Scottish Government to invest in our schools and hospitals in East Lothian and Midlothian.
“The SNP is on the side of the my constituency's taxpayers – ensuring that 70% pay less and that Scotland has the fairest taxed system in the UK.
“This is a real endorsement of the SNP’s approach to protecting public services, investing in the economy and supporting households and I hope other parties will now back our tax plans.
“While the Westminster Tory government has hammered Scotland with cut after cut, Tory MSPs in Midlothian and East Lothian have demanded the Scottish Government spend more and more money - all the while calling for tax cuts for high earners. It doesn't add up.
"The Tories are completely out of touch with the Scottish public, and their tax plans would leave a £500 million hole in the Scottish budget - leaving public services my constituency and across the country short-changed."
A YouGov poll for the Scottish Times has found majority support for the SNP's tax proposals. Details as follows:
Do you support the tax changes announced in the budget (everybody earning more than £26,000 to pay more than their counterparts in the UK, everybody earning less than that, to pay less than their UK counterparts).
Support: 54 per cent
Oppose: 27 per cent
Don't know: 19 per cent.
Do you think the tax changes are fair or unfair?
Fair: 49 per cent
Unfair: 30 per cent
Don't know: 21 per cent.
SNP Income tax proposals for 2018-19 are:
· A new Starter Rate of 19% will be introduced for those earning between £11,850 and £13,850
· A Basic Rate of income tax at 20% for those earning over £13,850
· A new Intermediate Rate of 21% for those earning over £24,000 - however as a result of the new Starter Rate taxpayers earning less than £33,000 will pay no more in tax for given incomes
· A Higher Rate of 41% on incomes over £44,273 to £150,000
· A Top Rate of 46% on incomes over £150,000